10 Jun There’s Blessing for YOU! (Galatians 3:1-14)
Pretty much everyone wishes they could figure out how to get God’s blessing to rain down in their life. The Bible presents a shocking pattern of God’s blessing. A long time ago, there was a normal guy who did not know God just living his life. That man’s name was Abraham. God showed up in his life, spoke to him, and said He had a plan to bless Abraham and his family. Ever since, the debate has raged over who his family members are that inherit this blessing. The good news is, there is a way to join that family and enjoy that blessing by faith in Jesus Christ.
Shepherds, Wolves, Sheep
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.
Wise – Paul (shepherd/Spirit)
- Like a marketing campaign, Jesus was the talk of the town
- You were focused on Jesus
Evil – “false brothers” (wolves/demonic)
- Now spell/curse has you confused
- Counterfeit of Holy Spirit is demonic spirit at work
- Good advice re: what you do vs Good News re: what Jesus did
Foolish – Galatians (sheep/flesh)
- J. B. Phillips, ‘O you dear idiots of Galatia … surely you can’t be so idiotic …?’
= Who do you know that is wise? Who do you know that is evil? How are you foolish?
Galatians 3:2-3 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?
- Religious people hold court & sit in the judge seat
- Paul goes on offensive with some questions
1. There’s clarity in your testimony
2. How did God first show up in your life?
- Holy Spirit = the sign of salvation (requires relationship)
3. God’s Presence came by grace not works
= Adding your works is like flapping your wings on a flight to help
Galatians 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
- There were 2 teams – 1 for the gospel, 1 against
- They caused you to suffer & the Spirit powered, now you are changing sides in the war
- You’ve changed, so were you wrong then or now?
Revolutionary War – Benedict Arnold – born 1/14/1741 in Connecticut. Became military captain to fight British. War hero valued by George Washington. Offered to surrender military base at West Point for $ & rank in enemy army. Went on to attack Virginia, almost capturing Thomas Jefferson, then attacked Connecticut – WAR in HEAVEN
Galatians 3:5 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—
- Miracles happen – got building, planted church, every prayer answered, people saved, people healed, people are growing = supernatural grace
- God’s power comes by grace not works
- Preached Word + faith = salvation
- Preaching & Power must be Personalized
Galatians 3:6-9 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know 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, preached 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.
- Abraham – Inheritance – promised blessings through & to his family.
- Jewish proud of their relationship to him (imagine big deal in your family history)
Counterfeit Abraham – he was Jewish, he circumcised himself & family, this is in keeping with the Law of Moses = this is what you need to do
Real Abraham – he was a Gentile, God showed up to bless him (Land, Lineage), he had faith in God, circumcision happened 13-14 years later, the Law of Moses came 400-500 years later = faith is all that matters
Abraham has 3 kinds of children:
- Culturally Jewish with faith in Christ = Christians
- Culturally Jewish without faith in Christ = non-Christians
- Culturally Gentile with faith in Christ = Christians
Start with Jesus, Stay with Jesus
Galatians 3:10-14 For all who rely on works of the law are 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.” [Deuteronomy 27:26] 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” [Habakkuk 2:4] 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” [Leviticus 18:5] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— [Deuteronomy 21:23] 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
- Law judges & condemns you (perfection in letter and Spirit)
- Even if you started obeying today it’s too late. Your life is a test & you’ve not passed.
- Faith – you’re gonna need to trust someone (religious leader, philosopher, self)
- Trust Christ
- The great exchange – Jesus took your place, put you in His place
- Every blessing comes with Christ starting with Holy Spirit
Works VS Faith
A ladder you climb to God VS A ladder God came down to you
Demands to obey VS Promises to believe
About what you do VS About what Jesus did
Compare self to others VS Compare self to Jesus
Causes pride or despair VS Causes humble joy
Cursed VS Blessed
There’s Blessing for YOU!
LAW – Commencement, school president said that they were only accepting people who not only had a 4.0 but never had a red mark on a paper or missed a question on a quiz. Every person who had worked so hard was called forth and declared “failed”.
GRACE –1 perfect student came forth and was declared “passed”. Imagine that student then stood forth to give the commencement address. They tell all the other students, if you respond in faith & come back on the stage I would like to shake your hand and trade/exchange transcripts with you. I will take your “F”, and give you my “A”.
- Suspicion: It sounds too good to be true, so some don’t come forward for the exchange.
- Offense: The students who worked really hard and felt they did good enough are angry
- Enthusiasm: Some students who blew it, including those who dropped out & flunked out, came forward and took the deal.