Date: October 16, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 3:1-9
So I don’t want you to miss you know that song really leans back into an old hymn called ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’, but there’s a distinct change that might have just slipped past you. So in the old hymns, it’s ‘come Thou fount of every blessing tune my heart to sing that praise’ which we sang, which we heard sung. But then it says ‘streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise’. But what did we just hear? Streams of trouble never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise. There’s a rich theology of suffering in that line. I think perhaps the author might have been bringing those two things together as a recognition that it’s in those sufferings, even though we don’t seek them out. We don’t run from them when God chooses to bring them. It’s in the sufferings that we experience a mercy of God that we would not experience elsewhere. There’s a richness and a depth to our identifying with him in his sufferings, in his crucifixion, and therefore richness of knowing him and the depth of intimacy with Him. Would we say amen to that? Yeah, and a weighty Amen and not a flippant, Amen. Like, yeah, that makes me feel good. Amen. But no, that’s right. That’s true. As difficult as may be. So I didn’t want us to miss that having just reflected on that song. Let me pray for us. As we dive into God’s word, we’re gonna be in Galatians chapter three, first nine verses today as we continue to make our way through the book of Galatians. So let’s pray. Lord Jesus, we have sung your praises now. We thank You that You’ve given us breath with which to sing them that was from you. And we just returned that breath to you and praise and now what we want to do is put our minds on your word, and we pray Holy Spirit that you’d illuminate that word and be our instructor, our teacher today. Would you guide and guard my mouth? To speak what is true according to your word? And then may we be edified together as a people may we grow in love for you? Grown obedience to you grow in our understanding of the truth, and may be grown our love for one another and our love of our neighbors? They all those things growing us today. pray in Jesus name. Amen.
All right, friends, I’m gonna grab something here. As we go into Galatians three, I’ve asked my friend, Lily Hayes to help me out. So Lily, agreed, we got a couple of weights. So these are just 25s nothing serious. Because we’re doing shoulder work today. You don’t want to hurt your shoulders when you go to the shoulder work. Alright, lighter weights, folks. Lilly wants to stand up for me, sweetheart. All right, Miss Lilly, would you like to earn $10 today? Fantastic. She said, sure if you didn’t hear her. So we got 25 pound weights, I got $10 in my pocket, you can have this $10. It’s your choice completely your choice, you can either pick those up and do 100 shoulder presses in three minutes. You’re already shaking your head. You haven’t heard what the other option is. It could be bad. Now the other option is you can believe that earlier today, I did those 100 shoulder presses for you. You can have the $10 you can either believe that’s true. Or you can pick up the weights yourself. You can do the 100 shoulder presses, which option would you like to choose? She chose the second option to believe some of you might think it’s foolish to believe that he did that for you. But there you go, there’s your $10. Everyone say thank you to Lilly and good job. Now Lilly, I’m gonna leave those there because you might decide later on in the service that you want to pick those up, okay. Now, at any point, if you want to pick those up, and you want to start repping out some presses, you just go ahead and go for it. Okay? If you see Lily standing up at any point, just you know, cheer her on, actually, don’t cheer her on. Because as we come to Galatians chapter three, thank you, Lily, by the way for letting me draw attention to you. I appreciate that. So those weights are there. They’re gonna stay there. Now how many of you think she’s got the $10? It’s hers. She trusted that I did the lifting for her this morning. That it was done, finished completed? Nothing she needs to do. She’s got the $10 What would you say if Lily just started repping out some presses later on in the service.
You might think well why? It’s already done. But here’s the interesting thing. As we turn to Galatians chapter three, we are now turning a corner in the book of Galatians. It divides neatly into two chapter units. So in the first two chapters, what we saw is that Paul was really arguing for his authority as someone who is preaching the gospel is saying, I am an apostle, and I am not of lesser authority than others. The gospel I preached to you Galatians is true, you should trust me. Now he’s going to turn a corner and he’s going to begin now for the next two chapters. Were going to take them to really bite sized units to talk about why we cannot return to works of the law instead of faith in order to be made right with God. But the thing is, there’s this temptation to keep doing it. Because those weights, they stay in front of us. We find ourselves thinking, you know, I know I believe in Jesus, but I might just pick up those weights for a little while, I might just throw up a few reps, I’m not going to do 100. But maybe I’ll do five, I’ll just add a little bit to the work of Jesus. That temptation is always there in front of us. I need you to see that because as we work through the book of Galatians, it’s very easy, I think, to look at what they were dealing with and go Well, I’m not tempted to add the things they were tempted to add to the Gospel, I don’t, I don’t add the works of the law to the gospel. I’m, I believe in Jesus. I haven’t added anything in order to be justified. But friends, what we’re really talking about is the impulse towards self righteousness that exists in every single one of us. The impulse to really believe that we are good enough on our own, and that something about us earns merit with God. It can be different for any one of us. You could be adding to the Gospel, your intellectual prowess, you could be adding your discipline, you could be adding to the Gospel, certain ordinances like baptism, or the Lord’s Supper, you could be adding certain doctrinal things like we just talked about with ordinances like baptism, but you could be adding just on a in a day to day kind of a way, whatever you think makes you worthy of God’s love. This self righteous impulse is in us. Until we recognize it, and recognize that those weights are always right there in front of it. We’re really tempted to pick them up from time to time where maybe all the time, we’re really missing the message of Galatians. Over the next few chapters, what Paul’s going to sort of articulate for us, is why we must fight against the enslavement that comes, when we pick those weights up again, those weights are heavy. If you pick them up, and try and throw them up 100 times that’s not he’s not you see the the insufficiency in my knowledge, because lots of you in this room could probably lift those 100 times and do that. When we think about the gospel, there’s only one who could ever lift the weight. So if you’re thinking, well, I could do that, too. You’re missing the point. The analogy stands, in that there’s only one who can do the weight, but we’re tempted to pick up those weights all the time. That’s what Galatians what Paul is going to do in the first nine verses of Galatians three is he’s gonna give us three weapons to help us not pick those weights up anymore. He’s gonna give us the weapon of the cross. He’s gonna give us the weapon of the Spirit. He’s gonna give us the weapon of Scripture. So we’re gonna walk through those three weapons together here in just a moment. But let’s read Galatians three, one to nine, shall we? Then we’ll make a couple of observations together. So this text is about helping us take up the weapons that we need in our battle to be free from an inclination towards self righteousness. So Galatians three, beginning in verse one says this. So foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ is publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you, only this? Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain? If indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the spirit to you, and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Just as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness? No, then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preach the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, in you shall all the nations be blessed. So then those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Now, let me make a couple points to you as we work through Galatians. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating this phrase, works of the law is a it’s a technical term theologically, but here’s what it means. I don’t want you to be confused. When he talks about being justified by works of the law. Justified just means being right with God, being in right standing with God, okay. When he says, by works of the law, we’ve already seen him say in chapter two, no one can be justified by the works of the law, the works of the law are simply this. All the actions required in the Old Testament. That’s how I want you to think all the actions required in the Old Testament, not just in the 10 commandments, not just in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the portion of the Old Testament we call the law but you all the Old Testament, often when the New Testament refers back to the old, it will summarize the entire Old Testament the prophets, the historical books, the law itself that what we call the Pentateuch, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, it will summarize those as the law. So when Paul says no one is justified by works of the law, what he’s saying is, no one can be right with God, by keeping and doing all the actions required by the Old Testament, everybody with that, yes. Because that’s what we mean when we say works of the law. That’s the first thing I need you to say. Now, in Galatians, in our specific context, the Galatians, were being called by this group of people who come to them after Paul had preached the gospel to them. They were being called to participate as Gentiles in circumcision, which is part of the Old Testament law. It’s something that all the people of God in Israel were supposed to do. So they are saying to them, you need to both believe in Jesus, and that he lifted those weights for you to make you right with God. But then you also need to add on some of your own things. For them, it was circumcision and certain feasts that they had begun to keep. What Paul and Peter had come to the conclusion of was, we do not now live according to the law, at least certain aspects of it. We’ll hear more about in the chapters to come in order to be made right with God, and therefore they didn’t do certain things they had once done under the law. But again, as I say, my guess is circumcision is not your issue today. All right, as you think about well, I haven’t added that or added this Old Testament law about combining fabrics or Old Testament dietary laws, you probably weren’t tempted this week to say, I’m gonna make sure I live have a kosher diet in order to be justified in order to be right with God. And so it’s very easy for us living where we live, not here now, I think, to say, How is this even route? How is this relevant? How might I? I mean, is there any way in which I am picking up those weights, let me suggest that this, what we’re really talking about is impulse towards self righteousness, which is in each of us. And the first week, I want to repeat what I did the first week, I gave you some indicators that this impulse might be taking hold of you. I want to remind you of them, even though I know every single one of you remembers all of these from week one. That was a joke. We okay, we live out there. All right. So a couple of things. I’ve added a few here because I really want you to weigh these, if my moral behavior doesn’t cause my heart to love Jesus more, and that would be the one I’d want you to remember more than any other ones. If you find that when you do good and write things, there’s a sense of being puffed up in yourself a sense of pride in yourself, rather than greater affection for Jesus. That’s an indicator that that self righteous impulse is taking hold. If you have trouble seeing, admitting and asking for forgiveness, when you’re at fault, if you have trouble seeing when you’re at fault, admitting it, and then asking for forgiveness, because friends, here’s the thing, why would you fail to ask for forgiveness. The only reason that you might fail to ask for forgiveness when you’re in the wrong is because you cannot bring yourself to do it. Because you have hinged some part of your rightness with God on being right. That person cannot admit a wrongdoing. They can’t ask for forgiveness, because they have put the weight of their salvation, at least to some degree on their own ability to keep it the person who knows that Jesus bore the weight of their sins, seeks forgiveness freely, because they know what’s been done for them. Now, let me flip that to the other side. If you can’t give forgiveness, when it’s asked for from you, when someone comes to you, and confession, repentance, and they ask you for forgiveness, if you can’t offer that forgiveness, it’s just the reverse is the other side of the coin of what I just said, You are believing that they need something other than the finished work of Jesus in order to be justified in order to be right. So you may be leaning into that impulse towards self righteousness. If you have tremendous emotional ups and downs depending on your performance of disciplines. If I,m discipline and I’m up for my quiet time and I am guarding my eyes and I’m making sure to give of my money to the Lord and I’m executing all these disciplines as long as I’m doing that. I’m up but the second I don’t do it. I’m way down and say this is a trap that I was caught in for so many years. It came from the strangest place that I didn’t know about. I’ve told you many times, played a lot of sports growing up play basketball in particular. There’s this competitiveness that’s drilled into you. When you play sports and it’s really rewarded. It’s it’s you get patted on the back for it. What I didn’t realize because no one taught me a biblical version of competitiveness. No one taught me how to compete without putting my density in that competition. So if I won, I was way up. If I lost, I was? Where do you think I was in the dumper? I mean, I was waiting. Why? Because I thought my value went up and down with my performance. So over time, I learned that that was unhealthy and not godly. But you know, what happened and that I didn’t see is it snuck into my spiritual life. I thought it was over here in this world of sports and competition, what really happened was, it began to sink into my mind and my heart in such a way that I based my spiritual life on being better than others. I’ll get up earlier and have my quiet time, all read more or memorize more, I’ll be more I’ll be better at the disciplines than you are. All I’ll serve more. When I see myself outperforming others, I’m well pleased with myself feeling that I’m in good standing with God. When I see that my discipline is outpaced by others than I’m brought low. Is wicked. Can I just tell you, that’s a hamster wheel you don’t want to get on? It’s a performance based self righteousness. When I’m high or low, depending upon my performance, if I can’t pray, Have you counted this, where you’ve done something wrong. Our first impulse would be to go straight to God and confession, and in prayer, and to talk with him and to be restored to him. But we need to perform a couple of good deeds before we can do that. Have you done that? See, I’m gonna make sure. Let me couple days of having my quiet time on time, let me couple days of serving my family pretty well. Then then I’ll be able to go to God and ask for forgiveness, because now I got something in my hand to bring him like, look, look, this is why you should forgive me look at the good stuff that I’ve been doing. It’s an indicator that self righteousness is beginning to take hold, if I feel superior to others who aren’t as disciplined to me already alluded to that if you’re a relatively confident person by nature, can I tell you something, one of the indicators of self righteousness is that you lack empathy for others who aren’t maybe as confident as you or able to do as much as you. If you lack empathy towards the person who struggles. It’s an indicator of self righteousness. Friends, if you’re on the other end of that spectrum, if you maybe you’re more naturally insecure, can I just tell you, that’s not humility. It’s just a subtle form of pride, in which you’ve based your standing on God with your performance, and you feel insecure, because you feel your performance doesn’t measure up. You will often find yourself jealous or bitter towards those who are confident, and those whom God is perhaps using in ways that you don’t see him using you. Both of those things are indicators of self righteousness. Do we see that this still applies today?
This is not a Galatian issue. It’s an us issue. We continue to pick those weights back up Lily, how you doing over there, you pick them back up yet? Good job, girl. So let’s talk about these three weapons that we have the weapon of the cross is the first one that we see. We see it in verses in just in verse one. So let me read this again to you and look at it really carefully. Let’s get our eyes on the text. He says, oh, foolish Galatians. Now that’s as strong the language as you’re gonna find. In the New Testament, that word foolish Galatians. Some commentators have said you could translate that in modern day speak as you idiots, who my love. What he’s saying to the Galatians, that word fools literally means you are refusing to use your minds to examine what’s in front of you. You are shutting your brain off and not realizing what these people are saying to you. That’s what he says. He says it twice. He says, you are foolish. Now one of the things you need to hear from that is that this is not a you know what they believe in Jesus, they’ve added a few works to that belief to be right with God. That’s not that big a deal. His exasperation and his language is an indicator that this is a huge deal. He doesn’t speak like this to any other church, the entire New Testament, not even the Corinthians who are out of control. He speaks stronger to the Galatians than any other church. Oh, foolish. Oh, you idiots. Sometimes being firm and strong as needed. Sometimes we need to receive that kind of sometimes we need someone to say to us, you idiot. So next time someone says you idiot, just receive it. You idiot. What are you doing? That’s that’s Paul Stoner. He says, who has what be which you that word is a word which means who has charmed you or who has put you under a spell? What are you saying is these people who are coming to you somehow they have they have To cast a spell upon you so that you’re believing something you shouldn’t be believing. You’ve picked up those weights and they put these weights down. They said here, pick them up, do some reps. Jesus didn’t, but you need to do him too. He says, Who has cast a spell? He’s saying your spell bound. Somehow you’ve become so enamored. I’ll show you in a minute at the end of verse one why he’s can’t understand how they would be so enamored. But the first thing I need you to see here, he says, oh, foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, and that word, who is singular, not plural. The importance of that, as he said, yes, there’s this group of people who have been saying something false, you, but there’s really one behind it. It’s the devil. He says, Who has to be wished you? He’s not saying, Who among all these people, this group has Bell bound you. He’s saying, the work they are doing is not the work of the Lord, it is the work of the devil. From that, friends, do you see that this is a real spiritual battle. The enemy loves it. When we pick up those weights, he adores it, he doesn’t need to trick us into following him. He just needs to get us to add anything to Jesus. All he needs, he’s well pleased. Because the add to the cross is to lose the cross. Now, here’s why he’s so perplexed. Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? Then what’s the next line? It was before your very eyes, that Jesus Christ that Christ was portrayed publicly portrayed? As, what’s the word their church crucified? Now, what’s he pointing out? He’s saying, okay, you’ve been fooled. You’ve been foolish, what’s the weapon? What’s the remedy? What’s going to break the spell? Not the moral example of Jesus, not even the resurrection of Jesus that he goes to where does he go? The cross? I can’t Galatians understand how you are so foolish and so spellbound, by this requirement of works, when you’ve got the cross right in front of you. By saying that, what he’s saying is, here’s the weapon, pick it up, the cross of Jesus, His suffering, the presumption is this, to look at the cross of Jesus. It’s perfect payment for sin, that it is completely sufficient. How can you look at that, and think that anything you would do could add any merit to that.
So here’s the here’s the weapon for us church, when you are tempted to pick up those weights, and to say, my self righteous instinct is beginning to rise up in me, he says, look at the cross, go back to the cross. Because when you see the cross, what you’re seeing is the perfect Son of God, laying down his life for you. To imagine when you look at that, that you would say, and my good works will add something to that. You’ll see how foolish that is. If you don’t put the cross in front of you can’t see the juxtaposition. He’s saying you need to see that in comparison to the cross to imagine that you’re getting up every day for a year and having your quiet and which is a great thing to do. But it doesn’t get you any merit points with God for your salvation. To imagine that that would add anything to this is absolutely astounding. It’s absolutely astounding to Paul. So a couple of implications for us, you’re number one, in saying that to take up this weapon of the cross the thing I want you to see friends, as you haven’t proclaimed the gospel, the good news, you haven’t proclaimed it until you’ve proclaimed the cross. It’s not enough to proclaim the benefits of Jesus to the sort of good things he brings into life, the moral example of Jesus, you have to proclaim the cross and the Gospel has not been proclaiming so the cross has been proclaimed as payment for sin. Across go back to it, don’t let go of it. Now friends, let me say if you’re caught up in the bitterness of unforgiveness, go back to the cross, can I give you the cross? Go back to and when you look upon it, recognize that that was necessary for you. You needed the cross, your sin required that action, not somebody else’s yours. You will be free to forgive when you see that. Go back to the cross friends if you’re taking my younger friends, but really any of us my younger friends in particular though, if you’re enamored with worldly philosophies, worldly ideas, can I just tell you, they all amount to some version of self justification, every single one. There’s not a single worldview worldly philosophy that does not amount to somehow making myself right before God based upon my own ability. My In strength, my own perception other than a Christian worldview, if you’re enamored with those worldviews Can I give you the cross, go to the cross Colossians chapter two two says that Christ is the revelation of the mystery of God. Then Colossians two, three says, In whom in Christ are hidden, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. You have not understood any thing in this world, not math, science, history, politics, no matter what the subject, you have not understood it. So you’ve understood it in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. What I mean by that is, you have not understood any wisdom or knowledge, because he is the one who possesses all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. You have not understood it until you’ve understand understood how that knowledge fits within the purposes of God in Christ. In Christ, you have not understood it, and you’ve understood, understood it through Christ, which is to say, with his illuminating power, moving through you to cause you to understand it as true wisdom and True Knowledge. You have not understood it until you’ve understood for Christ, how it points to him and exalts him, you have not understood any piece of information in the history of humankind, until you’ve understood it in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ. To be enamored with worldly philosophies, go to the cross. It is the very wisdom of God. Now, friends, that’s the weapon of the cross. Now let’s look at the weapon of the Spirit. In verses two through five, this is where Paul focuses in on what the Spirit does and who he is. Just look with me again now at verses two and verse five. So, in verse two, we’re gonna see the spirit from our perspective. Then in verse five, we’re gonna see from God’s perspective, so here’s what he says.
He says, Let me ask you only this. So in other words, he’s saying, Alright, let’s get down to the most important question Galatians? Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? The presumed answer is what church faith, not by work. So what he’s saying is Galatians, look through your eyes, and tell me when the Spirit of God came to indwell you as Christ promised it would when he left the earth and ascended to sit at the right hand of the father and said, I will send the Holy Spirit into the world. When that Holy Spirit came, did it come to you? Because you did enough good things that the Spirit said, Okay, now I will come and take up residence in your life? Or did the Spirit come when you believed? The answer is when I believed? Now verse five is going to flip that viewpoint? What does he say in verse five? Does he mean God who supplies the spirit to you, and works miracles among you? Do so by works of the law? Or by hearing with faith? It’s the same question reversed. In its perspective, he’s saying, not only I’m asking you to look from your perspective, now, I’m asking you to look from God’s perspective, did he looking down at you decide to give the spirit when he saw you believe, or when he saw you work? What’s the answer church believe. So what he’s saying is, the spirit which has taken up residence inside you, the very spirit of God, is the evidence that salvation is by faith, and therefore you have now living in you a weapon to fight against the self righteous impulse. Now, I just want to get the tip of the iceberg here. But let me enumerate a few things the Spirit does to help us in this battle. Because the work of the Spirit is so rich, and let me say, the implication of this point of verses two through five is that you need a rich daily interaction with the Spirit of God. Now, in theologically conservative churches like ours, for some reason, the spirit sometimes in the work of the Spirit can make people uncomfortable. But friends, if you don’t focus on the work of the Spirit, according to the Scriptures, you are tying one hand behind your back and your battle against self righteousness. You need a rich daily interaction, all that the spirit has to give, you should want, resists nothing, that the spirit gets measured by God’s word, but receive all that the spirit has to give all the gifts and the work that he would do. So friends, we want to embrace the work of the Spirit. Now let’s talk about how he then helps us as a weapon in this work. So we need a rich daily interaction. So the spirit was given for faith. That’s what we just heard, not for works. So he is always present to remind me not to take Got the law? In other words, when I’m tempted to pick up those weights and say, I’ll just rip out a few presses. The Spirit is in me going, don’t do that. Stop doing you have a constant testimony. One who dwells in you if you’re a follower of Jesus, one who dwells in you, who’s constantly testifying to the sufficiency of the cross and your and your lack of need to take up any other thing. He’s always there testifying. Have you ever had a song? That was an ear worm? Yeah, they’re kind of troubling sometimes. Right? So you’re gonna love me for this. The all time ear worm is? Baby shark, doo doo doo doo. Baby shark doo doo. It’s so annoying, isn’t it? Now the song of the Spirit is not annoying. But the song of the Spirit is an ear worm. Because he’s always there saying faith not works doo doo doo doo doo faith not works doo doo doo faith not works. Now I know that’s really cheesy, but you will remember it. You can eliminate Baby shark and just sing faith not works. Now every time that song gets done, he is always there to you have to listen, listen. Because the spirits never saying works, not faith. The spirit is always saying faith not works, always. He’s always there to remind you. Now the Spirit is given for faith. So he’s always there to testify. But the Spirit is given for faith. So it stands to reason that trying to add works of the law, to my justification will diminish my experience of the Spirit.
So I want a rich daily interaction with the Spirit. So I don’t want to take up the works of the law. Now, last couple things here. For this point, the Spirit is given for faith. So he will living in us reinforce and build faith. So he’s not just there reminding us, he’s actively building our faith, which is how we are justified before God. So here’s a couple of ways he does that. When He convicts me of sin, and that’s part of the Spirit’s work. He doesn’t convict me in such a way as to condemn me and crushed me. Because my forgiveness, my righteousness is not based upon my performance. So when I fail, and need conviction and need forgiveness, the Spirit brings that conviction in such a way that I seek forgiveness, but not in a way that crushes me beyond repair, but causes me to say, I can be forgiven in this the beautiful work of the Spirit that He can convict, but not in such a way that I am condemned and hopeless, that I am convicted. For some of you may have never, if you’re not in Christ, you never experiences every time you feel you do something wrong, the weight of that so crushes you, you can’t move forward for weeks on end. I want to say here’s the miracle of what the Spirit does. He comes in and he says, Yes, you are wrong, and that was not good. At the same time, there is through the witness of the Spirit in us this hope in the love of God, which we have not been separated from because of that sin, this hope and the redeeming power of the work of the Cross that is there that he’s testifying to even while he’s convicting us, can you imagine that? Haven’t you experienced that? It’s so good, you are at the exact same time being convicted of your sin and being upheld in the love of God in Christ Jesus so that they’re never pulled apart. It’s fantastic. Well, I don’t like being convicted of sin any more than the next person. But at the same time, when the spirits that go on, you’re loved, you’re loved, you’re loved, you’re loved. Do you see how that doesn’t crush you? Then you can go and say, I need to be forgiven? Would you forgive me for the thing that I did? You own it. You don’t make excuses or explain why you did it. You just say I’m a sinner. I need forgiveness. I need to ask for it from you, because I sinned against you. It’s amazing. The only way to do it is to have the spirit. They’re constantly going, building up your faith in the finished work of Jesus. He will show me this is another thing that Spirit does to bolster faith. He will show me whether my actions are proceeding from faith or from self righteousness because I can do the same action out of self righteousness or out of faith. Do you know that it can look just the same on the outside to the to the lay person just watching, that’s pretty good action. But the Spirit knows if that was birthed out of a self righteousness in me, or whether it was birthed out of faith and trust and a love of God that I just want to obey. Because I love you. Spirit knows. The Spirit reveals that and shows that and helps us to be have our actions born out of not self righteousness, but out of faith. So he’s testifying to us all the time about that. The last thing that the spirit all just again, tip of the iceberg stuff here. The last thing that Spirit does I’ll mention here is that when we find ourselves in impossible situations, rather than causing faith to diminish, it causes faith to grow in impossible situations. It’s pretty amazing. When we find ourselves in those places in this, you would expect, this is what you would expect as my faith is going to diminish, it’s going to shrink back. I’m just under the pile, it’s too much. When the spirits there with the Spirit does he go, I’m given for faith, and I will build faith. So rather than that circumstance, causing us to shrink back in faith, he takes it and he causes our faith, he fanned the flame of our faith with it, it’s absolutely supernatural. It is not human, for this to happen.
So all of that work of the Spirit here, friends, is because Paul is saying in these verses, that this daily rich interaction with the spirit is so necessary as a weapon against self righteousness. That’s what he’s pointing at students. Do we see that? Yes. All right, let’s look at the last one is the weapon of Scripture. We’ll take our last few minutes here to to look at this, in verses six through nine, you might not readily see how this is talking about the weapon of Scripture, but let me just show you and give you a brief explanation. So in verse six, he says, just as in other words, in the same way, Galatians, that you’re justified by faith and not by the works of the law. In the same way, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. So let me just walk you through a little history here. This is a reference to Genesis 15. In Genesis 15. Well, first, let me say, the Galatians, the people that are tempting the Galatians, they’re referring back to Moses and saying, You need Moses plus Jesus, you need the law of Moses plus Jesus. So what Paul is going to do is go, Oh, I’ll go further back than Moses 430 years before Moses lived in the law was given Abraham lived. So let’s find out how Abraham got right with God. Let’s, let’s examine that. So he goes to Genesis 15. There’s this moment, Genesis 15, where God promises Abraham’s son, and through that sun, descendants, as numerous as the stars in the sky, Abrams, 100 years old, he has no children. God walks him outside of his tent, he says, look up at the stars in the sky. Now just imagine no light pollution. What did we say? Scientists think that they will, they’ll, the technology that they have, will have in the in the coming years will reveal probably 2 billion galaxies. So he’s not saying all 2 billion of those stars, but there’s a lot of stars in the sky. So just imagine now that he’s seeing all these stars, and God says to him, I promise, I’m gonna give you a son. Abraham is like, I’m 100. 100 year old man don’t have kids. But that’s not what Abraham says, Is it? Because in Genesis 15, we hear this, God showed Abraham the stars, and said, I’ll give you a son and threw him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. The next line is, and Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. In other words, Abraham was not justified by his works. He was made right with God by his faith. Then now that’s what he’s alluding back to Genesis 15, go to verse seven now. It says, No, then Paul says, No, then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. So his conclusion is, if Abraham, way before Moses, and the law ever existed, was made right with God by faith, then the conclusion is that it is those who are of faith that are the fulfillment of that promise. So Abraham was promised descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky, who are those descendants? There are those who believe in the same way Abraham believed, there are those who are made righteous through faith. Now someone might say, Okay, how do you know that just because Abraham was made right with God that way, the descendants that he was promised, or those who also are going to be justified before God that way, and that’s what he’s going to answer in verse eight. So in verse eight, he says this, The scripture for seeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preach the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying in you shall all the nations be blessed. Now he’s going, this is what God did in Genesis 15. Let me take you back to Genesis 12. So he goes three chapters earlier, and he says before Abraham had been called out of his homeland before he had been circumcised according to God’s standard in Genesis 17, before he had been willing to offer up his son Isaac, trusting the guy would raise him for the dead before he did any good work.
God called him and said through you, I will bless all the nations. What’s that blessing? According to verse eight, it’s that they would be justified, and how would they be justified through faith? So in other words, he’s saying, justification is by faith, Abraham proves it in Genesis 15. And he showed us all the way back in Genesis 12, even before he justified Abraham, that he was going to justify everyone who would be justified the same way Abraham would be justified by faith, not by words. Now, all of that, friends, all of that is to say this, here’s the weapon of scripture in that what Paul is doing is he’s saying, You think Galatians, that perhaps we are departing from the ways of God, because we’re not following the law anymore to get our righteousness, we’re not doing the works of the law. So you think this is the way God used to operate? Now we’re operating in a new way. It feels like we are not following the way God has always operated. What is he saying, Paul? Say, No, no, no. The way God has always operated is to make people right with Him by faith. And he points all the way back to Abraham says there’s this thread running from beginning to end of Scripture that testifies that salvation is by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone. That’s why he says, he preached the gospel to Abraham, he proclaimed the good news of salvation by faith to Abraham, way back in Genesis 12. And if that was the case, in Genesis 12, here’s the thing friends, I want you to see, when we read our Bibles, we are not dealing with one God in the Old Testament and a different God in the New Testament. That’s a disease that too many Christians pick up. God has been the same God from beginning to end. He has always made people right with him for faith. By faith, not by works. Never now in the coming weeks, we’re gonna see them what is the purpose of this law that he gave, we’ll see that in the coming weeks, there is a purpose to that law. But what he’s trying to give us is the weapon of Scripture to say, friends, if you find yourself leaning into the self righteous impulse, what remedy you have in the cross, what remedy you have in the Spirit, and what remedy you have in the scriptures. Go back and read it again, read the larger sections of Scripture, I go back and forth between small sections to focus in on details. Big picture, big swaths of it. Because I want to see the big story and the big picture, you need to go back and forth between those things, so that you’re getting the big picture of God’s revelation from beginning to end. As you see that God has been the same God from beginning to end, you will, it will help you put to death, this self righteous impulse, because you’ll see, this has never been God’s way. It’s never been God’s way to justify people based upon their works. So praise God, that we have the weapon of the cross, yes, please God that we have the weapon of the spirit, living in us and moving through is to build faith. The point is to faith and praise God that we have the weapon of His word, so that we can go to it again and again and see that he has always been the same.
Let’s pray together. Then we’ll worship in song and close our time. Lord Jesus, we thank you for these weapons that you have given us and help us to take them up wisely. And well. Father, I pray that you would take your word now hide it in our hearts, that we might not sin against you. Our endeavor here today has been to examine your scriptures together. And we’ve wanted to engage our minds. Don’t let us be foolish, like Paul had to say to our our brothers, the Galatians, our sisters, the Galatians, where they would not put their mind to the truth, but turned away from it. And so I pray that that would not be true of us, that we would in the power of your spirit, put our minds to the truth of your word, hear the Gospel, and walk in it in all its implications. I pray for my friends here today, Lord Jesus, who have not believed in you, that as they hear this message, we pray that it would strike their hearts as good news because it is good news. That they would sense you Holy Spirit reaching to them, extending the love of Christ to them. We pray that that would be the case. asking Jesus name, amen. Let’s stand again and conclude our time with song.