Summary: We are to live in grace.
STARTING RIGHT, FINISHING WRONG
Th: Grace-Full Living
Pr: We are to live in grace.
TS: We will find in Galatians 3:1-5, two assertions that explain why we are to live in grace.
The ____ assertion that explains why we are to live in grace is…
I. Acceptance of Jesus’ death comes by grace (1).
II. Reception of the Spirit comes by grace (2-5)
RMBC 6/4/00 AM
1. Have you ever had an experience that has stayed with you?
Let me share with you three experiences that I have had that have stayed with me.
The first was when I was a sophomore at Nyack.
I was walking back to the dorm after having worked at the car wash, when I stopped at the playing field and noticed that the sophomore team was playing the Junior team in intramural football.
One of the team members saw me standing there, and yelled, “Paul, we need you, we are a man short.”
I didn’t even have my sneakers on, just an old pair of shoes, but I ran onto the field.
I got to the huddle and they said, “You’re the runningback---sweep right.”
So they handed the ball off to me, the guard pulled, I followed his block, and then I ran as fast as I could—for fifty yards for a touchdown.
If I remember correctly, I did that three more times that day.
That was a fun game!
The second experience is when I was 22 years old.
It was in August of 1981 and I was standing in the front of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Indiana, PA, facing a good size congregation.
The organ was playing, and then, the doors in the back opened up, and up the aisle came my soon-to-be father-in-law and my beautiful bride.
And I remember thinking, “I can’t believe it! She actually showed up to marry me!” She actually came!”
And now she has been stuck with me ever since.
The third experience was in July 1990.
I was at my seminary’s graduation service.
I was going to graduate the following year, but I had come to see some of my friends graduate.
That year, Steve Green was there to sing.
And did he ever sing!
The song, though, that broke through to my heart though, was “Embrace the Cross.”
I will never forget the experience.
I was sitting there and it felt like my hair (I had more then) was being blown back just by his singing.
The Lord used that moment to move me back to the cross as the center of my life.
These are just three experiences that have changed and shaped my life.
Some are fun.
Some are serious.
But all of them are powerful!
2. Our experiences demonstrate to us that our faith involves our whole person.
Sometimes, we make the mistake that faith is just believing certain truths.
We think that if we just get the facts right, we’ll be OK.
But faith is more than just the intellect.
Faith involves our mind, emotions and will.
This means that our experiences are vital to our understanding of our own faith.
We have been studying the letter of the apostle Paul to the Galatians.
1. When we come to chapter 3, the nature of the letter shifts to a theological argument.
This shift actually began at the end of chapter 2 which we covered last week.
We come now to a very significant turning point.
For here, Paul in his quest to establish the significance of grace and faith alone, turns from a historical perspective to a doctrinal one.
In our text today…
2. Through a series of rhetorical questions, Paul proves the senselessness of their actions.
Rhetorical questions are questions that are not really questions because their answers are obvious, so obvious they are not answered.
It is the answer that matters, not the question.
Paul uses these questions to demonstrate the senselessness of their activity after he left.
ILL Notebook: Stupidity (selected “Complete Idiots”)
You remember the phrase from Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
Listen to these wonderful examples:
Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two $16 bills.
Here is another one:
When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police and was arrested.
While we may shake our heads at these situations, we need to note that Paul is doing the same thing here.
He is shaking his head.
In very strong language, Paul calls the Galatians foolish.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?