Summary: Sermon 6 in Galatians series

Fulfilling God’s Purpose

The Problems of Fulfilling God’s Purpose with Man’s Plan

We try to do it on Man’s Schedule

We try to do it in Man’s Strength (Galatians 4:23)

The Consequences of Fulfilling God’s Purpose with Man’s Plan

It results in Separation (Galatians 4:29-30)

It results in Slavery (Galatians 4:25)

In the Freedom of Grace, God’s Purpose is Fulfilled with God’s Plan

(Galatians 4:31)

Slide 1

Each of us would like to know what God’s purpose for our lives is, wouldn’t we.

In fact, we would like to see it all mapped out for our approval.

This is somewhat of our human nature.

Slide 1

We want to know things.

We want to be in control of things.

Or at least for it to seem like we are in control.

We do not like to have to trust others with our lives.

But that is exactly what God wants us to do.

He wants us to trust Him, not only for our salvation, but for our daily living.

You would think that it would be harder to trust Him with our eternal lives than with our physical lives, but that really doesn’t seem to be the case.

Why is that?

Because trusting Him with our eternal lives we do once and we have it.

Trusting Him with our physical lives is something that needs to happen every day, moment by moment.

We trust Him and then we don’t.

But trusting Him and receiving His grace for living each day is the key to seeing God’s purpose fulfilled in our lives.

We are continuing on in Galatians today. We will be reading from Galatians 4:21-31 (p. 825).

Paul is still talking about grace and law. In this allegory,

Sarah equals the New Covenant of Grace and

Hagar equals the Old Covenant of Law.

Paul uses this story to show us how we often go about fulfilling God’s purpose for our life and the way we should go about it

Slide 2

Galatians 4:21-31

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.

Slide 2 24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

"Be glad, O barren woman,

who bears no children;

break forth and cry aloud,

you who have no labor pains;

because more are the children of the desolate woman

than of her who has a husband."

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Now in this allegory, He wants us to see that it is by grace and not by law that we will be able to fulfill God’s purposes for our lives.

Now there are certain things we know about God’s purpose in our lives.

We are to bring glory and honor to Him.

We see this in the first 3 commandments. (no other god’s before Him, no idols, don’t misuse His name)

We bring glory and honor to God by following His ways and doing what He wants us to do.

Now the question becomes, how do we go about doing this?

Because so often it seems that when WE seek to do the things that fulfill His purpose or will, it leads to problems in our life?

Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar and the birth of their sons and I want to go back to the original telling of that in Genesis first to help us see

The Problems of Fulfilling God’s Purpose with Man’s Plan

Slide 3

Genesis 16:1-4 (p. 10)

Slide 3 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."

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