Summary: We’re part of family that gives us extraordinary blessings through Jesus Christ.
I. The Little Boy and the circus (Illustration)
A little boy who lived far out in the country in the late 1800s had reached the age of twelve and had never in all his life seen a circus. You can imagine his excitement, when one day a poster went up at school announcing that on the next Saturday a traveling circus was coming to the nearby town.
He ran home with the glad news and the question, "Daddy, can I go?" Although the family was poor, the father sensed how important this was to the lad. "If you do your Saturday chores ahead of time," he said, "I’ll see to it that you have the money to go."’
Come Saturday morning, the chores were done and the little boy stood by the breakfast table, dressed in his Sunday best. His father reached down into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a dollar bill-the most money the little boy had possessed at one time in all his life. The father cautioned him to be careful and then sent him on his way to town.
The boy was so excited, his feet hardly seemed to touch the ground all the way. As he neared the outskirts of the village, he noticed people lining the streets, and he worked his way through the crowd until he could see what was happening. Lo and behold, it was the approaching spectacle of a circus parade! The parade was the grandest thing this lad had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed, bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns, midgets performed acrobatics while flags and ribbons swirled overhead.
Finally, after everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional circus clown, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face, brought up the rear.
As the clown passed by, the little boy reached into his pocket and took out that precious dollar bill. Handing the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home. What had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade!
Are you experiencing all that God has for you? The Christian life is a marvelous adventure, an exciting journey. Many people-including Christians-seem to be content to float in a sea of mediocrity, settling for second best. Do you want the abundant life that Jesus promised?
A. Are you experiencing all that God has for you?
1. Are you just reaping what you think might be the church.
2. Are you just getting friendship?
3. Are you just getting fellowship?
4. Is that all the church offers.
B. Paul wants his readers to get to the best part of the church, up to this point they have been confused on how to get in the church
1. They have been confused who can get in the church
2. Logically, they must misunderstand the church itself.
3. He begins in an interesting spot.
II. We are no longer under the supervision of the law (23-25)
A. No longer are we prisoners
1. Everyone has been locked up by the precepts of the law.
2. The intricacy of the rules and regulations were overwhelming
a. What kind of offering should I give in this circumstance?
b. What rules for the offering?
c. What kind of animal is fitting?
d. When should I?
e. All of these intricate details God gave an answer
3. It was because of these details that the Jews were imprisoned by the very rules the law had given.
4. At some point you were ready to give up the fight, but..
B. There was a hope built into the fulfillment of the law
1. The prophecy of the Messiah
a. Genesis 22:18 "and through your (Abraham’s) offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
b. Isaiah 9:6 "For to us (Judah) a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
c. Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
2. Someday the Messiah was to come and deliver Israel
a. He has come. He was here 2000 years ago.
3. We all know that because he has come he brought down the dividing wall of hostility.
a. No longer is there a division between Jew and Gentile, but we are brought together through the blood of Jesus Christ
b. Jesus Christ has bought your entrance into the family of God.
c. We are all a family of God.