What kind of message did Paul preach in the region of Galatia?
(Acts 13: 38) Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
(Galatians 3:11) Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
– What are we expecting with all this preaching on grace?
The same that happened with Paul and Barnabas in the city of Iconium, a city in the Galatian region:
(Acts 14:3) So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who
bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
How were those signs happening?
Acts 14:8-10 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking.
What did the crippled man hear that gave him faith to be healed? He heard the message of grace that Paul was proclaiming. It is grace that empowers faith.
– The problem Paul faced
(Acts 13:43-45) 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.
That is the same problem we face today: concern that the blessing will bring some contradiction. Don’t be shy about your freedom. Enjoy the favor of God with boldness. This is the will of the Lord for you and your house. The only thing the Lord requires from us is our faith. How to grow in your faith? Like the crippled man in Lystra, another city of Galatia, we need to value the grace message. Once we receive the message of grace, we will have faith. Because grace empowers faith.
(Galatians 3:23-29) 23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into
Christ have put on Christ [Gal 2:20-21 “I am crucified with Christ…]. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Up to this point, Paul has gone through 2,000 years of Old Testament history, from Abraham, through Moses, to Christ.
Four centuries between the time Abraham was considered “righteous” before God and the day the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
(Galatians 3.6) …Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”).
Today we are justified by faith alone, just as Abraham was. In Jesus, we live under a covenant that is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.
Jesus is the only true heir of the promise made to Abraham. To be Abraham’s children, you have to be “in Christ”.
-From the law to Christ
We all have to go through the law to get to Christ, but we cannot continue in the law after understanding the promise of grace. There is no enjoyment of grace without the knowledge of the law. Many want to enter grace but have never experienced the condemnation of the law, and because of this, they become passive, permissive Christians. Before encountering Christ, one must have an encounter with Moses. Without that, people will continue coming a going from church to church.
-Why so many “Christians” but few
I believe the problem is in the way we evangelize. Many people have been attracted to the church with a message of improving the quality of their life. “Jesus Christ will give you peace, joy, love, personal fulfillment, and happiness.”
Sadly, that is the standard in many churches. In the days of the apostles, sinners were brought to salvation because they were convicted of sin.
I like an illustration used by Ray Comfort, which explains the need for the law before we come to Christ.
– The need for a parachute.
“Two men are seated in a plane. The first is given a parachute and told to put it on as it would improve his flight. He’s a little skeptical at first because he can’t see how wearing a parachute in a plane could possibly improve the flight. After a time, he decides to experiment and see if the claim is true. As he puts it on, he notices the weight of it upon his shoulders, and he finds that he has difficulty in sitting upright. However, he consoles himself with the fact that he was told the parachute would improve the flight. So, he decides to give “the thing” a little time. As he waits, he notices that some of the other passengers are laughing at him because he’s wearing a parachute in a flying plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they begin to point and laugh at him and he can stand it no longer, he cowers in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor.
Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because, as far as he was concerned, he was told an outright lie.
The second man is given a parachute but listens to what he’s told. He’s told to put it on because, at any moment, he’d be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He gratefully puts the parachute on; he doesn’t notice the weight of it upon his shoulders, nor that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without that parachute.
Instead of preaching that Jesus improves the flight, we should be warning the passengers they’re going to have to jump out of the plane at any time. (Ray Comfort, Revival’s Golden Key)
We say: “Accept Jesus. He will give you love, joy, peace, personal fulfillment, and happiness.” In other words, “Jesus will improve your flight.” The sinner responds to the “propaganda”. But what comes upon him?
(John 16:33) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In
the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Temptation, tribulation and persecution.
The other passengers, friends in the world will mock him. What does he do then? He throws Jesus away. He is disappointed because he was promised peace, joy, love, fulfillment and happiness, and all he got was trials and humiliation. He has become another backslidden. Inoculated against the church and the gospel.
Instead, we should be warning passengers that they
will have to jump off the plane.
(Hebrews 9:27). And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”
The sinner must understand the horrible consequences of breaking God’s law. If that knowledge he will run to the Savior to be saved from the wrath to come.
-The law until faith
The impious, ungodly, and unbeliever have to listen to a lot about the law. The saved and righteous have to listen a lot about the grace. The purpose of the law is to make the ungodly realize that he needs the Lord Jesus.
Sadly some remain in Moses, living in miserable bondage. We must move on to grace! The Christian life is not a heavy yoke to bear. The law is a necessary experience, but to remain in law is foolishness.
Paul uses two analogies in which the law is compared to prison and then to a very cruel and severe guardian.
-The law was a prison
(Galatians 3:23-25) Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
God’s commandments were a prison. Before the coming of Christ, the man was imprisoned by the law into a sinful state.
How did the law do this? First, the law shows a man
what his faults are. Second, the law accuses and
Finally, the law proves to be a prison because it has no power to free man from that condemnation.
The second illustration used by Paul to describe the law is that of a tutor.
(Galatians 3:24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
I had a nanny. Her job: protect me against myself. One aspect of the law is to protect the sinner from himself and from others.
Another function was to teach and guide. The word is”paidagogos” and literally means tutor. A paidagogos was a slave whose job was to watch the children and punished them if they did not behave. I used the example of the tutor while you are a trainee in a new job.
The law was given so that we would realize how wonderful God’s grace is.
-Baptism the way to put on the fulness of Christ
(Galatians 3:26-27) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
We are sons of God because we are in Christ and we are in Christ because we have been baptized into Him. Being baptized into Christ is the way to be in Him.
We have also been baptized into “the death of Christ.”
(Romans 6:3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Baptism also makes us absorbed by God.
(Matthew 28:19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
We are immersed in the triune God. But also immersed in the body.
( 1 Corinthians 12:13) For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Baptism is a powerful experience and not just a doctrine. It is not a religious ritual, but it is meant to be a profound experience for every believer. It is an organic union with the living Christ, and in that position, he can experience all the life, the fulness of Christ.
(Galatians 3:27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The preposition “into” in Greek means to be immersed, inserted, to be united in one Spirit. From an old sinful condition to an entirely new position of life
The water of baptism symbolizes Christ, and in Him, we are immersed and come to exist in Him. Baptism inserts us into Christ in such a way that we are clothed in Him.
It is because we are in Christ that we become children of Abraham and heirs of the promise of the Spirit.
-Only Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
We will only be sons of God if we are in Christ, included and grafted into Him.
(Galatians 3:26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Our salvation consists of a faith to be in Christ. God does no special work in us. He simply places and inserts us in Christ. And once we are in Christ, God is no longer our judge, ready to condemn us, but is now our Father. We have been made His sons and heirs of His kingdom. We are not made heirs because of our own merit.
-In Christ, we are one
(Galatians 3:28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Only brothers and sisters.
What a the secret of a good marriage? To realize that in Christ, we are one. We all need God’s grace, so I will forgive my spouse, as Christ has forgiven me. What is the secret to having a good family? To realize that we are all equal in Christ leads me to treat my children with respect and my parents with honor.
We are equal in our need for redemption, equal in our inability to earn or deserve anything, equal in the fact that God gives us this salvation entirely by grace in Christ.
People who go through some tragic situation together, like surviving an accident, fight together in a battlefield war. Those people feel strongly connected emotionally to each other.
The church is the union of many hopelessly lost people in the world and equally condemned, but we were saved together by the same grace.
If we are in Christ, the result is that we are one. Paul as former Pharisees, a zealous of the law, every day would pray “I thank God that I was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.”
1. There is neither Jew nor Greek
Circumcision symbolizes the difference between the Jew and the Greek; circumcision made the Jews into completely separate groups. But through baptism, in Christ, all racial barriers have been abolished.
2. There is neither slave nor free
Social class discrimination has also been abolished in Christ. The Roman Empire of Paul’s day was an empire of slaves, built on slave labor. Farms, buildings, roads, ships were built by slaves. In the later stages of the Empire, one of the main reasons the Romans waged war was to get more slaves.
The great social division in those days was between slaves and freemen. If you were a slave, you could not own property; you were “a property.” You had no rights because only free people had rights. In Christ, that is over. There are no social dividing lines. Rich and poor, high and low, powerful and weak, in Christ,
we are one. No hierarchies. Yes, we still have order among us. But no divisions. These things are like cancer that destroys the life of the church. It does not matter about your neighborhood or your bank account. It doesn’t matter if you are blue-collar or white-collar.
3. There is no male and female
In those days women were considered inferior. When we consider that this was declared 2,000 years ago, a when time women were despised and mistreated. But, in Christ, all become equal.
All differences are irrelevant. They still exist, but they are no longer a barrier to fellowship. We know that we are “all one” because we are “united with Christ Jesus.
-From “be blessed” to “be a blessing”
( Galatians 3:29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
In Christ, we are the spiritual offspring of our father Abraham and we become heirs of the promise that
God made to him. Today we are blessed because, in Christ, all families can be blessed. Because we are in Christ, you can become a blessing channel because through. Yes, more than blessed, but a blessing.