Summary: Fourth sermon in Galatians series entitled, "True Freedom"
“IN CHRIST JESUS” Galatians 3:23-4:7
CWBC – 7/28/19
INTRO – Driving down Spring Ridge Rd last week. Saw a sign in front yard of a home. Noticed that on either end of the top of the sign, there were large vines. Actually looked like bushes growing on top of the sign. Couldn’t see any vines going down to the ground. Could only see the leave on the top corners of the sign.
But here’s what I knew to be true: Those vines were IN the ground. In order for those vines to be growing on top of that sign, there had to be a connection down to the ground where the roots were. That’s where the nourishment would be received – where the water would soak into the ground – where the connection to the life-giving, life-sustaining nutrients would help the vines to live. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t see the roots. They were there, giving life to the branches of the vines that I could see.
As we continue working our way through the book of Galatians, our roots are going deeper & deeper into the life-giving, life-sustaining Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Avoid a sugared Gospel as you would shun sugar of lead [a toxic poison]. Seek that Gospel which rips up & tears & cuts & wounds & hacks & even kills, for that is the Gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his Gospel soak into your soul.” (Spurgeon)
Religion says, “Attain”; the gospel says, “Obtain.” Religion says, “Attempt”; the gospel says, “Accept.” Religion says, “Try”; the gospel says, “Trust.” Religion says, “Do this;” the gospel says, “It is done” (John T. Seamands).
Today, we are going to look at what it means for us to be “In Christ Jesus.”
EXPLANATION – Open your Bibles to Gal. 3:23-4:7 (page 566 in pew Bible).
The theme of Galatians is Christian Freedom – “True Freedom” is title of sermon series.
Story of Elizabeth Keckley who was a slave in Missouri before the Civil War. Her greatest desire was to purchase freedom for herself and her son. Her owner agreed that if she could raise $1,200 she could gain her freedom. Keckley worked as a seamstress and came up with a plan to go to New York City and work there to raise the money, but her owner feared that she would not return.
Instead, some of her wealthy clients in St. Louis contributed the money she needed, and Elizabeth Keckley paid the price for her freedom as well as her son’s. She moved to Washington, DC, where she counted Mary Lincoln among her dressmaking clients. Without the help of someone else, Keckley would never have been able to purchase her freedom.
This is what Christ has done for us. He & He alone has purchased our freedom. He & He alone give us the strength to live in that freedom. There’s nothing we can do to gain our salvation, & there’s nothing we can do to keep our salvation. Colin Smith: “The Gospel is more than forgiveness for the past & heaven for the future; it is the power & presence of God in your life today by the power of the HS.” This is what Galatians is all about. It helps us get a firm grasp on the Gospel – its past aspect – that there was a specific point in our life where we trusted in Christ alone to save us – its future aspect – that there is a heavenly home awaiting all of us who have trusted Christ - & its present aspect – that we have the Holy Spirit living in us to equip us to live a God-honoring life. We are free & don’t need to lose our freedom. You WERE a slave – You’re NOW a son/daughter of God b/c you are IN CHRIST JESUS…unless you’ve never trusted Christ to save you. Then do that NOW!
APPLICATION – Here are 4 beautiful applications of what it means for us to be IN CHRIST JESUS:
WE HAVE A NEW FAMILY – 3:26 – We sang just a few minutes ago, “I’m no longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God.” That’s what Paul is talking about here in 3:26. Through faith in Christ alone, we enter a new family as a son or daughter of God. Once you’re “in Christ Jesus,” you’re never “out of Christ Jesus!” Once you’re in the family of God, you’re never out of the family of God.
Karl Stegall tells of two brothers who entered the first grade. One said he was born January 1, 1984. The other said he was born April 4, 1984. “That is