Summary: keeping things fresh in Christ
Intro: Little Billy, who was acting terrible one day, was asked by his mother, "How do you expect to get into heaven?"
He thought for a moment and then said, "Well, I’ll just run in and out and keep slamming the door until they say, ’For heaven’s sake, either come in or stay out.’
Then I’ll go in."
I don’t know if that theology will work, but the faith of a child is the key to getting into glory. We see how the Galatians were losing out with God and Paul urges them to get back to the beginning. Today we are going to look at Galatians 3: 1-9 and see four possessions that every believer has at the beginning, and make sure we possess these things in our service to God.
Getting Back To Our Beginning
Background: the Galatians were like any other group of Christians, they wanted to do it right. They started off with fire, zeal, power, anointing, faith and Spirit, but after a while they had fallen into rules, regulations, dryness, staleness and rituals. So Paul says, get back to your beginning, get back to the things you had at the start. Today, let’s look at these four possessions.
Faith, Spirit, Power, Blessing
I. Faith—v.2 by the hearing of faith-Paul states to the Galatians that they had started out in faith, and faith was the key to living for Jesus Christ.
What is the faith of a new believer?
a. I am saved to the uttermost, I am white as snow, I am accepted by Jesus Christ, my sins are washed away. This is the first faith, a confidence in Jesus Christ to make me brand new. The Galatians had lost this faith, they were now trying to earn their salvation and work their way into heaven.
b. God can do all things—this early faith was the faith that says, God can move my mountains, God can do anything. I am persuaded, He is able. We start in faith, but in time we end up with doubt, fear and unbelief, sometimes people who started out trusting God for everything, end up not trusting God for anything.
c. Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. New converts live their lives believing for things, God is going to come through, I am claiming my blessing, I am believing for my miracle. Sometimes you meet older Christians, and instead of them believing for their future, they spend most of their time dwelling in their past.
Ill) sometimes we forget this is a faith walk, and God can do anything. Years ago I had worn the same suits, pants, and shirts for quite some time and really could use some new clothes. A young girl who worked with my Mom at Gayfer’s said, my husband has put on a lot of weight and I have some suits, pants and shirts that I thought your son maybe could use. As I tried everything on it was amazing, the pants were 36-30, the suit coats were all 42 regular, and the shirts even had the right size neck and length sleeves.
II. Spirit—v.3 when you are first saved it is a spiritual event, and you start off living in the Spirit. You walk in the Spirit, you live in the Spirit, everything in your life is about the Spirit. The Galatians started off wanting spiritual things, but now they were getting away from the Spirit.
Ill) listen to this description of early services of the Methodist movement: as the congregation prayed for the anointing of God the power of the Spirit swept through the church. Many just sat in the powerful presence of God for hours, and many reports of miracles were given by the people. This powerful move is truly sweeping through the services of most Methodist churches of our day. Revival is in the air and people are coming in response to the call of the Spirit. I am glad to see many of our Methodist churches in the area are moving back to those early spiritual roots of Spirit led revival.
a. they began in the Spirit—that is why it is so important to get back to the beginning, if anything in your life is moving you away from the Spirit, you need to get back to beginning.
Ill) years ago someone visited First Assembly of God in Montgomery and there was a message and interpretation from the left side of the church. In the night service they sat on that side of the church because they wanted to be where the Spirit of God was moving. To me that proves there is a hunger in the lives of most people to be where the Spirit is.
b. keeping the church Spiritual must be the constant goal. Some churches get program oriented, some churches get over socialized, some churches become counseling centers and so on. But the spiritual life of any church must be maintained for the church to be alive.