Summary: Paul now begins to unpack his Grand Proposition (2:15-21). In 3:1-18, Paul supports the first part of his proposition: legalism is not the SOURCE of human justification.
Freedom, It Comes Apart from Law (Part One)
Theme: As faith justifies a human being, justification morally obligates that human being.
Purpose: What do I want to happen in the hearer when I preach this sermon?
A. Increased knowledge. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to state, in general terms and from memory, that:
a. Beginning on the Day of Pentecost when God poured forth his Holy Spirit upon certain Jewish human beings.
B. Increased insight. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to discern that:
1. Faith in Jesus Christ and him crucified justifies a human being.
2. That justification creates a moral obligation upon the justified human being.
3. That same faith thereafter transforms that justified human being into a co-laborer with God in the awesome task of human redemption.
C. Changed attitude. After I preach this sermon, I want the hearer to determine to:
1. Quit focusing on external rules, regulations and observances as the means of insuring that they “will one day get to heaven.”
2. Instead, I want the hearer to focus on their faith in Jesus Christ and him crucified, and the implications of that event for their daily life, as the basis of their relationship with God.
Need to be
Surfaced: People of faith desperately want to know God intimately. However, our view that eternal life only implies a life that begins when this life ends causes us to miss the profound implications of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
be Offered: The gospel is not merely the means that God uses to save our souls from hell; it is also the means God uses to transform us from the inside out into co-laborers with him in the awesome task of human redemption.
Introduction. (Get attention, surface need, make a contract to deliver a solution.)
1. A young, successful, prominent businessman reverently approaches God with a question: What must I do now, in this life, in order to insure that my soul will go to heaven when I die?
2. The question itself reveals a number of positive things about this person’s theology, his understanding of God:
a. He believes in God.
b. He believes in the eternal nature of the human soul—an afterlife.
c. He sincerely wants to live a good, upright, respectable life here on earth.
d. He wants to, and appears willing to, do whatever it takes to insure that he does everything that is necessary to insure that his soul will go to heaven when he dies.
(1) He has some excellent beliefs, doesn’t he?
(3) I rake him over the coals but my Master LOVED HIM!
3. The question also reveals some misconceptions about God’s plan: