Summary: Paul challenged the Galatians to not go back to being slaves and being trapped in the bondage of sin but instead become and heir of God and be free from sin by the Spirit.
Galatians part 4 – Be heirs not slaves!
Thesis: Paul challenged the Galatians to not go back to being slaves and being trapped in the bondage of sin but instead become and heir of God and be free from sin by the Spirit.
As we have been progressing through the book of Galatians we have discovered that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to get into Heaven. Human effort driven by a works religious mindset will not get you into Heaven instead it will put you into bondage and steal away your joy.
Paul has been confronting the false teaching of the Judaizers and re-convincing the Galatian Churches to return to the true Gospel. He has stressed that it is more important to please God rather than to please others. He has told them if you quit serving God and pleasing Him than the sacrifice of Jesus means nothing. He challenges them about their actions by asking, “Do you really want to negate Christ’s death and resurrection?”
Paul frequently has referred to his former way of life when he too was trapped into a works related religious mindset. He convincingly relates to them how he too at one point thought that he could earn his way to heaven. But that all changed when he had a divine encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road. He actually discovered that his religious mindset and works driven religious mindset actually put him in opposition to the Lord. The deceived mindset of the religious actually does not draw them closer to the Lord but further away and in opposition to His message of “grace.”
In our message last week Paul asked the Galatians a few questions about their past experience in Christ to remind them of what the truth looks like. I am reminded of a quote about experience which states:
All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience.--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This quote on experience reminds me why Jesus told us to not forget about His sacrifice and why He instructed us to continue to practice Communion. He wanted us to allow the experience of communion and remembering to take root in our hearts.
He also reminded the Galatian church that Abraham became saved and a friend of God not because he followed the Law but because he believed by faith. He uses Abraham as an example to show that the law had a purpose for a short time period but once Jesus “The Seed” came he brought in the fulfillment of the law. Therefore Jesus in Paul’s own words did the following according to Galatians 3:25 “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”
He stressed in chapter three that the law was not opposed to the promises of God but taught about those promises and taught us about how life really is birthed. Life is birthed through faith in the Promised One. The law showed that we are all prisoners to sin and we cannot get to heaven by human effort therefore we needed the Promised One to set us free. Therefore Jesus came fulfilling the prophetic words of the OT and fulfilling the covenant of faith promised to Abraham.
As a result of the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and our willingness to accept Christ by faith we then get the awesome privilege of becoming “The Sons and Daughters of God.” Since Jesus came and ushered in this new era of faith and grace there is now no more distinction between Jew or Greek, slave or free man, male or female but we are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all on the same plain equal in the eyes of the Lord Yes, we are all equal in that we all belong to Him.
Video Illustration: “What is grace?” - Interviews done on the street of a busy city asking this question. The clip shows that the majority of people have no idea what grace is!
Paul himself had a hard time convincing people that salvation is really a grace thing not a works thing. In our video we see that even today many people do not know what grace is.
Paul had the same problem in his era because grace just seems too easy for most of us to believe. Instead of listening to the message of Jesus we instead think “There has to be human effort in this somewhere!” You may ask “Why do we think this?” I believe because all the religions of the world have said “You can only be saved if you work at it!” But faith and grace are the tickets to becoming not only saved but they also lead to us becoming children of God.