Summary: We are to lovingly serve others.
I WOULD LOVE TO SERVE!
Th: Grace-Full Living
Pr: WE ARE TO LOVINGLY SERVE OTHERS.
TS: We will find in Galatians 5:13-15, three reasons why we are to lovingly serve others.
The _____ reason we lovingly serve others is because it…
I. OPPOSES LICENSE (13)
II. OBEYS LAW (14)
III. OBSTRUCTS LOSS (15)
RMBC 9/10/00 AM
1. Have you ever wished you had more help?
ILL Notebook: Help (Spend Rift)
Jane apologized for being a few minutes late for the din-ner date. She and her husband had been grocery shopping, she explained, and it had taken longer than expected. Florence, knowing that her husband, a non-shopper, was listening, and hoping he’d be inspired to help her, she said, "Do you mean Steve shops with you?" "Oh, yes," Jane replied. "We always go together." Pressing harder, Florence said to her husband, "Isn’t that nice? Steve shops with Jane every week." "Dear," Florence’s husband said, "if you’d like Steve to shop with you, it’s okay with me."
Well, perhaps that was not the help she was looking for.
There are times, though, we are all looking for help.
I think this is true in the church.
The church does not function well when the emphasis is on the individual.
The church does function well when the emphasis is on individuals dependent on each other for help.
2. The church is to be characterized by its ability to help each individual member succeed.
When we work to make the other succeed, the church functions well.
We will come back to this in a short while…
Let’s pause a moment and remember our context.
We have been doing a study on what is titled in our Bibles as Galatians.
We began this study in the spring and after having a month off, we are returning to it today.
As you may remember…
1. Context: Paul is writing to the churches in Galatia to refute the legalistic Judaizers.
The Judaizers had said that belief in Jesus was fine, but it was not the whole story.
To be truly saved, you had to also keep the law by being circumcised and following its instructions.
These Judaizers were repeating the same error that the Pharisees had made during Jesus’ time on earth.
They were legalists.
You weren’t in unless you did it their way.
They said, in effect, “We know what God’s rules are, so you better do as we say or you don’t belong.”
We need to recognize today that legalism is one of the favorite weapons of the enemy.
Satan loves to get Christians to be legalistic, for then he has destroyed their enjoyment of the Spirit and he can use them to spread havoc among a generation or a company of believers, and ruin a vital, active, and growing Christian community.
This is exactly what happened in Galatia, and is what inspired Paul to write the letter to the Galatians.
Here was a group of young Christians who had a fantastic beginning.
Their response to the preaching of the apostle was right on.
They had given themselves totally to Christ.
Paul was rightly enthusiastic about this group of growing young Christians.
But, after a while, word came to him that legalism had set in and the results were disappointing.
What had been a bright and marvelous testimony of the grace and glory of God was being turned into a dull, apathetic group of religionists—cold, barren, and empty, almost devoid of spiritual life.
What happened in Galatia can happen to us as well.
Whenever Christians levy standards of achievement or behavior or spirituality upon others, the heavy burden of legalism sets in.
Legalism in the church can be about all kinds of things, like clothing styles, length of hair, food you eat, playing and/or working on Sunday, playing cards, types of Bible version you use, chewing gum in church, how many verses you memorize, how many hours you spend in prayer, how much you give to missions—and the list could go on and on.
And if we don’t come out on the same side with the legalist, well our destiny, according to them, is not certain.
The legalist brings great danger.
Even though they may look good, and what they are doing is good, what they have done is add to salvation.
But this brings us to a truth, from which we cannot back down.
And it is this…
2. Salvation is always God’s work and God’s work alone.
You cannot put yourself in a better position to earn God’s favor.
What He has done for you is complete and full.
There is nothing for you to add.
There is nothing you can add.
God’s work of salvation is complete and adequate.
It successfully meets your every need.