Well, it’s just good to get back into your word again, and as we look at the life of faith and we look at your servant Abraham and the model he is for us.
Father, we thank you that we don’t need to earn your love, your blessing. We thank you, Lord. That is an act of your grace. And I, Father, I pray your word will speak to us afresh, that we come with you, that we believe in you, we trust in you and all that our faith would be found pleasing to you in Jesus name. Amen. Now, we’ve already seen the first couple of chapters which have been largely biographical in one form or another, either as it relates to Paul’s own journey from the law into faith and then the issues related to Paul and Barnabas and and Peter in terms of these people who move from law to faith.
But we’re still kind of having a halfway bit and how Paul confronts Peter and exposes his hypocrisy and that even Barnabas, he’s known for his sincerity is led astray.
So that’s the kind of the background this at this point. Now, as we start chapter three, we transition into Paul’s argument. In in Paul’s letters, we normally have a pattern where he kind of greets them, gives a brief biographical information on coming and going. What he’s doing has the foot in these letters, the first half of them, or even more than the first time, basically theological addressing issues of error. And then he gets very practical in the application of it.
The case of Galatians, because it’s quite short, you have the unusual feature of the biographical elongated ad because his life is his message. And as I said, because he he discovered the futility of trying to gain God’s acceptance through observing the law. And so in many ways it’s similar, except his very testimony is the message he preaches kind of his theology begins in that way. And so when we get to chapters three and four, we are we’re going to transition from Paul’s own kind of testimony to theirs and to their to the journey of faith of the greatest of the Jews.
And so he having spoken about himself and really turns on the Galatians, these people who had heard him preach the gospel, who had seen him and embrace this message coming through with experience of faith and had seen various things. He’s now going to point at them. And and as we do this, it’s well worth us reflecting.
As we kind of go through this just to think about ourselves, about have we in any sense from the way the Galatians have fallen, he’ll actually say you’ve fallen from grace, that, you know, we come into a relationship with Christ as an act of faith, and then we begin this desire to please him through what we do and thinking that the more we do, the more he will bless us and and so on. So chapter three, and I’ve called it The Fruit of Faith.
And in the notes that you, Gatland, that you’ve got, there are various sections in the first section. We’ll talk about them and their experience of the spirit. So let’s read it. And again, I’m just reading from a rough translation I’ve done myself. I think you’ll find it pretty close. And if there’s anything significant which jumps out at you saying, how come you’ve translated this one?
I’ll try and explain it first. Galatians, who bewitched you before the eyes of whom Christ was publicly portrayed, is crucified only this I wish to learn from you. Did you receive the spirit by works of the law or by the hearing of faith and or that may well be better translated from the works or from the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish, having begun in the spirit? Are you now going on to accomplish by the flesh? You’re trying to accomplish it through your own strength?
Have you suffered so much in vain? If indeed it really is in vain? That’s how who supplies the spirit and works miracles in you do it from works of the law or from the hearing of faith justice Abraham and Father. We’ll stop there. We’ve got a first fight and we’ll back up now. Last week when we we met, I alluded to the difficulty the of we have when when in I think it was the sixteenth century, the monks riding across Europe and it’s putting the chapters and verses in how unfortunate sometimes it is because it completely breaks the train of thought.
I remind you, as we look back at chapter two, verse twenty, Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ
and I no longer live by Christ lives in me. Now, remember that Paul says he’s been crucified. Chapter three, verse one makes some sense, he says, a foolish Galatians who bewitched you before the eyes of him or before your very eyes. Christ was publicly betrayed and crucified. And what does this mean in means that, you know, you have seen in my life someone who has died to the law.
And now lives a life fight because that’s what Paul says, he says, and back in Chapter two, he says the result of being crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I live in, the body I live, how my faith and the son of God who love me. Now, this is what he’s alluding to saying you saw it. You saw how I live, you know, because his concern is how how could they not just hear what he preached but see his living of it and so quickly turn to the very thing that he’s rejected that should have known better.
They really should have known better when these other people come into the church and take them back to the law because they had in him someone he’d been totally obsessed with the law community. The law sought to live by the law and it turned away from it. But I didn’t. And so he says, who bewitched you? And that’s literally what it means. So if a spell was cast on them, because how else would they have been deceived? Why else would they have rejected what they’d heard unless there’s some kind of spell is cast?
So I’m going to comment upon this as we we work through, because we have to ask ourselves, why do godly people, Bible believing Christians, having churches? Why do they get caught up in false teaching? Why is it why does it happen? He says, look, you saw Christ in my life, in Paul’s life and in Peter’s life. I saw the example of Jews who died with Christ to the polls, amazed that they kind of abandoned the gospel, which they have seen him actually living the gospel, not just preaching it, but living it in favor of gospel, which Como’s is impossible to live by.
He knows once you go into law, it doesn’t work that this is the warning for each one of us. I remember when I first because I’m using that this part of it, and I remember when I first prepared this study because when I first thought this, because every time you teach, you add new stuff and turn it was some years ago. My night is quite interesting. It says it’s easy for convention speakers to teach truths which they do not live because they can do what they preach, doesn’t work, but because they can preach and go.
The hypocrisy is not easily detected. Paul, you know, appeals to us, just look at my life, I can’t live this, I’m living. This is what it works.
You know, I’m a shame when people visit my church from other parts of the world to find out. Am I the same in Australia as I am in when I overseas? Sunday morning, we had a Russian lady from Sochi where I promise and she had heard I’ve been in Sochi and came the husband to the church. And, you know, I’m not ashamed that someone from one of the countries overseas where I teach and will come and find out the way I live is different from what I preach on my church is different from what I’ve said it would be.
The difficulties, of course, is that we live in a world with itinerant teachers where it’s not always the case that we have any idea whether what they actually preach, they live. And it’s this sense that I wonder whether or not today at times, it’s as if a spell is cast. You know, we go to conventions, I teach at conventions. And so I’m I’m not speaking against the very concept of it. But you get yourself into a crowd and a certain atmosphere.
And a person who’s got the capacity to persuade as almost as if you think there are so many people, this person is so eloquent, what he says must be true. It’s like a spell because process to know how can you be so foolish unless. This is like a spell being cast over. He says it was too, you know, and it is I want to learn from you, you know, and he’s going to say, well, OK, let me ask you.
Let me now. OK, let’s not talk about me. Let me talk about you and me challenge you as what you
know about the way God works. He says, did you receive the spirit by the works of the law? Well, by the hearing of faith. So that’s the question is, is it? Is it now the word in a bottle you’ve got there? But in my translation, I said by the works, the law, by the hearing of faith, it’s the same as occurs later on.
The word translated by is a Greek preposition, EQT, which means out of. And it does it derive from is the the sense of EKI is not normally used in the sense of an off. Is it if this isn’t that, where does where does it come from? And so did you receive the spirit, you know, as a result of the things you did in observing the law or as a result of you having believed in God? When did it come from and where did it come from?
He says. Now, we’ve talked about the works of the law, the phrase probably is definable of being of being convincing God by keeping the moral requirements of the law, somehow persuading him because of our morality and truth, that each of us cannot do it.
And so the answer, given that we can’t convince them by that, there’s only one possible source of God choosing to bless us and it has to be our originating in our faith. Well, here we have an interesting expression, it’s in here it is the words, Laura, quite clear. This is literally the hearing of the report or the sound of faith. That’s what does this mean? It means a face which has come from hearing and believing, you know, it’s a blessing we hear we believe we receive is what Paul Paul hears, unlike the law where we hear, we understand and we try and do, it’s a different step.
It’s a hearing that believes what’s heard and the person who says it. That’s what it is. It’s not a rejecting, it’s not a doubting, it’s not a double manitas, it’s a hearing which which is the result of the spirit Paul calls the spirit the power of the spirit.
Grace, I’ve talked to you about this, this saving grace and power and grace, saving grace as a gift of Jesus power and grace gives the spirit it’s received through faith, not by trying to earn it. It calls its grace because it’s given freely by God without reference to merit. There’s nothing we can do to make us more worthy of God’s favor if it’s favor. It’s given to us because of his love, we have to believe he wants to freely give it to us and receive it through faith.
Now, let me let me this kind of takes us back to what was the last series or even the series before that we would I was doing a teaching series specifically on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let me let me just revisit that for just a minute, because this is where people can and confused. Let’s say I’m talking to someone about the spirit, which is in this case, it’s the spirit which does miracles. And that’s what Galatians is talking about.
He says, well, how how did the miracles actually occur among you? And his answer is, well, you are taught. You believed and you received. And so you can receive what you don’t believe and you can’t believe, which haven’t been taught, this is what so often happens.
I remember in the series I talked a little bit about this, you know, on the area of the spirit, working miracles. The Christians who actually don’t believe the spirit does miracles, then I don’t believe it, and therefore, for them, faith begins with actually believing that God still does miracles. That’s what faith is. That doesn’t mean they receive a miracle. But before they even get to the point of receiving miracles, they actually have to believe that God, that God does miracles.
And I’ve spoken to Christians who said, well, God never does miracles in my life. Therefore, I don’t believe in miracles. And I said, no, know, God doesn’t mean miracles because you don’t believe in miracles.
And then he said, well, I don’t think God does miracles. And I have this chat and I talk to people. I take them through and then sometimes I can get them to believe that, yes, God does miracles, the spirit of God still does miracles and so on. And so I’ve shifted on the first step, they have now come to a place of faith that God does miracles, but that is not the step of actually receiving.
That’s certainly the step of believing, because not only do I have to believe that God wants to say
empower me with the Holy Spirit, I actually have to, in faith, receive it. And receiving I have to receive what I hear, but I also have to receive what I hear in five. In John, Chapter one. Versus 11 and 12. He says he came to that which was designed that his own people, but his own did not receive him.
Yeah, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. He’s talking about two different things. Those who believe in his name and received him. And this is the concept to explain it. Let’s say someone comes to that door. And you say, who is it? And I say it’s Roger. You have to and you’re afraid. But, Roger, you trust. So first of all, you’ve got to believe it’s Roger.
So you believe it’s Ronja, you believe that it is, but that doesn’t mean much is come in yet. All that means is you. I believe it’s Roger. The next step of faith is actually opening the door and ask him to come in. That is also an act of faith, but it’s the actual act of faith, of receiving, but just believing. And in terms of the spirit, I’ve often spoken to people concerning the big through of the Holy Spirit or whatever it might be worse to the Spirit, and they kind of want to believe, but they will not then transfer the concept of faith from believing to receiving.
I’ve said now you’ve got to receive this in five. I just believe that what I have said is true, but actually receive it in faith and he he says this is what they’ve done. The danger is that we may see the act of securing if there’s a danger as far as the fact that we actually think of our act of believing as a work which is done because it’s never because of faith, but it is through faith.
That God’s grace comes to us, we have to believe and receive. But without believing in receiving, we can do that, but without God’s willingness to give, we still won’t receive it, has it? It’s really because of God. The spirit is a reward. It’s a gift. It’s underpayment of wages. So he says again, are you so foolish, having begun in the spirit now you’re going on to kind of to the accomplishments through the flesh.
It’s like they’ve been sidetracked. As I said. Well, he says the inverse for have you suffered so much in vain because when they first embrace the faith, they will have been rejected by family members and friends and so on. Not because I did, but because I believe that’s what they’ve been rejected. And he says if indeed it really is in vain there, Paul doesn’t actually believe that he is persuaded because they have known what it is to live by faith.
Because they’ve known the work of God in their lives. He’s persuaded he can get them back. So, again, he asked the question, does he use supplies the spirit and works miracles in you do it from the works or. Well, from the hearing of faith, you know, they know what they’ve received from the hand of God and why. The say it’s really good for us to go back. This remember what we receive from God’s hand, Frehley?
And ask yourself, have we subtlely? I’m beginning to think, well, yes, I know I received that by 5:00. Through my faith, but now I’m really looking to God. Bless me because of what I did. That’s supposed to. You know, neither legalism nor ritualism leads to the power of God. They began to trust God and not themselves. They experience God’s power for the first time. Tragically, having begun to trust God. Even as Christians, the temptation is to begin to trust ourselves.
Because that’s really what keeping the law is, trusting that I can do whatever is necessary for good God to love me and forgive me and bless me so. So that’s probably a good point for us to pause for a minute or two in case. If you want to reflect on that. Comment or ask questions. The way that this foundation you live is not strong enough for. Yeah, for the tape, the question is why, if they’ve started the right way, do they get led astray?
I think Jesus gives a parable of sower and he which suggests that in the formation of information of faith, it goes through stages of testing and is quite vulnerable to the gets to the point where it’s really deep enough to be a good fruit. And so as as young Christians, I think we are vulnerable for the first few years of our fight till we get a sufficient grounding of the truth of God’s word and the truth about Christ and the nature of God and his basic foundations where we are vulnerable to being led astray.
Someone once pointed out to me that that the cults, things like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses never, never go out in the streets and evangelize drunks and and drug takers. And whenever they go to the middle class, people support suburban environments. They go to people and they try and find some people who have contact with the church and those who are already religious in some sense, and then they trick them. They ask them questions, and when they can’t answer them, they say, well, you know, what is your church teaching as in the church?
Explain this to you. And when is some personal revelation? So I say, no, no, no, I have not. Well, you know, would you like to have a Bible study? We can explain this to you is wonderful, your church obviously hasn’t told you this other person thinks, well, you now have a Bible study to tell them any harm. It’s in my home. It’s quite safe. And slowly, the whole whole thing is to kind of know the buttons to put where a person who is not well grounded, properly taught, is susceptible to being led astray.
And. And it’s interesting because if they knock on the door, you know, it’s a godless person has never been to church, slammed the door in their face and cursed with a walk down the street. You know, it’s often it’s the church guy. He feels almost an obligation to invite them in, but they don’t have the resources to. And now that’s one that’s one side, the other side is this bill. Is the sense of. I’m speaking now as a pastor, I you know, I know Christians who’ve been going to church for years, going a good Bible, teaching church as four year colleges, whatever.
But when a new fad comes some new teaching, some new concept, some new videotape, some type, whatever it might be, some new. It’s kind of a. new and it’s exciting that can lose perspective. And just kind of a win win and SARS’s counseling theories or whatever it might be, I come along and they say, Oh, and I’ve been away for this weekend. The teaching is fantastic. You know, it’s life changing. This is what our church needs.
I asked them, where have they been? And I said I said and I said what we taught on this Sunday because I know the group. And I said, it doesn’t occur to you that what they’re saying is unbalanced. Doesn’t occur to you that the fact that it’s true, if it’s not the whole truth, it can be. In error, if you just embrace part of a truth. And I can think if I could come to church over the years, who who feel me in trying to bring them to a balanced position.
I’m attacking this ministry as if it’s ungodly insulting, and yet the very reaction of them makes it quite clear that they’ve been seduced. It’s like the spell over them. And I said to them, you know, there’s some really good things in that ministry, but it’s unbalanced and some of the areas you need to be where on and it’s wonderful. I’m going to end up saying, you know, I’ll listen to it and all sounds good to me.
Well, I don’t I never say to them, look, I’m sorry, but, you know, it may seem crazy, but I know better. I may know better, but if you say it doesn’t help them. And and this and I say, well, you be careful. And I can think of young Christians who’ve been all the Christians who can you know, we have the expression chew on the meat and throw and throw out the bones.
He can go in first, the Syrians find discerning what is good and rejecting what is they who are quite capable of doing that, and they take along some young Christian to this thing. The Christian swallows the whole thing. And that’s that’s the kind of. Problems there. What do you do? Well, I can tell you what you don’t do is I don’t start getting up in the port and saying, don’t go here, don’t go there, don’t go there.
I don’t start denouncing this person’s ministry. I figure the best defense is if I just teach the truth, teach the truth, teach the truth. In the end, people will be able to recognize when there’s something not quite right. Yeah, and I don’t know the. And a good couple of weeks ago at the local church, I was asked to share the work I’m involved in bringing to business, and I’m sure.
And I started to talk about the difficulty of doing so overseas, the need for making pages. And and I was going down this track, and that’s how we we go in this tent, because then we and we share the.
For those folks who are listening to this tape, we did pause for some discussion about this as it works itself out today, it was best not to be on the tape. So let’s just continue on then in the next section, which is from verse six through nine.
And the case study Paul takes them back to, because there is part of it, of course, is that the people who are leading the Jews, it’s the Judaize. And since those who have come from Jerusalem and saying it’s not enough to believe in Christ, you must also become a Jew. And that means you must submit to the requirements of the law, including circumcision, that to be a believer in Jesus is the Messiah, the Jews, you must become a Jew.
And the church had resolve resolves that in X 15 that they don’t have to. But that’s the message. So what does Paul do?
He says, well, you want to talk about being a Jew? Let’s talk about Abraham. Verse six. He says, Just as in the sense of the blessing comes through faith, just as Abraham believed in God, it was written to him as righteousness. Then you know that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. It’s not literal to say it, but sure, it’s faith Jesus in Matthew three, eight and nine. I read it simply says this.
Therefore, bring forth the fruit in keeping with your repentance. And do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, we have Abraham for our father, for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children by Jesus will not accept that DNA is a test of salvation. It’s a question of whether they share the faith. It’s not those who are born to Christian parents who are Christians, but those who share their faith. Natural Jews were born into a covenant relationship, but faith is necessary for the benefits of the covenant to be realized.
The first aid, he says. You know, the scriptures foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles through faith. When I announced to Abraham that all the Gentiles shall be blessed by you and a couple of scriptures. Genesis 12 three. Genesis 18, 18. Thank God for that, I would not only be a model of faith, but his example would be followed by many leading to God’s blessing.
So what do we know of the let’s turn across to Romans for let’s look at Abraham as as he goes into a little bit more detail, Ramen’s for horses.
What then, shall we say? This is verse one that Abraham and Forefather discovered in this matter. If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about, boast about, but not before God. What is the scriptures say? Says Abraham, believe God. And it was credited to him as righteousness. And when a man works, his works are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trust God, he justifies the wicked.
His faith is credit to him as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works. And the quotation is there, blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, his sins are covered. Blessed are the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. And he says, is this blessed only for the circumstanced or also for the uncircumcised? We’ve been saying that Abraham’s faith was quoted as righteousness.
And what circumstance was accredited credited? Was it after he was circumcised or before? It was not after, but before he received the son of circumcision, a seal of righteousness they had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then he is the father of all who believe but not have not been circumcised, nor that righteousness might be credited to them. And he’s also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that I our father, Abraham, had before he was circumcised.
So inasmuch as circumcision, you know, is the beginning of observing the law, the first act of a first act under the law that a Jew experiences is the act of circumcision, Paul’s argument is simply this.
When was Abraham claimed to be righteous before or after he was circumcised before, after the law?
The answer is before the law. So. Circumcision is not something which brings righteousness, it’s something which is a seal of righteousness. And that that you have been declared righteous now. You know, there are people who would argue, for example, that under the new covenant, baptism is the substitute for circumcision and therefore that’s why we baptize infants. Now, that’s that’s actually not what Paul says.
Paul says, what replaces physical circumcision is the circumcision of the heart. But one what one can can say, however, is that baptism is a sign. Or sale of what is already in the heart, it doesn’t brand. And a baptismal service, your person has asked, repentant, willing to repent of sin, you know, are you willing to be crucified with Christ? Are you willing to confess Jesus is Lord and also on the basis of that confession that they baptized?
So the baptism is a seal, it doesn’t bring the faith, it’s a sign and seal of the faith. Yeah, well, but as an adult, therefore, I’m not saved by baptism. I’m saved through faith. And Abraham, is this example that it’s through faith and they all knew the story of Abraham and he says then you know that those were seven. Those are of faith of the sons of Abraham.
Now, Paul has two points to make here, not just. That God’s favor, his blessing, righteousness comes through faith, but he wants at this time to add the second string, which we’ve already seen, and that blessing is not just for Jews, it’s also for Gentiles. And what is the what is the Jesus that is for gentiles and not just yet, because if it’s only for Jews. They have to be circumcised, you have to come, you have to have it.
But he says it was if you go back to Genesis, it was never intended that it be just for Jews, but through faith or want to believe.
He says the scriptures foresaw that God would justify the gentiles for faith when he announced to Abraham all the Gentiles to be blessed anew. So let’s go back to Genesis and have a quick look at it. You follow what is saying is, look, if it’s if Gentile’s can’t be saved, then it must be by the law. So it has to extend to Gentile’s. Genesis 12. First, he says, I’ll make you a great nation, I’ll bless you, I’ll make you name great and your blessing, I will bless those who bless you and I will curse.
And whoever curses you, I will curse. And all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you. Genesis is in. 18 Abraham was surely become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the Earth will be blessed through him. Now, what’s interesting of as you read through the Old Testament, it seemed to me that the Jews very quickly decided that all blessings just were for them and God was on their side and God had no desire to bless anyone other than themselves.
And I would say very quickly felt that they had this exclusive covenant with God. And given that that’s the case, that’s quite an interesting issue for us to ponder right now in terms of historic Israel. Any notion that God is only on the side of the Jews and not on the side of the Palestinians. Or the Arabs is completely foreign to Genesis 12, in fact, God wants them. Israel to lead others into a relationship with him. And through that, be blessed, he wants whatever they do to bring them others and the very thing they’re doing at the moment, of course, is saying we don’t care about anyone other than ourselves and therefore turning people away from the God of Israel.
First on so those of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. First in, however, all who are children of the works of the law are under a curse.
That’s. So we’re down to versus 10 through 14. Paul has written the quote from Deuteronomy twenty seven, twenty six, blessed is everyone who does not keep doing everything written in the Book of the Lord. Verse 11, but it is clear that no one can stand before God justified by the law, rather, the justice shall live by faith. No one can continually, fully keep the law.
The difficulty is that the law is mercilus. And in terms of its requirements, legalism has no rights. You don’t have to break one law and you’re guilty. It’s a persistent master which can never be satisfied, from which there is no rest. In some ways, legalism is like idolatry these days. Talk a little bit about
about it in the case of idolatry. You can never satisfy the idols of the gods, no matter how many sacrifices you make, the demands never cease.
They so much is offered. The path to achievement and satisfaction obscures the impossibility of the journey. You know, Hindus who are idolatrous and that are in, say, Bali, the Balinese form of Hinduism. A person would expect to spend 70 per cent of their income. And offering sacrifices. But they often sacrifice five times a day for fruit or chicken, so there won’t be as part of a sacrificial system at the temple. Now is that people complaining about the church and asking 10 percent.
This is this is 70 percent.
And and then you have to say, well, why then would it be attractive? What is the attraction of legalism? Or idolatry. The attractiveness is that it offers you the opportunity of reaching a goal and then your own strength. Where you can feel like you’ve attended. The way I describe it, however, it’s like climbing mountains, you know, and you climb up this mountain and you get to the top of the mountain and you feel really great.
You climb the mountain.
You know, you put yourself through this ritual discipline, so self suffering or hours of meditation, and you finally get to this place of enlightenment only to discover there’s a valley in another mountain to be climbed.
And there is never not another mountain. That’s why I was encouraged by the statement, everything worthwhile will cost you something. The temptation is to pursue a lifetime of striving and accept the frustration of constant failure. And yet in faith, there is this place of rest. Now, as we’re going to see when we get to five chapters, five and six, it’s not that we want live a life of virtue, that we don’t live a life of the fruit of the spirit, but just was coming from a completely different place.
It’s not a it’s not a life of striving.
It’ll be a life of of engagement. And communion with God comes out of our relationship with God. And so we wait till we get there.
First impulse, it is clear that no one can stand before God justified by the law, but rather the justified. Those who are righteous through faith then live by faith as if it’s a faith life. The first 12, and it’s actually quite difficult to translate since the law is not five. But rather and this is my translation, but he does the Lord shall live in them in the sense that once you submit yourself to the law, legalism becomes a whole lifestyle and you find yourself embracing it.
You know, if someone for example, if someone says to you, well, I believe Christ died for you, but you must keep the Sabbath, you must have observed every Saturday. It never stops with one. And then you found while you can’t eat meat and then you can’t drink alcohol, you can’t smoke, you can’t there will not be an end to it becomes a life in itself.
And there may be very good reasons why you don’t smoke. And there is certainly good reasons why you don’t drink too much alcohol. And this sort of thing is it’s more the question that it becomes a slavery, which is what he will speak to us about. He calls it a curse. It’s like a curse is over the first 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Lord by becoming curse in our behalf because it is written Deuteronomy twenty one twenty three curse.
It is anyone who hangs on a tree. Cross suffers the consequences of the requirements of the law, his cross. As he hung on, it was a sint was the symbol of all the judgments of the law being brought against him. You know, Poland, I think it’s two Corinthians five and the Lord as well, was it in Isaiah? Fifty three. The Lord has laid upon him the iniquities. I was all. In two Corinthians five, it says he made him in unison to become senior, to bear in his own himself as an.
He did not die in vain, nor was his death without meaning. Was part of God’s predetermined plan, again, as Scripture X to twenty two and twenty three. The earliest of all the sermons of the apostles is men of Israel, listen to these words, Jesus, the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles, oneness and sons, which God performed through him in your midst just as yourself. Now, this man was delivered up by the predetermined plan and full knowledge of God.
You nailed to a cross by the hands of godless man. Having spoken of Christ’s death to deliver us from living out of the kerswill. He says, and first 14 X, so regulations through 14. Starts with simple Greek word heena. Which means in order that. And whenever you find a Heena, you find an order that you got to link what’s just gone before to what’s about the file and oh, it’s his cross was in order that the blessing of Abraham might occur to the gentiles in Christ.
And I was he. It’s not just Jews who live under the law. So there’s a there’s a legalism within Islam, there’s a legalism within Hinduism, there’s a legalism within Buddhism, there’s a legalism within any religion or society, and each has to be delivered from out from underneath it. That wasn’t just the Jews who were in bondage to law, the gentiles themselves had to be delivered from. And you know, Paul, writing in the questions of Galatia in places like officiants and an emphasis.
You know, when you go to Ephesus and and just outside the town was. The great temple to all of us, Adams, Diane. But one of the maybe it’s one of the same anyway, but just as this huge temple and they all you want and it costs them. As as gentiles to try and placate the gods. This is this is although it has a Jewish expression, is not distinctive Jewishness, and this is what I keep saying, this is not just about the Jews, it’s about Australians living in Australia, the twenty first century.
Who are these are it’s awful to say, but it’s like the lady who bakes lamingtons for 40 years. For the annual church Christmas store believing. And walks away believing that when she stands before God, God will count the lamingtons. And it’s a funny kind of way that if she does that out of love for Christ, what a blessing. The only thing she can do and she does it out of love. And what an incredible blessing I am.
A law will say, man, I wish I could have had one of those, you know. Yeah, but it’s but it’s you know, in some cases, it’s the men here who. Join the service clubs. Rotary Clubs, Lions clubs and so on, and it’s been 30, 40, 50 years, and these clubs and her. I feel God, God will look at my good works. Yeah, well, yeah, well, Masonry as well, last night as I become a Rotarian, there are many and I have freedom to preach the gospel.
It’s just the wonderful situation. But I sitting next to a man and he’s eighty seven. And he said to me, he says in this entire roundtable, there was listen to seven or eight of us around the table and he says and he said. So when I go with you to my funeral, my fellow. It was a strange kind of question well, and his charisma was clear, he just did the talk before, you know, it’s come one for one.
He says, you know, I’m not I’m not really religious, I’m not very religious, he said, but my mother was. She read the Bible every day of your life. You know all this. And I know what he’s been in. He’s been in clubs and he’s been in the lodge and he’s been in all of these things which will kill well.
Right. He doesn’t. But some of these things can kill spiritual hunger or. And I said to him, I said, mate, I think you and I need to have a quiet chat before too long. And I said, I will not leave it alone. And I actually feel this open because in the very way he expressed it, he expressed an uncertainty of his destiny. You’re not anti God at all. Actually, he is not sure of is whether he’s what he’s done.
Is enough. I’ll go and see him and I’ll explain, you know, you might have done these things with a desire to please God. And I’ll explain this through five. And I actually believe he’s open. He’s open to actually receive it, but it is a five, so this is the thing today. Verse 15. We come back to covenant promises and we’re going to kind of get there a little bit further, he says. He says, Brothers, I speak according to a human example, once a man has ratified his will, no one can nullify it or add to it.
It was as binding to Abraham is to see the promises of spoken. Saying to his seeds, as if to many, but
there’s one to your seed who’s Christ? That’s. Come back to it if we need to. This is what I say. He is a covenant, having been ratified by God cannot be made void by that which occurred four hundred and thirty years later so as to abolish the promise. And once you say here, Abraham received the promise from God that he was righteous by his faith.
Four hundred and thirty years later, Moses gets the law on their way out, having been imprisoned, spent years in Egypt on the way, and so the law cannot change the will which is made for him 30 years before. The inheritances of the law, it’s no longer my promise to Abraham, it was fully given by God through a promise.
We probably can these to understand the very human picture that he’s giving to us, none of us work for our inheritance. It’s our fathers who will or will not give it to us. I got my inheritance when my father died, three pairs of pajamas and two tires and some debt. Even if we try very hard to please their parents, they can still, at any time prior to their deaths, choose to give our inheritance to another. We must depend on their word when they tell us that they’ve left us their inheritance and we will discover whether or not they’ve told us the truth when the death occurs, once the death occurs.
The will can’t be altered now and now under our law, people do have a go at it. The famous case going on in Western Australia about a certain minor, whether they’ve been trying to overturn the will, but the law is very reluctant to overturn a will. Once provided, there is a will and the person’s died, which Romney then ask the question within the law and says it was added by reason of transgressions until the seat to whom the promise was made came through angels.
It came into effect by the hand of mediator.
It’s like something added to the original will with the authenticity determined by angels and the signature of a chosen mediator, presumably Moses. This as though the promise and the are determined by the will.
However, the heirs have to be taken care of until they’re old enough to inherit.
What’s been left to them is to take care of them until the time they agree to inquire of the inheritance. This is the role of the law, not to add requirements. Because there is, I promise, to take care of the these so that they might stay alive long enough to inherit, it’s the law which must instruct and protect them so that they do receive the inheritance. And verse 20 becomes Paul’s argument becomes quite complicated, he says the media is not between one, but God is one.
It’s a strange verse Paul is saying there. What’s he saying? Well, I can tell if you read the commentators, there’s 300 different views, as Paul is saying, that although the will is between two parties, parents and the kids. The donor and the heirs, it’s really up to the donor as to who receives what one is really one person is important. So there is a mediator, his only role is to do what God wants. Know the mediator is not there to negotiate a settlement.
Between the two parties are all to the will or to change what was an unconditional promise by the mediator, is there to somehow see the person to whom the promise is given, receives it first to anyone.
Therefore, is the law contrary to the promise of God? Never. Fourth floor had been given, which is able to give life and righteousness would be from the law, but the scriptures or the covenant bound all things understand in order that the promise from faith in Christ must be given to those who believe the law is not contrary to promise. It’s there to keep us aware of our need for forgiveness. Reminding us of our sin, it confronts us with our need of God’s grace.
Without the law, we would foolishly trust in our own ability to gain God’s acceptance, we’d be to say that we are good when really we’re bad. We’re tempted to try and attain God’s grace, the law exposes the sinfulness of our motives and shows how much we need God’s grace.
It’s. It’s a subtle thing, and we’ll come we’ll come to it this way. Paul, I think it’s the first time in one year since the law is we need to understand who laws for laws for sinners, for Christians. It has this work in our life to bring us to that place of repentance where we accept Christ. But once that happens, the laws work is finished. That if I were teaching romance right now, I’d be I would be right at the end of Romans Chapter five.
That’s where we get to why we’re doing this and Romans rather than Galatians, we’re right at the top of our end because people were listening to this message and saying.
Well, it’s by grace we are saved through faith, let’s them all the grace, my van. Now, this is this message wrongly understood. Have led people to say, well, one side or one side. And it really doesn’t matter what to do. If I’m destined to salvation, I can live whatever life and somehow God will rescue me in. And in various forms, this teaching comes. And yet the truth is that if I’ve been crucified with Christ.
I’ve not just dodged the law, but I’ve done this in. I’ve dived to things like. And Romans, six, seven and eight. He will spell it out in the Galatians, he’s going to spell it out for us and chapters five and six, but we’ve got Chapter four to get to before we get there. He’s not finished. He’s not persuaded. We’re fully persuaded. Really, when you think of what he’s done, he said. How did you get God’s blessing?
Laurel Feith, I know the answer to. How did I get blessed? Before or after, circumcision before. You know, Khristine, for us, deliverance from this curse, and you reckon that would be enough, but nah, nah, nah, he’s got he hasn’t finished yet. So next week we’ll do Chapter four. And when we’ve really got this to the very core of our being, then they say you can’t live in the spirit that this is Chapter five about living in the spirit.
You can’t live the spirit and by the spirit overcome with law. You can’t do it till you die to living by the law. Try to try and do it in your own strength. Because dying when people die with Christopher was caused by his life. He’s just so religious, so fanatical, so committed for. Until he really died to that, he had no chance of living in this for. Now, none of us here would probably say, well, I’m not like Paul, but it can be pretty subtle.
As we do at the kind of the gentle way, not with factories and clothes and hairdos and the Sabbath, but we just. When Pocho dad works. Good things done for the wrong reasons. Let’s pray. Well, I’m sure none of us at times are exempt from being tempted to. Doubt that you really love us. Unless we do things which please you. Laura, through our parents in the way they’ve treated us, in many ways, we’re conditioned to this.
In our work. We get bonuses and rewards because we do well. Father, it’s just such a strong part of our culture and our life. And your father will come back again to the fact that Christ died. But he was curse for us that we might receive the blessing just promised to Abraham. And so I pray you use this again to. Remind us why not just saved by faith, but we’re to live by faith. Lured by a spirit is buying these words in our hearts, we pray in Jesus name and then.