Date: November 6, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 3:23-29
Good morning. Good to see you all. If you got a Bible Go with me to Galatians chapter three, we’re going to look at verses 23 through 29. If you’re new here with us. Have come for the first time. We’re so glad that you’re here. We’ve been in this study of the book of Galatians, which is our habit is to study books of the Bible. Kind of go through them sequentially, so that we learn the full council of God’s Word. So that we’re growing in Christ. It always strikes me I always think it’s you guys. How weird to think it is to be a Christian. Sometimes they’re like, we decided to get together once a week and listen to somebody talk to us and sing. There are not many groups of people that get together every week just to sing. Other than choirs right? It’s like, so just recognize that we look strange. I think to the shrine, once you get together, then you just sing stuff. Then you listen to someone talk and who wants to go listen to the same person talk week after week? Unless what we’re seeing from God’s word, that’s the only thing that makes it valuable, right? Is it God’s Word teaches and instructs, and that’s why we come together to be instructed by God’s word to declare the praises of God, because he evokes worship from us, doesn’t he? Not, by the way, if you’re not a follower of Jesus, and every week, there’s a lot of us who are and then there’s some of us who are not. So we were glad you’re here. The thing I would encourage you is, if you come somewhat regularly, just take very seriously the idea that there’s a group of people who don’t think about themselves come together to and just sing in the belief that there’s a real God who really hears them, and that he’s worthy of their praises worthy of their affection. I would just encourage you, I think it’s one of the greatest testimonies to the truth of the gospel, is the worship of God’s own people. So people of God keep singing full throated praises to God, it’s a testimony to who he is. If you’re not a follower of Jesus, just maybe consider that way that like, who else draws evokes that kind of response from people. So as we’re following along in Galatians, I was thinking about this week, last week, we were talking about what is the purpose of the law, and I’m gonna touch on that again here in a moment. But this week, we come to this passage where what Paul wants to do is he wants to compare really contrast actually, life under the law versus life in Christ. I was thinking about it this way. I wonder, don’t raise your hand. I wonder how many of us have dated someone for a while. Then after a while, realize that they weren’t the one for us, wasn’t a good fit. So we broke it off. There were things about the relationship that just wasn’t working, maybe things about them that were just like, not for us. We broke it off. But then after breaking it off, we kind of idealize the relationship. Anybody prone to do that? You idealize? Oh, you look back at and you go, Oh, you’re nostalgic about it, we just have so much fun. That person was really this way or that way. Then we get back together with that person, when we really should never have done that. Then after what a month or so we go, You know what I remember why we broke up in the first place. That’s I mean, you’re thinking like, Yeah, I did that. I married that person. I’m not saying your relationship is doomed. Glad you’re married. Good job. All right. But you can imagine, if you can, like if you’ve had that experience, which as I have, where you break up with someone, you go back, and you’re like, Ah, now I realize why we broke up in the first place. That’s kind of what Paul is getting at. The Galatians are a group of people who have gone out from underneath the law as a means of justification. They were in relationship with the law. They were like, we’re gonna get right with God by keeping all the rules. Then they came to Christ and they realize, like, oh, I can’t get right with God by keeping all the rules. I’m in relationship with him. He’s the one that makes me right. It’s just by faith alone. But what Paul was saying, then you’ve kind of gone back into this old relationship, there’s this group of people that are telling you, you need to follow the law and keep the law in order to be right with God, in addition to believing in Jesus, and you’re believing them. I doing that, you’re, I mean, how much worse when you’re exiting, you’re in some sense, saying, I’ve got this new relationship that is alive and good and holy and righteous. I’m going back into this old relationship. That’s essentially what Paul’s addressing, and he wants to show them the failures and the flaws of the old relationship life under the law, in comparison with this new relationship life in Christ. That’s the comparison we’re gonna find today in our text. If you remember what we saw, was that life under the law, or what the purpose of the law was, Paul had an answer that he said the law was there to trap you in your sin, and reveal to you that you needed a Savior, you needed someone to save you from your own imprisonment. Christ came in and he did that. So stop living like you’re under the law, stop going back. That’s essentially what he wants to instruct you and I in this group of believers he’s writing to is not unlike you and I, who, from time to time, find ourselves falling back into this mindset where we are functionally, if not intentionally, functionally saying to God, I I’m right with you based upon my performance. It’s what we call legalism. It’s unjustified with you I’m right with you based on what I do. I don’t do right things because I’m right with you. I do them to get right with you. When that mindset creeps, what it creates is a church full of people who are harsh, and not gracious, and not loving, and rule based, rather than led by the Spirit and full of life and joy and peace and hope and kindness and graciousness toward sinners. We aim to be a church that is not that would we agree with that? So let’s look at this contrast between life under the law and life in Christ.
Let’s read Galatians three, verses 23 through 29. He says this. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then the law was our guardian, until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now the faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. That’s our text for today, it divides up really easily. The first two verses are about life under the law and the last set of verses is about life in Christ. So that’s what I simply want to talk to you about today, a couple of observations about life under the law, in life in Christ, I want to spend longer on the life in Christ part, because we spent a good bit of time last week on the purpose of the law and life under the law. But there’s a couple of things here that are worth acknowledging. So let’s talk about this idea of life under the law first, now, the first thing I want you to see is that the prepositions themselves matter. So the details of the text always matter. Paul could have said, You are under the law, and then you were under Christ, and he wouldn’t have been wrong to say you’re under Christ. When we come down are we under his authority? Church? Yeah. Do we follow his lead? Do we want to obey his commands? Yes, to all of that, but he’s very intentional to use these two prepositions. You were under the law. Now you are what the preposition in Christ, because he wants to convey a contrast. To be under something is to be pressed down by it, to be subjugated to it, to feel its weight upon you. To be in something in Christ is to be invited to belong to be ushered in. It’s hospitality, it’s welcoming. It’s receiving, do you see the distinction? That’s the first thing I want you to see here in the language of the text is that he’s painting a contrast by the very preposition to uses. He’s saying you were under the law. But now you are in Christ. It’s ever the law. To be under the law is to have its weight be upon us. Always. It is ever present. The thing you need to understand about the law is that it never lets up. If you’re going to try to get right with God, based upon the written code, following the rules, those rules never stopped being an effect. They always demand to view perfection. There can never be a moment, never a second, never a blink of an eye, where your mind is not right. Your heart is not right. Your actions are not right. You must be perfect. You must cross every T and dot every I. It is an excruciating wait. When you and I returned to functionally trying to get be right with God, under the law, we are essentially saying I want to take that weight back on. There’s a pride in us that says I can obey it, I can do it. But friends, can you really live under the law is heavy, and burdensome. It demands perfection. There’s never a moment where you fail to perform something in perfect obedience, whether in your heart, attitude, your minds action, or your actual actions. There is never a moment where you come up a little bit short of the standard. The law says it’s okay. It’s fine. We’ll let that one go. The law always demands therefore it always crushes life under the law is the life of always striving and never achieving. That’s what life under the law is. Under, not in.
Now, there’s two pictures that Paul paints here about life under the law. I’m gonna hit this next one quickly because he’s basically what we talked about all week last week. When he says we are imprisoned by the law. So look down again in verse 23. Just think about life under the law. I really need you followers of Jesus, I need you to remember what life under the law was like whether you came to Jesus seven, or 70. I need you to remember what life under the law was like because you were under it, you weren’t born into Christ. You were born separated from God and outside of Christ. He redeemed you. I don’t know what age at what point. But remember what this was like. So in verse 23, he says this. Now before faith came in, before Jesus came the object of our faith, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So his first visual image that he wants to strike us with about life under the law is that it’s a prison. This is exactly what we talked about. Last week, we talked about the purpose of the law, we call it the second use of the law, theologians call it and it just says this, that the law is like walking into a room full of mirrors that shows us our sin, and traps us in it shows us our need for a Savior. So the purpose of the law was not to redeem it wasn’t to make us righteous. It was to show us our need for righteousness and our inability to accomplish it. So the law imprisons us in three ways, it imprisons us by revealing our sin to us, showing it to us over and over and over again, you will never come to the law and not be shown your insufficiency you will see it over and over and over. It imprints us by trapping us in the penalty for our sin. So we are guilty, and we are trapped under the punishment that we deserve. Then lastly, it doesn’t just show it to us reveal it. It doesn’t just imprison, it actually increases it. That’s what we saw in Romans 5:20. Last week that the law was given to increase the trespass. Paul said in Romans five, verse 20. What he meant by that is, what are wicked hearts do when they encounter God’s standard is instead of going, oh, man, I should obey that they go something in us says, You can’t tell me what to do. It takes that very commanding Paul, use example in Romans seven coveting, don’t covet, and we say, Oh, yeah. Our wicked hearts, say I’m going to do it. in increasing measure, I’m gonna do more of it. It increases our sinfulness. So the Lord traps us and that way to us means it makes sense, or traps us it imprisons us. That’s Paul’s right? You want life under the law, it’s life in prison. That’s what it is. It’s life trapped. Now, friends, can I just ask you for a moment? How do you think about people who are under the law, because here’s what I find happens for us as believers. We transition from life under the law to life in Christ, and we forget what it was like. As a result, we lack sympathy. We treat people outside of Christ, and under the law, we treat them as the enemy. We treat them often with very little regard, or perhaps as our opponents that we think of them as antagonistic towards the church, and sometimes they are. But is there not any tenderness in your heart? You were under the law. He was under the law. Shouldn’t there be in us a tenderness towards those who are trapped under the law, they may not even know it. They may come at us with slings and arrows, they may have very different political agendas and aims than you are I think are righteous and right. Yet is there no tenderness in us towards them, I would long for us to be a church, so full of love for those under the law that we would say come into Christ. Paul is a great example of this in Philippians, chapter three, verse 18. He makes no bones about the fact that those who are outside of Christ are opponents of Christ. He says there God is their stomach, their end is destruction, dire warnings and serious weighty stuff, says they are opponents of the cross of present. They actively oppose who Jesus is and what his purpose around the world. But do you know what he said before? He said, all of that? I tell you now, even with tears, that many live as opponents of the cross of Christ, do you see the tenderness there? I don’t tell you, here’s our opponents. Let’s go get them. So they are opponents of the cross of Christ. I say it with tears in my eyes. I think that’s a great demonstration of the heart that every Christian should have towards those trapped and imprisoned under the law. The next metaphor that he uses the next picture that he paints with his words, other than being in prison, is that he used the idea of a guardian. Did you see that in the text? Yeah. So last thing we want to learn about life under the laws from that analogy, he says we were under a guardian. Now that word in the Greek is the word pedagogue ghosts. What it means is it was a specific position that someone inhabited in the ancient Greek world, and they were the tutor and the disciplinarian of all young Greek boys. So when they were old enough to no longer be under a nurse, a nursemaid, they were handed off to this person called a pedagogues. Now you and I might think of it as you don’t Miss Lackey, my wonderful third grade teacher who I looked back with on affection. How many have a teacher you loved from earlier days? I sure hope so. All right. All our educators are saying please raise your hand and tell me there was someone that you love, right? Yeah, I love Miss Lackey. She was the best. She used to come borrow this project that I did for her every year from my third grade year to my senior and give me a bag of m&ms for it every year. She was the best. Miss Lackey was awesome. That is not what a pedagogues is. A pedagogues would have struck fear into the hearts of every Greek boy. When you thought about your pedagogues, she did not think about your kind, gentle Miss Lackey. You thought about the meanest, cruelest taskmaster that you’d ever encountered? They struck fear in your heart, because they would take you to task for every mistake. Everything you did wrong, they were there to be a vigilant watchdog over you at all times. Anytime you mess up or didn’t receive instruction the right way. They came down hard on you.
So when Paul says, you’re under a guardian that does not quite English, does not get at what he’s trying to paint as a picture there. He’s not saying yeah, the law was your guardian. It was this gentle, nice person that watched over you and protected. You say no, the law was a harsh taskmaster, always on you, at every turn, always feeling the weight, always fearful, always with anxiety, always increasing in stress, because it demanded perfection of you. When you couldn’t achieve it. It slammed you. You said you were under a guardian until faith came until Christ came. That’s what he’s saying. Not only were you in prison, you had a harsh driver of a taskmaster. That’s life under the law. Think about you know the Greek myth of Sisyphus, anybody? Yes, Sisyphus. Sisyphus. I don’t remember what his crime was he did something and Hades in Greek mythology doomed him to for eternity, roll a rock up a hill to its peak, at which point it would roll back down the other side and Sisyphus would have to go down and push the rock up the hill for eternity, always up, back down, up, back down. That’s why when we say something is a is a Sisyphean task. When you’re all thinking, I can say that better than you can do it in a microphone, see how it goes for you. When we call something, that word, we mean it’s an impossible task. It’s an impossible task. It can never be accomplished, it can never be done. That’s what life under the law is constantly demanding, constantly pressing. Do you remember what that was? Like? It crushes you.
But praise God, for the turn in this text. Because we don’t live under the law. We live life in Christ Jesus. So let me just real quickly, there’s another question I want to answer for you. Because as you’re reading your Bible, I want to make sure you have clear categories. So just a quick little nugget here for you. You might read your Bible and you encounter places in the Old Testament, particularly Psalm 19, where the law is described in these really glowing terms. So Psalm 19, verse 10, the law is described this way, David writing, he says, the law, the commandments of God are More to be desired than gold, even much Feingold, sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Now that sounds very different than how I just described the law to you would you agree? So what do I do when I’m reading my Bible? I go, whoa, whoa, whoa, Dave. Trent told me that Paul said that the law was like a harsh taskmaster. It was there to imprison us in our sin so that we would see our need for a Savior. How can David say it’s sweeter than honey? It all depends on how you come to the law. So let me just real quickly knock this question out for you. You’ll never have to ask it again. I’m going to help you. Okay. So here’s what he says. When Paul is talking about being imprisoned in law, he’s talking about if I come to the law, in order to get right with God, to be justified, if I’m not in Christ, if I’m under the law, and I say I’m going to use the law, in my obedience to it in my own ability to get right with God, then the law crushes you. David is writing as one who has been redeemed by God, and restored and reconciled in relationship to him through a forward looking faith by the grace of God, and having been restored by faith then now the moral commands of God are no longer a harsh taskmaster, that puts us in slavery. They are now life giving sweeter than hunting the moral commands of God for those who don’t look to them to get right with God, but say, because I have been made right with God by faith. Now his commands, they don’t bear the weight of my salvation. They’ve been kept for me by Jesus, I believe and now when I come to commands like don’t murder Don’t steal, don’t gossip Don’t covet. I don’t look at that and go, Oh, that’s so weighty I look at and go, yes, I want to do that. The spirit has been given to me to do so I find the commands of God now the moral commands to be sweet like honey, because they are an expression of His very nature. I love him. I’ve been restored to him. Does that distinction make sense? That’s why the law in one place all 19 can be painted as this sweeter than honey, sweet and drippings from the honeycomb. Then Paul can come to in Galatians and say, the law is a harsh taskmaster, the law imprisons you, it all depends on how you come to the law. Now, let’s take the rest of our time and think about life in Christ, shall we everybody say amen to that. So there’s four things that Paul points out about life in Christ, and we’re going to each one can be a sermon unto itself, or we’re going to hit them all somewhat quickly, because they’re all here. Therefore we need to focus on all of them. So verse 25, is where the text turns. He says, After saying, in order that we might be justified by faith in verse 24. Then in verse 25, he says, but now that faith has come, we are no longer under that harsh taskmaster, no longer under a guardian. For in Christ Jesus, here’s the first thing, you are all sons of God through faith. So the first thing he wants us to focus on about life in Christ is that it makes you a child of God, that you are children of God, no longer and the contrast is the taskmaster who cares more for the well being of a kid, their father, or the harsh taskmaster, who’s their tutor, the father every time. Now, I didn’t say this in the first place. But I want to say this here, always want to remind you with great tenderness, that whenever we talk about the Fatherhood of God, I know that some of you had really rough experiences of fatherhood through your earthly fathers. I want to remind you of something, often, we let those experiences define our understanding of fatherhood. What God’s word wants to do is it wants to say no, start with God as your Father and let him define it. Wherever your earthly father came up short, because all of us who are earthly fathers do come up short of that, maybe in really egregious ways, and maybe in in lesser ways, but every earthly father comes up short, don’t look first at your earthly father to define fatherhood for you. That will, in some way, it’s a it’s a wrong order. Because if you do that, then you come to God as well. However, your father came up short, you’re going to assume that who God is. But God defines fatherhood is that fair to say? Let’s start with him. Start with him. Let him define fatherhood, you’ll find yourself I think, much more grace giving towards where your earthly father comes up short. But you’ll also find yourself rescued from some version of fatherhood that feels toxic, or like it like crushes you. Because there’s nothing about the Fatherhood of God that is in any way short of what our need is. He is the father of fathers. He is who you need. So when the first thing Paul says, is, life in Christ means relating to God his Father, I want to say that the first it’s impossible to mine the depths of this truth, because we could spend the rest of our time talking about what it means to be children of a father who gives a rich inheritance or who allows you to be shaped into His image and likeness as a son or daughter becomes like their father, we could talk about His provision for us, His protection of us his watching over us, we could talk about his gentle instruction, we could again and again and again, just, we could just mine it for the next week after week after week. But I think the primary focus here in this text is the impersonal versus the personal. So when we think about life, under the law, we think about life, according to a written standard, that is not personal. It is impersonal. We come to it. We have to engage with it in order to change and grow and be shaped. But we come to a father. That’s a very personal we can call upon the sympathy of that Father, we can call upon the instruction of that Father, we can ask him for what we need and what does God say in what does Jesus teach us? If we ask our father for what he needs, he knows how to give good gifts. If we asked for bread, he does not give a stone. We asked for fish, he does not give snakes. He knows how to give good gifts to his children. Now, maybe think about it this way here this this analogy works for me. If you’re a musician, think about your life as meant to play a piece of music. You have two options. Life under the law is like being handed a CD or a sheet of sheet music and being told play the piece and maybe Little bit about half notes and whole notes and maybe you know your scales, maybe you don’t. But you got to figure out what to do just based on this piece of music in front of you. It’s on a sheet of paper. It’s just there and it demands of you that you learn how to play this concerto you better figure out how to play that piano. Life and Christ is like having the world’s greatest piano teacher sit down with you and say, I’m gonna come and sit with you every day. Very tenderly, and slowly and patiently I’m gonna teach you how to play. When you have a question, I’m right here, you asked me. When you need a little correction, I’ll point out no, don’t put your hands here, put them there. No, don’t use the pedals this way. Use them that way. You know, if you sit this way, you’re going to have much better reach, you’re going to be able to do this. Let me talk to you about keys and pitch. Let me also that through this instructor, our lives become this beautiful piece of music is the difference between the impersonal and the personal, personal to be children of God is to be able to call upon a tender father, who guides and instructs us. That’s the first thing. Now the second thing that we see is in verse 27, when he says life in Christ is to be not live under the impersonal with the personal children of God. But then in verse 27, he says, this, says, For as many of you, as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Now that phrase is really important. He’s using the illusion he’s alluding to the idea of baptism, every believer, we go through the ritual, the rite of baptism, and going through it, then they would take off their old clothes, go under the water be raised out of the water. This is a beautiful teaching about baptism. Then they would come out and they’d be put, they put on a new set of clothes, they put on a white robe. That’s how in the ancient church, often baptism was performed. In putting on that white robe, what are they declaring, they are made new, they are restored, not because they just got baptized, but because this is a representation of what Christ has done in their inner person in your inner person. So when he says everyone has been baptized into Christ, has put on Christ, what he’s saying is you have been clothed in the person of Christ. Now, to illustrate this, I thought about bringing someone up in an Eagles jersey and exchanging it for a Cowboys jersey. But that analogy comes up short, and some of you would hate that. If that doesn’t work for you just reverse it. Okay? If you need help, and all the Steelers fan said, We don’t care. But the point is this, even though that analogy, that visual image comes up short, because we’re not being told we’re clothed in the clothing of Christ, we are told that we are clothed in Christ. Do you see how miraculous that is? This is a statement of identity. Life in Christ is to be given complete union with Christ, so that he defined you completely and utterly. He has ushered you into himself and closed you in His power, closed you in His righteousness, closed you in His mercy, clothed you in His love, clothed you in His wisdom, so that at any moment, that’s what defined you do, you know who you are. You belong to him, and he has closed you in himself. You are not under the law, striving to meet its demands, they have been met for you and Christ so long to identify with you. He so loves to call you his that he said, I’m not just gonna put my clothes on you, I’m gonna put myself around you. Every moment of every day, when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, when you’re walking, when you’re running. When you’re working. When you’re resting. You are clothed in me.
I wonder how often you think about yourself that way. years ago, we had these WWJD bracelets, it was kind of a all the rage for a while I don’t know, maybe somebody still has them or whatever. I have no problem with those. It’s fine. But it seemed to me that when I saw those, and when we interacted around those, the idea was almost like I’m gonna wear this as a reminder of all the things I’m not supposed to do. So that when I encounter a situation, I’m gonna say what would Jesus do and what I mean by that is kind of how should I avoid sin? I’m going to where this thing’s a reminder to avoid sin and not sending as good okay. Do you see that to put on Christ as the text tells us here is much more than just how do I not sin is to say I am the visible representation of Jesus everywhere I go. When you walk into Target tomorrow, Jesus is walking into Target because As you’re clothed in him, surrounded by him, encapsulated by him subsumed by Him, He is everything he defines you. So the question, What would Jesus do is a valid question, because he has flowed you in himself, and you represent him now. Life in Christ is your different it is in life under the law. He treasure shield, he’s brought you into himself close to him. So you have a constant source of wisdom to draw from. You never ever have to encounter a situation where you’re at a loss, because you can turn to him and say, pour your wisdom through me, please, I’m in you. Show me and sometimes you come up short. But friends, do you see the resources available to you. So often, we don’t take up the resource that we have, because we’re clothed in him. The third thing that we see that we have in life in Christ is when we put on Christ, we are children of God, and now he’s gonna say you’re one in Christ, you have a union with Christ in such a way that you are one with one another through it. He’s gonna say across these three, it’s very telling that the three lines of division he points out in this text are very common today, just like they were back then divided by ethnicity, divided by socioeconomic status, divided by gender. Is that a shock to anyone that these were present, then and they’re present now? This is what he says in verse 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek ethnicity, there is neither slave nor free in the ancient world, that would have very much been a socio economic terms. There is no male and female, for you are all what does it say church, one, in Christ, Jesus, one, in Christ, he has now he’s just said, you’ve put on Christ, you’ve been clothed in him. Now what he’s saying is, and you’re not the only one, when I took you into myself, and I clothed you in me, when I brought you into my very body, I was also bringing in people very much not like you, and you’re in there together. Now I’m the one that defines, you know, this text gets misused and abused all the time. Because it’s used to teach like somehow that male and female doesn’t matter where the ethnicity doesn’t matter. That’s not true. In fact, they are prized by God and treasured by him. But they are no longer meant to divide us the way that they do. Now, let me explain how that works. When you are under the law, you have to justify yourself by your own actions and by who you are. So anyone who’s not like you has to be lesser than you, otherwise, your identity is lessened. So I use any earthly category I can find, whether it be my ethnicity, I use it or my socio economic status, or my gender, and I use it as a weapon against all those who don’t share it. And if mine in any way is diminished, it diminishes me, because I have to struggle and strive to justify myself by myself. But when I come into Christ, what Paul is saying is, there’s no male or female doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as a man and a woman, okay? Doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as a Greek, or as a Gentile, or as a Jew. Those categories are God given. But what he’s saying is, those things are no longer the thing that identifies you and gives you value and worth. They can’t bear the weight of that. They no longer do that. What does now Christ, you have come in to him. When you’ve come into him now, all those things become lesser things. They do not carry ultimate weight, and importance they matter, that they do not ultimately matter. They’re valuable, they’re not ultimately valuable. I no longer look at my ethnicity as the primary definer of who I am, I no longer look at my gender as the primary definer of who I am, I am in Christ, I have put him on. Now rather than those things have to bear the weight of my identity, and therefore me having to use those as a weapon against those who don’t share them. I now say I am in Christ as they are in Christ. Because my ethnicity doesn’t bear that weight, I now can receive those who have a different ethnicity. Because we are in Christ together, does it make sense? We are in Christ together one in Christ, and that’s what defines me far above any other category, far above any other thing and all those other lesser identities being subsumed by the identity I haven’t having put on Christ now makes me able to walk in oneness with people across the Gender distinctiveness across those two economic status across ethnic status and other dividing lines. These are just the three that Paul points out here and not by accident, because they continue to be the dividing lines that seem to move through all of human experience down through the nations. And the years. We are one in Christ. So let me just, let’s do some self examination here for a second. Just we need to ask ourselves this question, because the reason these get handed down in the scriptures, and we still find them true today is because they’re such important categories, that they are the where our sin takes us, our sin divides us along these lines, and it’s going to continue to do that. So we should expect it to be there. So then the question we have to ask and let the Spirit examine us is, what is the attitude of my heart towards those who are different than me? along ethnic lines, socio economic lines and gender lines? Do I use it as a do I find in my heart a mistrust or a or a separating from a desire to do that? Do I Find animosity there? I’m just asking you to let the Spirit of God examine you. That’s a fair thing to ask yes. Let’s see what’s there? What’s there? Because I’m in Christ, and they are in Christ, and there should be no division between us along these lines. For those of us who are in Christ, there should be none. Yet there is and the church is so often failed at this Can we admit that the church is so often failed at that at this, we got to keep putting stepping forward into the righteousness of Christ into his identity, so that we might walk in the fullness of what He has for us. Now the last category, one with one another. Now, the last one is offspring and heirs. The last thing he wants to highlight about life in Christ rather against life under the law, verse 29, read it with me. Just a quick observation about this. Then in verse 29, he says, and if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise, there’s two terms, their offspring and heirs. Here’s what he means by that we saw earlier in Galatians, that when He calls us Abraham’s offspring, he’s saying everyone who’s been justified by faith is Abraham’s descendant. So if you remember all the way back to Genesis 15, God had made a promise to Abraham, so I’m going to give you descendants as numerous you’re old and beyond childbearing years, you have no kids, I’m going to give you a son. I’m going to in fact, give you descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. It’s a pretty astounding promise. Then when we come to this text, and Paul says, You are Abraham’s offspring, what he’s saying is, you are the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. God made that promise. Now you the fact that you’re sitting here and you’re in Christ, everyone has been justified by faith has become Abraham’s descendants. The fulfillment of the promise that God made them, you’re the evidence that God keeps His promises. The fact that you’re sitting here today, if you’re in Christ, you are the evidence of that. That means that you have joined the big story that God is telling you, life under the law is life all about myself. It’s life about how to get myself right mate myself, okay? You’re so subsumed with that, and the perfection required of you and the crushing weight of it. You can never look up and see that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. But life in Christ is life as Abraham’s offspring, its life as one who is the fulfillment of a grand narrative, a grand plan, that God has been working out, you’re part of it. Then not only are you the offspring, the evidence that the promise has been fulfilled, and is being fulfilled, that God made to Abraham, you’re also the heirs of that promise, which means you’re the recipients of all its benefits. You’re not just the evidence that the promise has been kept. You receive all the benefits of that promise. You are ushered into Christ, you are part of God’s design. You are a child of his just Abraham, you all the benefits promised Abraham now are handed to you. What does that mean? It means you’re part of something way bigger than yourself. Your whole life is meant to be given to it. You are in Christ, not under the law.
So friends, we’re gonna come to the table the Lord now we began our time first, let me say servers if you come, going, come on up, and our worst thing is going to come up. I remind you, we begin our our time of worship by singing about the sufficiency of the cross saying the cross it’s it’s more than enough and it’s sufficient and now we come to the table of the Lord. We reflect upon that cross. As we partake of this today, in particular, I want to encourage you to reflect upon ways that you might be returning towards those legalistic tendencies and to ask, am I returning to life under the law, the old relationship when the cross is sufficient to have purchased me and placed me in Christ drawn me in. So friends, two things I always remind us of, for those of you who are in Christ, as we hold these elements, we’re going to take them together. I want to invite you to examine yourself and to invite the spirit to examine you, we’ve received the teaching of God’s word now, we’ve declared his praise. As we come to the table, Lord, what he’s instructed us to do, whenever we do this, is to not take it lightly. But to consider, Lord, are there any ways in my life is out of step with where you want it to be? Let him lead you and guide you in that and the joy of the spirit. No human person can tell you that, but the Spirit can guide you and he will. For those of you who are not in Christ, your haven’t made that choice, that decision, we always say that we’re glad that you’re here we’re going to invite let these elements pass, and to use that as a time to weigh and consider what we believe is true that Christ would be drawing you out from underneath the law, and into being a child of God. But we are really declaring something when we take these elements is not just a ritual. It’s the habit. We’re declaring as we take the elements that we believe in the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to make payment for sin and to assure it’s out from underneath the law and into him. If you haven’t made that choice, if you don’t believe that, we wouldn’t want you to declare belief through your actions. So we’ll invite you just let the elements pass. So serve as if you come now. Let’s go to the table word together church.