Summary: Our identity is in Christ. Christianity is a lifestyle not a plaque we put on the wall. there are alot of people who claim they are Christians but their lives are not bearing fruit of it.
Freedom in Christ
Where’s your identity? That is the question that I asked a group that got together recently.
Is your identity a passport? Where someone looks at you and your passport to make sure that you are the same person?
A doctor matching DNA?
For the early church it was their identity in Christ!
People would ask -Aren’t you a follower of Jesus? You are one of them! The crowd of people followed Jesus…where Jesus was…they were. By association, they were linked to Jesus!
Today, we have over 200 million people in America calling themselves Christians- But we don’t live in an America that has 200 million Christians or followers of Jesus. They are in name only!
One article I read said that the word Christian has become a “brand” Christian music, Christian books, even mentioned Christian food and reference Chic-Fil-la.
Christianity is a lifestyle and the only way that we can have the freedom that Christ intends for us is to follow the example Jesus leaves for us.
The word Christian is in the bible I think 3 times- The first time in the Book of Acts they became “Christians” at Antioch.
But the word disciple is found over 250 times.
A disciple is a follower or learner of Jesus.
The disciples learned from Jesus and then followed Jesus- You can see from that that just because we call ourselves Christians does not make us Christians.
Apostle Paul was great at getting right at the heart of an issue with the church. Our text this morning sheds light on us being Christian or followers of Jesus.
Galatians 3:1-14 Read from the Bible clearly
When I read a text, I pick out words that I think are important and try to understand the text in the right context- Foolish, bewitched, Truth, Faith, Law, Covenant, Abraham are words that jump off the page.
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you”?
Foolish is a strong word, but some commentaries go as far as using the word stupid! Bewitched means to have evil influence.
Paul is accusing believers of the church at Galatia of being stupid… or foolish that they have allowed evil influence to sway them from the truth.
The truth according to the gospel of Christ is Christ crucified.
He is charging the church of foolishly allowing evil influence to pull them away from the truth of the crucified Christ.
Not much changes does it?
Paul preached the cross and was not ashamed of the cross and knew that salvation only came to mankind from what Jesus did on the cross. Anything less was foolish on the part of mankind.
Now today, it is not as cool to talk about the cross- it does not bring people back to church. It may not bring them back but it is the message that will save souls.
We need to come back to the born again message!
We went from the 60’s and the fire and brimstone message to today where most are looking for just a message of fluff and tell me I’m okay.
Somewhere between fire and brimstone and today’s watered down version of the gospel is the life saving message of “you must be born again”!
(John 3:5) Jesus answered “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.”
John 3:16- “For God so loved that world that he gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Just because the world is doing it does not make it right in God’s eyes
Freedom in Christ is not freedom in this world to do whatever you want, Freedom in Christ means that we are free because of what Christ did and freed us from sin so that we may obey God and live in harmony with Him. (Repeat)
“But thanks be to God that, though you use to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
John 8:36- “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Our text verse 1
“Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.”
I believe that Apostle Paul brought the message of the cross so vividly that they probably could still see Him at the cross and they had choose to intentionally go against the gospel and his teachings.
He says (2) “This only would I learn of you” in other words, I am going to convince you of your error!