Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

Enjoy Christian Relationships


Introduction

Do you ever feel closer to members of our church than to members of your biological family? (Talk about Mike.)

When you are saved, you not only entered into a personal relationship with Christ, but you also entered into a new relationship with others who have accepted Jesus as their Savior.  

We are children of God and now we relate to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

We have a lot in common.

Let’s list some of those things that we have in common: the indwelling Holy Spirit, love for Jesus, reverence for God, desire to worship and hear God’s word preached, desire for fellowship with God’s people, giving of offerings to God.

Paul begins our lesson today by talking about the Law.  

Has anyone ever been saved by keeping the Law?  It cannot give life and it was never intended to.  

Paul emphasized this point as he continued his attack on the Judaizers.  

Who were the Judaizers? (Christian Jews, who came to the Galatian church and told them that if they wanted to be saved, they needed to keep the Law and observe certain ceremonies in addition to having Faith in Jesus.)  

This was contrary to what Paul had taught them earlier.  

Paul supported his argument by referring to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, and to Abraham’s relationship to the Law.

God made a covenant with Abraham 430 years before the Law was given.  

What was God going to do and what was Abraham obligated to do in this covenant?

God’s Part:
1.    Promised that Abraham would be the father of a great nation.
2.    Promised that He would bless him.
3.    Promised that the Savior would come from his line.

Abraham’s Part
    Leave his home and go to a new country.

Abraham never saw the fulfillment of these promises.  

They were fulfilled in the future.  

The “Promised Land” was not controlled by Israel until it was conquered by David hundreds of years later.  

Abraham’s grandsons would become the heads of the twelve tribes that made up the nation, and of course he never saw Jesus.  

God’s promise to Abraham was not fulfilled when the Ten Commandments were given; it was fulfilled by the birth of Christ.  

The Mosaic Law did not invalidate the earlier promise that God made to Abraham, but the promise did take precedence over the Law.  

The importance of the Promise can be seen in the manner in which it was given.  

The promise was given to Abraham directly from God, but the law was given to the people through a mediator—Moses.

Is anyone in heaven today because they kept the Law?  

If the Law doesn’t save you, what is its purpose?  (The Law convicts people of their sin and shows them their need for Salvation.)

Appreciate the Past

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Paul asks, “Is the law then against the promises of God?”  

His answer was an emphatic, “God forbid!”  

The Law is still fulfilling the same purpose it always has.  

It is still good, good for us, and we should try to meet the standard that it sets.

Why is the world so against the Ten Commandments?  Why do people want to take “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance.”  (I believe that this is the work of Satan)

How could anyone think that the Law could compete with the promise, since the promise would bring life to those who would believe in the Son of God?  

The Mosaic Law is good, pure, and true.  

But even this Law, as good as it is, has no capacity to give life.  

The problem is not with the Law itself, but with our sinful disobedience that the Law reveals.  

The Law shows the hopelessness of our situation apart from God’s grace.

Through the Law the scripture declares that every person is a sinner—we are a prisoner of sin with no hope of escape.  

We are on death row, for the wages of sin is death.  

For many of us, it is only when we reach this point that we see we need a Savior.  

Those who are held prisoner by the Law see no way of escape except through obeying the Law.  

The Law is an instrument of imprisonment and condemnation.  

However, it condemns only so that sinners might seek deliverance.  

By the Law our own wickedness is revealed and we don’t see any avenue of escape, so we are drawn to the only source of redemption—Jesus Christ.

The Law does not lead us to Christ by drawing us away from our sins but rather by revealing them so clearly to us that we see ourselves standing before God without any hope of self-justification.  

The Law is a teacher or a guide that heightens the awareness of our sins to the point where we see ourselves as helpless and hopeless apart from Christ.  

So the Law makes us see more clearly our need for a Savior.

What helped you recognize your need for a Savior?  (For me it was a realization of how terrible my sin was in the eyes of God and how much God loved me in spite of my sin.  It broke my heart)

Now that we have faith through Jesus Christ we no longer need the supervision of the Law.  

Paul said, “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”  

Because of what Christ has done, those who accept Him by faith are set free from the bondage of sin and death that the Law imposed because of our rebellion and unbelief.  

That bondage has been replaced by freedom under Jesus Christ.  

The burdensome rituals are no longer needed.  

And the Law can no longer condemn us.  

When you break one of the commandments, you have sinned, but we are no longer condemned by sin.  

Christ has delivered us with a love that accepts us completely on the basis of His perfect sacrifice.  

When the child of God confesses his sins, Jesus said that He will be faithful to forgive us.

Acknowledging Your New Family

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Verse 26 is the key to understanding this passage.  

Paul countered the teachings of the Judaizers by declaring that all the Galatian believers, Jews and Gentiles alike, had a relationship with God, through Christ.  

That relationship didn’t come through keeping the Law, but through faith in Jesus Christ.  

Therefore, they were sons of God.  

They could enjoy all the privileges and freedom of their sonship.

If we were to take verse 27 by itself, it would appear that baptism was necessary for salvation.  

But what Paul is doing is using the imagery of clothing oneself with Christ.  

Paul argued that the Galatian believers had been publicly baptized, thereby demonstrating outwardly the transformation that had occurred within.  

In addition to having the life of Christ in our body, the scriptures also declare that we are created in Christ Jesus.  

We are in Him and He is in us.  

For Paul’s readers, even those today, verse 28 has revolutionary implications.  

Through Christ, everyone has access to a relationship with God.  

The gift of salvation is available to everyone.  

The offer of salvation is not just for those with economic means but also for those who are poor.  

Salvation is not just offered to men but also to women.

Furthermore, all who become part of God’s family do so in the same way regardless of race, occupation, position or gender—through faith in Jesus Christ.  

Those who share this common bond of faith in Christ are members of God’s family.  

As children of God we are to relate to other believers as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have you ever observed or personally experienced barriers that kept Christians from accepting and enjoying fellowship with one another? (Sierra couldn’t teach, hold an office or do anything in church—Faith Baptist—because she was divorced.)

According to verse 29, the only way to become an heir and to receive the promise made to Abraham’s seed is to belong to Christ.  

The true decedents of Abraham are followers of Christ and not the Jews.  

It’s his spiritual decedents who possess the promise.  

That’s you and me; we can call ourselves sons of Abraham.

Accept Your New Privileges

1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Paul used an illustration to summarize the basic difference in the status of believers before coming to Christ (one of bondage and immaturity) and after responding to faith in Him (one of freedom and maturity).

In verse 1, Paul explained what he meant by heirs.  

The ancient world placed a great emphasis on boys coming of age.  

There was religious and legal significance tied to that time.  

The required age varied by societies, but sons did not receive their inheritance until they reached this point in life.  

Paul was saying that the future head of the family was no better than a slave.  

He was a child and could not make any decisions.  

As a minor, he lived under rules and regulations, just like a slave.  

He had no freedom or legal rights.  

When compared to an adult, the child occupied an inferior position.  

Paul’s point is that a person under the Law has an inferior position.  

Only in Christ does one have freedom and responsibility.

In verse 3, Paul characterized the position of those living before Christ came as slavery under the basic principals of the world, which refers to a basic set of  philosophical or religious ideas.  

These would be the evil influences of the devil and the evil that flowed naturally from the heart of men.  

In any case, the Galatians were behaving like slaves to these evil principals instead of enjoying the freedom given them by Christ.  

Paul says that Jesus came in the “fullness of time.”  

It was the exact right time.  

God was in control and several things had to happen, and God brought it about so that everything just dovetailed when Jesus was born.
1.    The Greek language was developed to be the language that the New Testament was written in.
2.    Rome had conquered the known world.  There was peace and law.
3.    The Pharisees had risen to power to impact every part of Jewish life.  Much of what Jesus taught used them as his “bad example.”
4.    Satanic activity was rampant in anticipation of the coming of the Son of God.

Some might wonder why Jesus didn’t come earlier in history.  

But with the perspective of perfect knowledge and wisdom God chose the right moment in time to send His Son.  

He was born of a woman to show that He was fully human as well as divine.  

And He was born under the Law in order to redeem those enslaved by it.  

Although Jesus was under the Law He was without sin.

Why is it so important that Jesus never sinned?  (Because if He had, He would not have been the perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world)

Finally, Paul stated two purposes (or results) of God sending His Son at the fullness of time.  

Jesus came to redeem those under the Law.  

To redeem means to buy out of slavery.  

The demands of the Law enslaved the Jews.

Pagan idolatry enslaved the Gentiles.

Sin enslaved both groups.  

Christ paid the price of redemption for all people and liberated them from slavery and God’s condemnation.

The second purpose for His coming follows redemption: that we might receive the full rights as sons, or literally, “be adopted as sons.  

God has adopted believers as His children.  

We have moved from slavery into the Heavenly Fathers family.  

Paul told the Galatians, “You are sons.”  

He saw sonship and receiving the Holy Spirit as closely related.  

So He further affirmed that, “God sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.”  

In other words, just as God sent His Son into the world, He sent His Spirit into believer’s hearts.  

The Holy Spirit is the gift of God to every Christian.  

Becoming a child of God and receiving the Holy Spirit occur together at Salvation.  

The Law had no way to enter into hearts and change them, but the Spirit can enter and renew hearts.  

The Spirit is described here as One who calls out, “Abba Father.”  

Abba is Aramaic for “Daddy.”  

Jesus used it to address his Father.  

The term symbolizes a believer's new relationship with God.  

The word also reflects the intimacy and joy Christians enjoy with God.

God has made believers, as a result of their adoption as His children, His heirs.  

Our position as heirs results completely from God’s grace, not from any works we perform, and not because we deserve it.  

Since our status results from God’s work, not from our own works, Christians have confidence in the certainty of our inheritance.  

We are privileged as Christians to be free from the bondage of sin and evil, and we have all the rights belonging to God’s children.  

As Christians, we enjoy a relationship with God, by taking advantage of our rights, such as depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit and by participating in fellowship with God through prayer.

Do you have any questions or comments?

There are 5 websites by this author:

http://harmonyofthegospels.yolasite.com (Life of Christ)

http://teachingsermonsforpastorsandlaymen.yolasite.com (sermons)

http://theepistlesofpaul.yolasite.com (Titus and Jude)

http://paulsepistletotheromans.yolasite.com (Romans)

http://theperiodofthejudges.yolasite.com (Judges)

 

Please review them and use them as the Lord leads you.

May God bless His precious word!!

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