Summary: So many of us pervert the simple gospel of salvation by faith alone. Pauls describes the "True Gospel" in Galatians 3. (Continues the 3:16 series.
I. Our base verse this week is found in Galatians 3:16.
A. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, And to your seed,” that is, Christ
B. The motivation for the writing of these words does not seem to be unusual concerning churches in the 1st Century.
1. The Galatians, as is no different from every Christian before and after them had been made recipients of God’s blessing based on their faith in Jesus Christ.
2. And just like many churches before and after them, faith in Christ was being added to by those professing salvation through works of the flesh.
II. To this day, some well meaning churches, will on occasion make “works” some sort of test for a true believer.
A. “I know they are a Christian because....” or
B. “If you want to see heaven you must....”
C. I have even had occasion at funeral services to hear something along the lines of, “We know they are with God in heaven; because...”
III. The true gospel is that “We are saved by faith and faith alone.”
IV. A perversion of the gospel often includes,
A. “We are saved by faith but you also must..” or
B. “You are saved by faith in Christ, but if you want to keep your salvation you must.”
V. The Galatians were saved by faith,
A. But somehow they were being tempted to add to faith, adherence to the law.
B. The Galatians were abandoning the true gospel for a perversion.
VI. For Paul, the very idea that anything other than faith in Jesus Christ could secure salvation, or maintain salvation was a simply foolish concept. Listen as I read Galatians chapter 3, beginning with verse one, -
A. “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publically portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfect by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”
B. In other words, how could you start out so right, and yet be so easily led into a lie?
C. Have you really forgotten what the true gospel is?
D. Just in case, let me remind you.
VII. In Galatians chapter three, Paul makes three assertions as to the content of the true gospel.
A. One - Righteousness is credited to us, just as it was to Father Abraham, through faith in God. (verses 6-9)
B. Two - Righteousness is credited to us, based on the unbreakable promise of God himself. (Verses 15-18)
C. Three - Righteousness; once credited to us makes us heirs with Abraham. (Verses 23-29)
Righteousness is Credited By Faith (vs. 6-9)
6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.”
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
I. The great dilemma for the believer in Galatia.
A. Man is saved by faith in Jesus Christ,
B. Man maintains his salvation through adherence to the will, or in another word, Law of God.
II. For many, that debate has not been settled yet.
A. O, most of us say, and even believe that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, but also
B. Many of us act as if our continued salvation is dependent on our keeping some form of external set of requirements.
III. I had a very good friend, and a definite believer in Jesus Christ that asked me to pray for the salvation of his brother.
A. I was somewhat surprised because this gentlemen had always told me how he had been raised in a Christian home, and that all his brothers and sisters had come to faith in Christ very early in life.
B. When I asked him about this he stated, “At one time my brother was a very committed Christian, but then he walked about from God, and had lost his salvation.”
C. Before his death, we had many talks about the fact that if one has truly accepted Christ as savior, they cannot then lose their salvation, even though they may stop living as a Christian.