Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Unlocking The Doors To Freedom". Jesus Christ is all you need.
Series: Unlocking The Doors To Freedom [#4]
THE DOOR OF FAITH
We live in a time where religion is flourishing. The problem is, it’s not Christianity. I hear a couple of questions all of the time- “How do I know that as a Christian I am right? After all the Muslims, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and all other religious groups believe they are right.” Unfortunately, many Christians answer this with, “Just have faith.” That response usually causes the next question to come up- “How do I know that I am really saved? Sometimes I don’t feel or act saved.” For many people, (including myself), the form answer is not good enough when you are discussing their eternity.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV)
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
In attempting to answer these 2 questions, the subject of faith in Christ is at the very center of the answer. What is faith? In a time when phrases such as, “Just have faith” or “My faith is… (fill in a religion)”; there is much confusion concerning this word “faith”.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith is believing in something although your 5 senses cannot prove it. How does faith in Jesus Christ occur?
Romans 10:9-13, 17 (NIV)
“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
In our text, Paul is dealing with these same types of concerns.
Galatians 3:1-9 (NIV)
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”
Key #1: Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul was so frustrated with these believers. The more he told them that salvation was through believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was raised from the dead, the more they tried to add something else to it. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ; not the Law or works or rituals, etc…
Galatians 3:10-22 (NIV)
“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”