Summary: Today we will complete this teaching touching on the redemptive work of Christ, the calling of God in our lives and the Holy Spirit’s help that we may commit our lives to Jesus.
What does it mean to be a Christian? - Part 2
Last week we began this two part sermon on what it means to be a Christian. We touched on how the world sees us and on how effective our service to God actually is. Then we got into our first point of our lesson and studied how to be a Christian means that we come to Salvation by the Grace of the Holy Spirit which grants us:
a. Access to God (Hebrews 4:16)
b. Forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7)
c. Adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:4-7)
Today we will complete this teaching touching on the redemptive work of Christ, the calling of God in our lives and the Holy Spirit’s help that we may commit our lives to Jesus. So hold on because we are getting right into it!
To be a Christian means that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ from all of our sins and bondage. The evidence is clear and abundant and is easily found in the word of God.
In Romans 3:23-24 we learn that we are redeemed from the slavery of sin. Turn there with me and we read: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Let me give you a free translation of these verses: Even the righteousness from God which is obtained by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe: Everyone falls in this category - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory [approval] of God. That this righteousness is by faith, not by works, the Lord Jesus made clear when they asked him, “… What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:28–29).
And the important thing about securing this righteousness of God is not that there’s any credit in your faith or that there’s credit in just believing. Because, actually, faith is not a work on your part. The object of faith is the important thing. Spurgeon put it like this: “It’s not the hope in Christ which saves you. It’s Christ. It’s not the joy in Christ that saves you. It is Christ. And it is not the faith in Christ that saves you, though that be the instrument, it is Christ’s blood and merit.”
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Now that doesn’t mean that there is not a difference in sinners. Let me illustrate this with a very homely illustration. Let’s suppose that here in California we play a game called “Jumping to Catalina.” Catalina Island is out in the Pacific Ocean twenty miles from the shore of California. We will go down to the pier in Santa Monica, and we will take a big running jump, and we’ll see who can jump to Catalina. Somebody’s going to say, “That’s an impossible jump!” Frankly, no one has jumped it, but it’s a lot of fun playing the game. Suppose you and I play the game. You may be able to jump farther than I can jump, but you will miss Catalina. And the person who jumps the farthest gets the wettest and has to swim farther back to shore. Of course, nobody could jump to Catalina.
Some are better than others, but it’s rather childish to play a game like that and say, “I jumped farther than you did. I’m better than you are, and I’m better than half the church members.” Maybe you are—but what difference does that make? You have not come up to the glory of God.
we are redeemed from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13-14 says: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
These two verses beautifully summarize all that Paul has been saying in this section. Does the Law put sinners under a curse? Then Christ has redeemed us from that curse! Do you want the blessing of Abraham? It comes through Christ! Do you want the gift of the Spirit, but you are a Gentile? This gift is given through Christ to the Gentiles! All that you need is in Christ! There is no reason to go back to Moses.
The word redeemed in Galatians 3:13 means to purchase a slave for the purpose of setting him free.