Summary: Jesus bore the curse of the law so we wouldn’t have to.
I want to make a point as we begin today – and that is that there is often more than one way to do some things. The following test is used by Anderson consulting to see if people are qualified to be a “professional.” There are only 4 questions. See how you do…
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.
3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
Correct Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the refrigerator.
This tests your memory. OK, even if you didn’t answer the 1st 3 questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your abilities.
4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?
Correct Answer: You swim across. All the Crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.
The point is that there’s more than one way to do some things. And, I want you to realize this morning, that you get to choose. There are 2 ways you can make it to heaven! Really!
The oldest way is the most popular; the way of all religions of the world, except for Christianity. It’s the way of law-keeping. The text we’re looking at today reminds us of it: *v12 (Lev 18:5).
Keeping God’s law as a way to go to heaven is called “legalism.”
So, if you’re a legalist, this message is for you today.
Through this passage, and most of the book of Galatians, when Paul talks about the Law, the word “the” isn’t there – like in v10: “People who depend on following (the) law to make them right are under condemnation.” He’s speaking about something broader than just the OT Law. He’s referring to a whole approach to God – the way of the legalist.
-To quote John MacArthur: “there are 2 religions: the religion of divine accomplishment, which is biblical Christianity, and the religion of human achievement, which includes all other kinds of religion, whatever names they may go under."
If you’re a legalist, you’ve chosen the most popular way to make it to heaven. Really, you could potentially never fear hell, never worry about the wrath of God, never fear death – if you just perfectly keep God’s law. That’s what it takes. Are you there?
One guy was! *Lk 18:18-21 Amazing, isn’t it? From his boyhood, right though the teen years, into adulthood, this guy had done everything God commanded. At least, he said he had. Strange, he still felt he needed something else.
So, for centuries, people have been asking: What do I have to do? If heaven is real, and I have to do something to make it there, what do I have to do? And religion’s answer has been the same: Do the law. Keep the Law, escape the punishment. That’s how law works.
So you can make that choice. You’re free to choose how you’ll be saved. But know this, that your choice comes with consequences. In fact, choose wrongly, and you’ll lose some very precious things. Not only is that true, but you’ll also be classed with the people who received this letter from Paul. The Phillips translation puts v1 this way: “O you dear idiots of Galatia!” Harsh words, but someone really needed to rattle their cages.
They needed to hear what it meant to choose the way of law as a way of being right with God.
Now, right away, there’s people here this morning who need to hear it too.
-you’ve been a Christian for a long time, and it makes you uneasy to have someone saying “Being good doesn’t make you right with God”
-Or if I were to ask you this morning if you’re going to go to heaven, your answer would include something about how good you are or how you try to do what’s right
-Or you’re someone who’s here for appearances, and deep down inside you’re convinced that you’re really not a bad person, and in pretty good shape when it comes to heaven and all.
- Or you’re someone who’s hit bottom, and you’re so convinced that you’re lost that you seriously wonder if there’s any hope for you all.