Summary: Part three of Symbols of the Covenants Series. A look at what it means to be under the old and new covenants based on Galations 3.
Symbols of the Covenants III: The Tutor
Scripture: Galatians 3:1-29
I. Review of Parts I & II as well as Mount Sinai experience. (If you have not read pats one and two of the series it may be helpfull if they are read first.)
II. Let us start today in Galatians 3:1 Here Paul begins to address a problem with the Galatians, whom he had worked with in the past, bringing them to Christ, bringing them to faith.
A. (Read vs. 1) In Paul’s ministry his goal or focus is uplifting Jesus. To portray Christ and his Character. Especially his character of love as displayed and revealed in the Cross. Because that has a very powerful influence. Here Paul is concerned because the Galatians are slipping away from the experience in Jesus through faith.
B. (Read vs. 2) The Galatians are slipping back into a Law focus and he is trying to draw them back to the experience of Faith. He asks them “Did you receive the Holy Spirit by being really good and following the law or by asking Him to come into your life through Faith?” Of course the answer is, they began in Faith. Just like Abraham began in faith.
C. (Read vs. 3-5) Is it because you keep the Law that God does these things or is it because you have faith in him?
D. (read vs. 6-9) In Paul’s teaching Faith is the key. God requires one thing of us, and that thing is faith. If you have faith everything else comes in its trail. We can not please God by coming to the law and through the flesh, without faith, trying to keep and do the law.
III. He goes on now and tries to explain or make clear to the Galatians why it is bad to be law focused without faith, trying to keep the law through the power of the flesh.
A. (read vs. 10) Is there anyone here who has always done all things that are written in the law? Only the unfallen beings of Heaven can qualify to that. If we come to the law in the flesh, without faith, with out Jesus Christ, the Law only has one thing to say to us. "You are lost, you are cursed!"
B. (read vs. 11) That is a primary theme of Paul. This is the text that Martin Luther discovered. “The just shall live by faith.” Martin Luther was part of a very legalistic system. When Luther came across this text. He learned that salvation came by faith, and not by penance and all the works that were set out. And when he got up from his study he had a new message, “Faith.” He risked his life to preach this message, as did many of the early Christians, as did Paul. The Jews of this time were also very law focused and refused to hear this message of faith in Jesus Christ.
There is nothing new under the sun.The devil knows he can cause Christians to be lost in either of two ways. One, make you throw the law out completely saying it was nailed to the cross so I don’t have to keep it. Two, get you so focused on the law that you fail to look at your only hope against the law and that is Jesus Christ and him crucified. His plan hasn’t changed that much today.
C. (read vs. 12) If you want to be saved by the law then go ahead. Go out there and try it. But you better have always done it all!!!
D. (read vs. 13) Jesus stood in front of the law with yours and my sins and took what the law had to give. “The wages of sin is death.” Jesus took our sins, he took them to the cross, and he was killed by the requirements of the law. And that is what will happen to you and I if we don’t come to faith as Abraham did.
E. (read vs. 14) It is important that we have the Holy Spirit. Abraham’s experience was by faith through the Spirit. It was only by a miracle of the Spirit of God that a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman could have a son.
IV. Now Paul here is trying to make this Promise or covenant clear.
A. (read vs. 15) He uses a human illustration. God’s covenant is similar to when we make a contract. When that contract is signed and confirmed, no one comes along to change it or annul it.
B. (read vs. 16) Now Paul is trying to make it clear but this is a rather complicated thing to explain. The promises were made to two people, Abraham and Jesus. The promises weren’t made to us. There are no promises made to us. The promise was made to Abraham and his Seed, Not seeds. Jesus is our only hope!