Date: August 28, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Little harder to get up off the ground with each passing year. Good morning. Back to School Sundays, Messiah, you’re back. Yeah. All right. Fantastic. Good to see you all. You know, kids, I was just thinking about. If you got a Bible, go to Galatians chapter one, we’re going to begin our study the book of Galatians today. It’s going to take us the better part of two semesters. Just thinking students, kids in particular, you know, when I was young, I had this experience where during college, my college years, the Lord is this when he led me to know that I was called to be a pastor. I don’t know that I would have valued what just happened when I was your age, like if you’re young. But I want to point something out to you is one of those moments where God sort of caused me to recognize something. So when I shared with my grandparents that I was pretty clear that God wanted me to become a pastor. I shared that with them thinking its not that big a deal. They just started to cry. I mean, really cry. I remember thinking like, well, that’s interesting. That’s an interesting reaction. They weren’t actually praying because I was going to be a pastor. I went home and talked to my dad about it and said, that is weirdest reaction, grandparents had today. I told him I was gonna go to seminary, be a pastor, they, they cried. He said, Well, they’re not crying, because they, because you’re gonna be a pastor. They’re crying, because they’ve been praying since before you were born, that you would walk with the Lord. He’s like, and what you’re sharing with them is that you’re saying yes, to walk in God’s plan for your life would be some different plan for somebody else. But for you, this is the plan and, and you said yes to that. That’s what they’re crying for. Because it’s precious to them, that you would walk with Jesus, that’s all they’ve ever wanted for you. He would walk with Him and love Him. So the thing kids I want to point out to you is that we are praying for you. That’s deeply meaningful to me a lot of years to understand why that was meaningful, why that mattered so much. But the prayers of parents and grandparents, what dawned on me was that my life had been shaped by their prayers in ways I never knew or understood that I was where I was making the choices I was making. At least part of that was due to the fact that I had grandparents getting on their knees, and praying for me every day from before the day I came into the world. That’s pretty amazing. Yeah. So I just want you to know, kids, we are praying for you. We are praying over your lives, we love you. We want you to treasure Jesus, we want you to love his church, we want you to say yes to all the hazards, and we want you to always know that life is sweeter in his will than it is outside of his well. Always and without exception. That’s what we hope you know, but we you are so loved in this place. So we are turning to the book of Galatians. Now we’re going to study we’ve been this summer, if you weren’t with us, we were studying about how to pray for one another. Again, please do keep praying God’s Word over one another so that we might continue to grow as the church that God’s invited us and called us to be.
Now let me share with you the book of Galatians. The biggest event is summarize the whole book, in one word, it would be freedom, that the book is really about what does it mean to be free. So that’s what I want to do today, I want to give us the big picture, I’m going to try and kind of give you a summary of the book. Then over the next two semesters, we’re gonna come back and just examine line by line word by word. What does that mean? So as you think about this book, if you’re going to put it in one word in your mind, I want you to think about what does it mean to live a life that is truly marked by freedom. There’s a lot of different ideas around that, in fact that the church I worked at before coming to serve here was in Austin, Texas, and Austin is everybody calls it the blue dot and the Red Sea. It’s relatively liberal city in the middle of a pretty big conservative area. There aren’t a lot of people who go to church there not a lot of people who profess faith in Jesus. So it is a it’s an interesting place. We love living there. We love serving there opportunity to tell people about Jesus all the time. So it was a great experience. But one of the things in the church I started was called first Evangelical, Free Church. So similar to where Evangelical Free Church, it was the first Evangelical Free Church. In Austin, you know, evangelic had become a pretty politicized term, which it’s not the theological term, but it had become a political term. So in Austin, which is more liberal, it was a dirty word. Okay. Even though it was not a fun word. So here’s what was interesting. From time to time. This happened numerous times, people would show up in church, and they would say, Yeah, I just decided I wanted to start exploring like life with God, what would that look like? Who is God? I want to try and examine then we say, well, how did you? How did you choose this church? How did you wind up here? They would say, Well, I looked through like the, you know, looked online, and I saw that you were evangelical, free. I thought that’s exactly where I want to be a church free of evangelicals. They heard it like fat free, right? Now, if you’re not in on that joke, why everyone’s laughing is because we are evangelicals. We are here and we were there. Now they had something in mind that was totally false about what that meant. Right? Which I’m not going to dive into today. But we will then share with them well, hey, we need to break something to you. We actually are evangelicals and you can knock them over with a feather they’d be like, what? You seem so normal. We’re gonna say, well, here’s what evangelical means. Here’s what you may have thought it. You know, have you had a good experience here? Then oh, man, yeah, we felt loved. We’ve loved the teaching. It’s been really helpful. You know, one thing in the other, but I always thought was so interesting, you know, what that taught me is that when people hear free, everybody hears something different, right? Depending on like, what’s your background, you may hear it like, Hey, by the way, we’re all laughing, if you’re in here today, and you’re like, I came because I thought this place was free of evangelicals. So okay, we’re so glad that you’re here that may be your background may be helping you kind of go, Oh, I thought of it like fat free. But let me just give you a couple other examples that might fit you. So just imagine for a second, like, if you’re politically conservative, when you think of freedom, the first thing that might come to mind is freedom from government overreach. That’s where you might think first, like, yeah, that’s what freedom is. If you’re politically liberal, you might hear freedom from unjust laws or unjust systems. That might be where your mind goes, when you hear the word freedom or being free. If you’re cheap, the first thing that comes to mind is getting something for nothing. That might be what comes to mind you like, hey, you know, it’s free, 99, that’s my favorite price. Right? If you’re young, and you have free, you might think freedom to not have to do what my parents told me to do. That might be the first thing that comes to mind, I can actually decide to have sugary cereal as opposed to the healthy stuff or stay up past my bedtime, or do whatever it is that I want to do. If you’re old, you might hear freedom to do something without pain. You might hear that if you’re student, you might hear not being in debt, freedom from having to owe a lot of money. Right? All those things are types of freedom would you agree. Depending on what your background is, or what your stage of life is, or your life situation, you might hear something different. Here’s what I would tell you, all of those things have something to do with freedom. All those things can be expressions of freedom, but they’re not what God truly means in His Word, when he tells us what freedom is, that freedom is much less about freedom from restrictions, and much more about being free to be and do what God made you to be and do. That’s how I want you to think about freedom. That’s how Paul’s gonna argue Galatians in Galatians. That’s how he’s going to argue about what it means to be free. Quite often in church, we think about, okay, well, the world teaches freedom to just do whatever we want. There is something to that idea of being free from restrictions, there are times where restrictions have to be removed in order for us to be and do what God made us to be and do. But when the scriptures think about freedom, that’s how they think first, and I’m gonna give you three expressions of freedom, they’re going to become deeply important that Paul is going to talk to us about I’m going to try and walk you through the book of Galatians. So you got kind of the big picture, before we dive in and go verse by verse starting next week, everybody with me? Is that all right? All right, fantastic. All right. So three kinds of freedoms. We get a little bit of background after I give you these three kinds. So here’s the three freedoms, you’ll see him in your sermon notes there, kids, by the way, if you’re taking notes, if you fill in the blank, we got a coupon for a free cupcake for you. All right. So that’s for you. I don’t need to find any 45 year olds turning in coupons for cupcakes. All right, not for you. So the three kinds of freedom that Galatians is going to talk about when it says what does it mean to truly be free. I mean, if you want to be free, and I’ve yet to meet the person go, You know what I prefer, I prefer to be enslaved. Rather than being free. I haven’t found that person yet. Freedom is going to be freedom from death, freedom from the law, and freedom from sin, freedom from death, freedom from the law of freedom from sin, I’m explaining each one of those to you. But let’s do a little background. Let’s set ourselves up. Well, when it comes to the book of Galatians, a couple of things to know, our Galatians is unique as as an epistle is one of the letters in the New Testament. One of the reasons it’s unique is that there aren’t many there aren’t written to a specific church. So the letter to the Ephesian church is to a church in a city called emphasis. The letter to the Corinthian church is to a church in the city of Corinth. Galatia is a region in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. So if you’re looking at a map to Turkey, look at the eastern part of that country. That’s where the region of Galatia was. There are about five churches in that region that Paul is writing to. So this is a letter that’s going to make a circuit is going to go through this whole region. So as he’s writing to them, here’s kind of the basic blueprint that you need to know. It’s a church that as Paul preached the gospel, if you read through the book of Acts or into Acts 13, 14 15. You’re going to see where he’s among these churches, and he’s sharing the gospel of people. They come to believe that Jesus crucified and resurrected can make you right with God. If you have faith in Jesus, crucified and resurrected, that you can be made right with God, they believe that but then after Paul leaves and moves on, somebody else comes in behind him. They begin to teach that you don’t just need to believe in Jesus, you need to believe in Jesus and keep the Old Testament law. Right now let me let’s pause for a second, let’s talk about the Old Testament law because you may not be familiar with it. Some of you probably are, some of you are probably not. So Old Testament law is most famously sort of summed up in the 10 Commandments in Exodus, chapter 20. Everybody familiar with the 10 commandments, most of us are somewhat familiar, right? Don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t bear false witness, don’t commit adultery, those sorts of things. But that law is much broader than that. That’s just sort of a sort of grand summary or pinnacle of it, if you will. Now, here’s what Paul as he as well, sorry, not Paul, here’s what the people coming into the region of Galatia. And teaching false things said, he said, Look, at one point, God picked this nation, he made a nation called Israel through Abraham. Then through Moses, He gave them a law, he gave them a set of regulations and rules. When Jesus comes, the question becomes, okay, do we, in order to be right with God? Do we need to believe in Jesus and also keep that law those sets of rules? Or did that law have a specific purpose for a point in time, and now Jesus is taking the story forward. Paul’s argument is that you do not need to obey the law in order to be right with God. But there are aspects of the law because it reveals the holiness of God, that we do keep, we don’t want to murder would we all agree with that? We keep that not an order to earn being right with God, but because we’ve been made right with God. So the law still serves a purpose, but it’s not a saving purpose. So there’s this battle between whether the law is there as part of our salvation, or whether Jesus has fulfilled that requirement of the law. Now salvation is by faith alone. Paul is going to land squarely on the it is by faith alone. Now, one of the interesting things about Galatians is it is probably the book that comes across as the angriest of Paul’s letters. Now, I want you to think about that, because if you’ve read through your New Testament, Corinthians is probably the best example. People are living crazy lives in the city of corn, I mean, wild, crazy lives, not the kind of lives that they’re supposed to live as Christ followers. Paul does correct, he even rebuked but there is apparently a little more gentleness, do you know who He reserves his strongest sort of anger towards? Its people who are self righteous. It’s people who are living like they’ve got it all together, and you need to add the law to Jesus and his big argument throughout the book of Galatians is going to be you are not free in the way that you think you’re free. If you try to add anything to Jesus, you don’t have Jesus. It’s not just that you’re trying to add on Jesus plus the law, Jesus plus my good behavior, Jesus plus my family background, Jesus plus, might you fill in the blank? He’s saying, it’s not just that you are sort of misled, it’s that you are denying Jesus himself by trying to add anything to him therefore you are not free. So he wants to describe to them what it looks like to be free. So that’s a little bit of background. Now let’s dive into those three kinds of freedom.
Okay, what’s the first one? I said, freedom from? Death? All right, fantastic. Good. Let’s talk about that for a moment. What do we mean when we say being free from death? All right, well, the first two chapters of Galatians start out and they are going to start with a why should we even listen to you about freedom, Paul? Like why does it matter? Paul’s argument is going to be because I am an apostle, the people talking to you are not apostles, I am an apostle. So I’m going to argue for his authority in chapters one and the beginning of chapter two before we get to the next couple chapters, where he’s going to really tackle this freedom idea, head on. Here’s why that’s important for us to note, gay friends, because we believe in a thing called apostolic authority. Here’s what that means. There are some places that you will hear the teaching that apostles still exist, that is false. Apostles were the 12 men that Jesus picked out to be his followers, Paul coming in as the 12, after Judas goes out, and is no longer part of that equation as one of his disciples, and they had a unique authority in the history of Christianity. They had authority to declare what was right doctrine, and what was not they had authority to for their writings to be recorded as God breathed scripture. You and I do not possess that authority and no one can inhabit that office of apostle ever again. Everybody follow. So here’s where that comes down to us. We want to ask the question, well, how do we know who has the authority to tell us what’s right? What’s wrong, how to be free and what it means to be enslaved? The answer is, the writings of the apostles handed down to us in God breathed scripture. apostolic authority comes into play for us. We believe in it, we don’t believe in the repetition of that office continuing to exist today. Because it teaches us that no church, no group of people, no higher authority in a church setting can say to us, my command is equivalent with scripture. Our history, our tradition, is equivalent, equal in authority to Scripture. Scripture stands alone as authoritative. Church doctrine, church teaching only has authority where it submits to the written word of God. If I get up here and declare to you, a new law, everybody, you need to do this. Everybody needs to stand on their head five times a day, or you cannot be made right with God. I’m your pastor. I say that it must be. So why do you know that my command does not have authority, because it’s not in line with God’s word. God’s written word trumps any position of church authority, you with me? That’s what he’s going to argue for, like, you need to listen to me, I have an apostolic calling on my life. That’s what he’s doing in chapter one, beginning of chapter two, then he’s gonna get into what it means to be free from death. That’s the first kind of freedom that he’s going to talk about. So here’s the argument. Imagine with me for a second that how many of you have your homeowners who’s a homeowner? Okay, I am so excited for you. If you have paid off your mortgage, I have not paid off my mortgage. All right. Let’s imagine that I said to you, as of today, your mortgage is done. You are free from your mortgage, and that’d be pretty awesome. You’re like, yes, that’s amazing. I mean, the discretionary income, the opportunity that comes from that, right? So hey, your mortgage, by the way, you can just tell your mortgage company past tense, I don’t have to pay this anymore. I’m sure they’ll respect that. All right. Imagine that mortgage is principal interest, I say you are free from it. Now imagine that I said, you’re free from it. But 30 years from now, on a certain day, you’re going to owe all of that principal and interest, you’re gonna have to pay the entire thing you don’t have to pay now. But in 30 years, you’ll pay does that feel as good? Why not? Because you weren’t really free. You weren’t free from that debt. It was just delayed. When Paul is thinking about freedom, the first thing he says you’re not free, unless you’re free in this life. After this life, you’re not free until you’re free forever. For someone to say you’re free from your debt, only to have to pay it later. You weren’t ever actually free. So imagine now that you’ve spent your entire life saying I’m free, I’m free to do what I want. I’m free to be who I want, I’m free to go where I want. But then on the day of your death, you had to pay a debt that you couldn’t pay. Were you ever free. Paul’s gonna say, you may think you’re free. But you are not free, until you’re free from the penalty of your sin, that you will pay upon your death, eternal separation from God Himself. There is no true freedom until that is dealt with. Trying to be free in any other way trying to deal with any other ways that you’re limited. Even if there are things that are rightly to be removed from our lives is like dealing with a sore throat when cancer is ravaging your body. There is no freedom apart from freedom from death. That’s Paul’s first look with me at Galatians 2:16 through 19. Let me show you this. Now, as he gets through chapter two, we come to these words. He says in verse 16, we know that a person is not justified and that word there can also be translated set free, right? It can be translated set free. You can also think of as being legally right with God like in a courtroom. All right. So he says, We know that a person is not justified is not set free by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ. So we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified or set free by faith in Christ and not by works of the law. Because by worse the law no one will be justified no one will be set free. But if in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we two were found to be sinners is Christ than us. servant of sin certainly not. For if I rebuild what I tore down, I proved myself to be a transgressor. Now there’s a lot of complexity in there, we’re gonna get to it in the weeks ahead. But here’s the part I want you to hear, right? So really get this now, for through the law, I died to the law, so that I might, what’s the next word there church, live to God. In other words, Paul is saying, until you are free from the penalty that the law brings into your life until you’re free from the penalty of sin, which is death, you are not alive to God, you are not truly free. Are we making sense so far? That’s the first kind of freedom you need. I hope that you can see that if you’re not going to. So some of you might be here today. You might hold them in what we call a materialistic worldview. Which is to say, you don’t believe in anything immaterial, right? There’s, there is no soul, there is no spirit, there is only sort of the the physical mechanisms that we see. Most people don’t subscribe that most people even if you’re not a Christian, if you hold some other worldview, still I find this rare to find someone who’s truly a materialist. So let me say this, if you’re not a materialist, then you acknowledge that there is something that is unseen, that is real, there is such a thing as a spirit or a soul. There is such thing as unseen, intangible realities. If that’s the case, whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, doesn’t it make sense that there is a type of freedom which must take place in the inner person, forever in order for freedom here and now to have any true meaning? Does that make sense? So I would argue, even if you’re not a Christian, if you are not a materialist, if you’re not someone who thinks there’s no such thing as spiritual realities, then it would make sense that you can’t have freedom now, unless you have freedom forever, beyond this life. So that’s the first kind of freedom that Paul talks about.
Now. Let’s go to the second kind of freedom. All right, let’s go to the second kind of freedom, freedom from the law. And let’s think about this for a moment. Now. This is where Paul is going to pick up in chapters three and four. So the book kind of divides neatly into two chapter sections, right? So the first two chapters are about authority, who has it, who can tell us what it means to be free? The second two are going to be about freedom from the law. The last two, five and six were going to be about freedom from sin. We’ll come to that in just a moment. So I asked my friends Troy and Carly. Where are you come on up welcome them with me they’re gonna help me out here. You can clap form Troy’s a detective Carly is his daughter and they’re gonna help me demonstrate what we mean. When we think about freedom from the law. So Carly, your dad’s dream to handcuff you behind your back what he’s always wanting to do. You didn’t dress for jail today. Alright, so we’ve got the cuffs on would you say you feel a bit restricted? Yeah. Do you feel free? No. She said no. In case you heard her. So this was what it might be like to be restricted or not free. Now currently. Here’s the deal. Right? You got those handcuffs on you. So you are not in fact free. But what if? What if I could give you the key? Would you like that? Sure. Okay, so try give her the key. So Troy’s got the key to the cuffs. It’s in her hands. So go ahead and free yourself. What is the problem? How long do you think Carly would need? A why? Yeah, exactly. Now. Pause. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Your hands aren’t made to get around to the hole. She can’t even get to the hole on those cuffs. Now, Troy, why don’t you go ahead and take the key from her and help your daughter out there. Voila, in just a matter of seconds. Well done. Hey, thanks, Troy and Carla, for me. Thank you guys. When Paul talks about freedom from the law, he’s really saying you’re not truly free if you have to free yourself. You cannot be truly free. If you have to free yourself. Here’s the interesting thing. She had the key. She had what she needed to be free. Why couldn’t she be free? Because she had to do it herself. How long did it take? Once someone else came to freer? Not long at all did it. That’s exactly what Paul is saying. He’s like the people that are coming in to trick the Galatians. He says You foolish Galatians who has bewitched you? That’s a really somewhat nice way to say you idiots you dummies. The kids do not say those words to your parents. But Paul says them so I guess it’s okay for me. I mean I’m in trouble. Sorry, move on. He says, who’s bewitched you? In other words, what he’s saying is these people have come in and they’ve said, Jesus, yes, believe in him. But also, there are these rules.For them, it was particularly this law of circumcision that they needed to be circumcised, which is just emblematic for the whole law isn’t like, if you think you have to keep one part, you need to keep it all. He saying you cannot do that. He what he’s going to argue is the purpose of the law was never to save you. It was always to show you you needed a Savior. So even though yes, you have the key Jesus, and you know, if you have to unlock the door, yourself, you have to unlock the cuffs yourself, you can never do it. So don’t add the law, don’t add the rules on top of belief. The second you do that you have negated belief. That’s what his argument is going to be in chapters three, look at chapter three, verse 10, and 11. Here’s a way to summarize it. Again, the great danger here is, I’m just trying to give you the big picture. I don’t want to steal the thunder of when we get to this chapter. All right, so let me just give you what he says in verse 10, and 11, chapter three, verse 10, for all who rely on works of the law, or under a curse, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them. Now it is evident that no one is justified, again, set free. No one is set free before God, by the law, for the righteous shall live by faith. So I hope it helps you see that visible demonstration open helps you see what Paul is getting at. He’s saying, you cannot free yourself and you are not truly free. If you believe that you have to do it yourself, he has to earn it. You have to if you have to perform for it. You’re not free. Now, here’s what’s interesting is, like I said, Paul saves some of his most vehement rebukes for people who are self righteous. Can I just tell you that as someone who grew up in church, I recognize this bent in myself. I have to ask the Lord to examine my heart on a regular basis, because here’s why this is so important, not just because you can’t deliver yourself. So you will fail if you slip into this way of thinking, but because it’s so subtle, it’s easy to see, if I’m out living a life that absolutely renounces the person of Jesus and wants nothing to do with them. It’s easy for me to know that I am doing that. But self righteousness sneaks in and causes you to believe that you’re really believing in Jesus, when in functionally what you’re doing is you’re saying, I’m saving myself through all my moral goodness.
So can I give you a few indicators that questions I asked myself, How do I know when I am slipping into this belief of self righteousness, self justification, rather than saying Jesus and only Jesus? Let me give you a couple, maybe you’ll find them useful. So I find if my moral behavior is right and good, there are ways that it’s good for a Christian to live Yes. Right and good to live that way. But if my moral behavior my moral obedience doesn’t cause my heart to love Jesus more, one of the questions I asked myself regularly is, I may have done a good thing. Do I love myself more as a result of that? Or do I love him more? As a result of that, you know, you can do right and good things. It doesn’t lead to more love for Jesus in your heart. That’s a dangerous place to be. If you find yourself more pleased with yourself, rather than more pleased with him. That may be an indicator that self righteousness and self justification are taking hold of your heart. If I have trouble seeing, admitting and asking for forgiveness when I am at fault, then self righteousness might be beginning to take hold of my heart. I say that again. If I have trouble seeing when I’m wrong, admitting when I’m wrong, and asking for forgiveness. I’ve said this before, but I’m gonna keep harping on it. In particular, dads and moms are not off the hook. Okay. But dads in particular, the number of young people that I have sat with over the years of my ministry, and asked Did you ever hear your dad say I was wrong and ask for forgiveness? The percentage is astronomical. It’s shocking. How many kids have never heard their father say that. I don’t know why it seems to us men like that is somehow strength. It is not strength. It is it is weakness. To be unable to admit when you have failed, you are flawed and you need forgiveness. your kids need you to be that stubborn man who can’t admit when he’s wrong? Or do they need to see a demonstration of humility? They need to see a man who knows he is desperate for the power of God and the Spirit of God to deliver him from his sin. They need the latter, not the former. Men in particular, say I was wrong. Ask for forgiveness, when that’s the case. Do you know why that’s an indicator of self righteousness. Because if I have to justify myself, I will never admit when I’m wrong, because it’s admitting I’m not right with God. If it rests on me, I can’t acknowledge that. But if it rests on the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then I’m quick to confess my sins. I’m quick to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense? Don’t be scared. Your kids, it will bear fruit in their life. The moms again, I said, you’re not off the hook here. Because there are plenty of marriages where man I’ve seen husbands who are leading well, and saying I was wrong, please forgive me and wives who have a hard time admitting where they were wrong. They’re good at pointing out their husbands flaws, but not so good of admitting. You know what I was wrong on that one. I don’t, if you can’t see where you’re wrong, then there’s a danger of your heart being in that place of self justification. Couple more that I asked myself, if I have a tremendous if I have tremendous emotional ups and downs, depending on how well I’m performing my disciplines. So if I’m disciplined, I feel really high. If I’ve lacked discipline, I feel really low. That is often an indicator that I’m basing my my sense of being right with God on my performance, not on the grace of Jesus. If I feel superior to others, who aren’t as disciplined as me, have you felt that before? Turns into spiritual competition? I’m better at having a quiet time. I’m better praying, I do more fasting. God, don’t you see how superior I am in my decimals? If you find that subtly, and you gotta be so thoughtful about this, because no one you don’t say this out loud. It sneaks in. You don’t go? Yeah, I’m better than they are. It’s just a subtle, quick thought that pops in. It’s that subtle feeling of, well, you know, maybe I feel kind of kind of superior. It just and sometimes it’s just, it’s just that quick. When that pops in, put it to death. Say there but for the grace of God go I say, Oh, you saved me. You’ve redeemed me. It’s all you It’s not me that act of obedience, that discipline that I just performed. I know it’s right and good. But you’re the one who gave me the strength to do it. It’s all you return to gratefulness, return to thankfulness, keep doing the right. Yes. Don’t chuck the right. fall upon the power of God. If I feel indignant, because God blesses or uses someone else, have you felt that before? Where God chooses to pour blessing out on someone else? You think, why not me? How come you didn’t use me? How come you didn’t give me that thing that I’ve wanted, but you gave it to them? That’s an indicator that you believe God owes you something. You think he owes you something? Because you think you justify yourself? Can you see how subtle all these things are? Their little ways that legalism and law based sense of righteousness slips in on us. The last one, I’ll say, already said, If I think God owes me anything, and that leads to a lack of thankfulness in my heart, okay, so those are the first those are the first to freedom from death. In order to be free, you got to be free forever, not just for a little while, right? Freedom from the law, in order to be free, you got to be free from having to do it yourself.
Then the last one is freedom from sin. So here’s what Paul is going to do, there’s going to be this argument that the his opponents would make, he’s going to kind of cut them off the pass. All right, this this happens is the same thing that happens in Romans book, Romans, Romans five and six. Because Paul is saying you are made right with God, by grace through faith, not by your own performance, not by keeping the rules. Of course, the legalistic heart. What’s the immediate response to that? If you tell people that they’re going to go crazy and live however they want? Because there’s not going to be anything to put them in check. You’re not gonna be rules to hold them in and pausing to say, You’re completely wrong. In chapters five and six years what he’s going to say. He’s going to say, I anticipate that objection, let me tell you why that’s not going to happen, because the Spirit of God will keep them in For the purposes of God, you walk in righteousness by the Spirit, not by following a set of rules. So it’s going to be a master’s class in chapters five and six on what it means to walk in the Spirit. What it means to keep in step with the Spirit instead of going, here’s my list of rules. I gotta check them all off. How do I turn to the spirit is a spirit guide me, spirit, lead me, show me what to do. He will lead you into all righteousness. It will be a freedom relation based walking out of righteousness rather than an enslavement to a set of rules. Now, when he comes to this idea of being free from our sin, let me show you something I think encapsulates it pretty well. So watch this with me.
Okay, so that’s your, alright, here’s the deal, Marshmallow for you. You can either wait and I’ll give you another one if you wait, or you can eat it now. When I come back, I’ll give you another one. So then you’ll have to stay in here and stay in the chair till I come back Okay, all right I’m gonna go do something and then I’ll come back yummy. Really good. All right, so it’s up to you. You can have it now or you can wait I’ll be back stay in the chair Okay. All right, so I’m gonna leave and then I’ll come back. Okay. So you can even eat it right now. Or you can wait either way. Okay. Okay how’d you do? You do good? You did? You want to need it? Yeah. So tell you give me another one. Okay, you can have both.
So you can fly that. So when we think about freedom from sin, here’s what Paul is saying. Like, have you ever felt like something you desire? You know, it’s not right and good. But it’s like that marshmallow in front of you. It’s just too hard to resist. It’s just it just feels like so. I love the kids are like, well, I’ll just take a little piece or I’ll just kind of look at the kid, the twins who when he’s like banging his head on the desk. That’s pretty good. Then the kid the second he has permission when he shoves both of them in his mouth. We’ve all felt like that before. We have a desire for something. The marshmallow is a marshmallow. But we know when we have those desires for things that aren’t right. You’re not good and yet they feel just just like that, like, Oh, it’s right there in front of me. It just want it so bad. What Paul’s gonna say is you’re not truly free. When you sum up freedom. You’re not truly free until you’re free from your own worst desires. Until God sets you free from having to fall Your own desires. So often. Some of you may think this way, like, well, Freedom means freedom to just do whatever I want. But can I ask you a question? Have you ever followed what you wanted followed your desires? It led you to a place? That was not great? Yeah, we’d all raise our hand on that. We’re like, Oh, my goodness, yeah. My desire, your desires are not necessarily in and of yourself something that can be trusted, to always lead you to the right place. So you need freedom from death. The penalty of sin, you need freedom from the law having to earn your own freedom. You need freedom from your own sinful desires. You need freedom internally, as well as externally. See, Freedom isn’t just about removing outward restrictions. Freedom is about removing inward compulsions. That’s what Paul is going to argue in Galatians, chapter five, and six, he’s going to say, there’s a kind of freedom that comes with the Spirit of God, to where the very thing that you used to desire, he will change and transform, if you will say, keep in step with the Spirit. So not only is that the response to the objection of the people who say, we need the rules, so we don’t go crazy. So don’t live in a way we shouldn’t live. Not only is that the right response to them, it’s also for the Galatians, to say, Yes, you do need to overcome the desires that you have in your flesh. You do need to overcome those, but there’s a way to overcome them. It’s through the Spirit of God. So those are the kind of three freedoms we’re going to talk about. Throughout the scriptures, whenever freedom is the subject, those are the ideas that you’ll find again and again, is in order to be truly free. You need a freedom that lasts forever. Freedom from death, you need a freedom that you don’t have to perform yourself, but is performed for you brought about for you. You need a freedom from the desires that leads you down the wrong pathway. God is able to give those so if you come along for the journey with us now over the next two semesters, as we think about what it means to truly be free in Christ Jesus as we studied the book of Galatians, or let’s pray together.
Lord Jesus, we love you, we pray that you would guide us in our understanding of your word, we thank You that You have given us your authoritative words so that we might know your will and your ways. We thank You that Paul reminds us Lord, your servant, that we can only be Set Free by Grace, not by the the works of the law, not by the words of the law. So we thank you that you have seen fit, to show us our sin through the law, so that we might turn to You, Jesus and know that we need you to unlock those cuffs on us. We pray that you would do that. For those for whom it has not been done yet. They would turn to you and ask you to take the cuffs off and pray Lord Jesus, for those of us for whom you’ve taken those off, that we wouldn’t try to put them back on and put ourselves free again. Thank you for your power and glory goodness. Now receive the praises of your people. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.