Pastor, author and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
Everyone that tries hard in life is doing so either because they believe a promise or they're trying to obey a law. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Galatians as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month made to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, you can go deeper as we send you today's special offer.
Call 844-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. We have two guys, two girls in the house. And so the guys are often wanting to watch golf, basketball, football and things like that. And the girls are always conspiring to watch HGTV, Home and Garden.
Some of the worst things ever happened was the Home and Garden station to watch people pick out houses and redecorate them. But the Olympics are on. Even in most households, even the women the studies show are interested in the Olympics.
Why? Well, some Whit wrote a decade or more ago, it's because they tell the story so well. Here's the table tennis player or the legally blind archer and they tell the story behind how they got there, the adversities that they overcame, the challenges that were in front of them and the faith they had to keep persevering and what happened in their household and they were growing up. All the stories are so cool.
And so everybody wants to see the stories. And that Whit who wrote our article said this is the way to get women to watch NFL football. It would be just, wow, Vern, that was some sack, wasn't it? Now, you know that 385 pound tackle?
He had a rough childhood growing up. And we're going to move over to a video montage of some of the adversities that he faced in his year. Watching Kerry Walsh and Misty May win again on the beach volleyball, they've won two gold medals, never lost a game, never lost, I guess they call it a set, never lost a set in the Olympics. It was close yesterday.
I almost lost, I mean within a couple points, but they won. And they're going to have to get on their game if they're going to get the gold medal. Walsh, she's a two-time mother and she wants to have another child and they decided at the last minute to go ahead and partner again and go to the Olympics again.
I was reading an article about Kerry Walsh. She said that she wants to win her third gold medal so badly that she does not wear jewelry of any other color. I like that. It's like, no silver is going to touch my body because I don't have anything to do with silver.
I don't want anything to do with gold. It's a great faith image, isn't it? She's already won these two gold medals and she says, I'm living, quote, I'm living and breathing gold. I want it.
Countdown to London, I want it so bad. And she's got a big motivation because she said that she's got two children, she's got one gold medal for each of her children, but she's going to have a third child. She wants to have a third child after these Olympics and she wants a gold medal for that child also. So she's got this motivation. The thing I love about the Olympics is the story of the motivation behind why people would try so hard. Lottke seems to be the new star swimmer, won the individual medley yesterday, and they're showing that he does all this unusual training, doing these, you know, like Highland Games type training stuff, lifting these giant 400-pound tires and rolling them and, you know, getting up. And there's some commercial out now that just has little video montage and sound bites from athletes saying things like, I haven't ordered a dessert in two years.
I've been up at five o'clock every morning for three years. I haven't watched a TV show in the last four years, you know, all these things for their training about their devotion, their dedication, about why they're trying so hard for the promise and possibility of a gold medal. And it's their moment.
There's another reason people could try really hard, though. It takes me back to a story I once wrote about, it really gripped me. I was reading the newspaper during the days in which Saddam Hussein had been ousted but had not yet been captured. But he had been ousted long enough that people began to really believe that the tyrant was off the throne and was no longer a threat. And it was at that point that the Iraqi national soccer players began to speak out. The star of the country spoke out and was interviewed saying that he cried before every game. The reason was that Udi Hussein, on behalf of Saddam, would call and threaten the players, would threaten them with various forms of punishment if they didn't win, especially in the important international games. And there were times when they had big losses.
They would actually take them over to a prisoner camp and beat them. And the star player, he said, I so love the game, but I want to quit. I've wanted to quit for years, but I couldn't quit because Saddam had threatened to hurt the soccer player's wife and children if he quit playing soccer. And so he played, not for the love of the game, but for the fear of the tyrant. And I remember I was reading that article in the paper and it just gripped me. If you have something that just sort of arrests your soul, it captures your attention more than in a normal moment.
And it was there that the Spirit began to show me how often divided my own soul was. How there can be inside of us a hidden invisible tyrant that is motivating us out of fear of failure rather than the joy of the game. That there's a way in which it could look very similar. That there could be an Iraqi athlete that is training and he looks like he's given it his all.
And next to it is some two-time mother trying to get her third gold medal who also has trained. But one is laughing and confident and the other is crying and fearful. Both trying, giving it their effort. There is a competition, you could look on it this way, a spiritual battle for the motivational force of your heart. When we are motivated out of a system of thought that says, I need to perform, do well and succeed or else I'll be punished and that punishment might be I'll have a loss of approval of others or I'll be a disappointment or someone will shame me or I'll feel inadequate. Many of those are various forms of persecution. There's a system that Paul calls, it's the system of being under the law. Being under the law means that in addition to what Jesus has done for you, that you feel like that there's something that you must do for God in order to assure that you're definitely in and that you truly belong. And what Paul is addressing in the letter that he wrote to the Galatian Christians is this very point. He's been spelling this out in a variety of ways through incredible clear logic and reasoning, through illustrations from the Old Covenant and through his own personal and pastoral appeal to them. And now we come in chapter 4 to an incredible image where Paul is going to make this vivid by using an Old Testament story to illustrate the truth that he has portrayed to the Galatians and that is that you are saved by grace through faith. That our lives and the motivation of our lives is never been intended by God that we're supposed to live as creatures of fear. We're never meant to be living as if we were under a tyrant and the law can be like a tyrant to us.
If you take the law and you bring it into your life, bring it into your household and base the way in which you live and think and organize your family around law, then what it introduces is a spirit of striving and control and it brings condemnation and it brings angst. And what Paul is reminding the Galatians of, he does so with great passion because the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is such beautiful, sweet, good news that it must not be contaminated, tampered with or added to. That we have this simple revelation that God so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son. That He came to save us, He died in our place, He took the curse and gave us a blessing.
There's nothing that you can do to add to that amazing gift of God except to receive the promise through faith and to live your life in surrender to the one who made the promise and gave the gift. But there's always a tug of war. That's what we're going to learn about today. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything?
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive, faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.
Here once again is Alan Wright. Galatians chapter 4, and we're going to be at verse 21. In Galatians chapter 4, verse 21. Everyone that tries hard in life is doing so either because they believe a promise or they're trying to obey a law. Galatians 4, 21.
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you listen to the law? What he means by that is I'm going to tell you a story from the Torah, from the old covenant stories. For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh. What we'll see he means by that is according to the ordinary way that children come.
There was nothing supernatural about it. While the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically. These women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery. She is Hagar. Mount Sinai, by the way, you'll remember is the place where Moses received the law. So Mount Sinai is associated with the system of the law.
She's Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and she corresponds to the present Jerusalem. He says that, speaking in his day, the present Jerusalem, where there is still the ongoing process of keeping the law, keeping the Sabbath, bringing your sacrifices to the temple, the whole system of the law, he's associating that with the present Jerusalem.
For she's in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above, and here he's talking about really, is God's heavenly kingdom. Everything that's of the essence of the kingdom that was ushered in with the new covenant.
That's what he's referring to there. The Jerusalem above is free and she is our mother. So let me just pause here to say that what the Judaizers were trying to teach the Galatian Christians was in order to be fully a son of Abraham, then you need to keep some of the Old Testament rituals like circumcision or dietary laws or certain days or feasts. And so the dispute was about who is a son of Abraham and Paul's already addressed that. But now really the image turns because he's saying, I want you to think about who is our mother.
He's thinking here symbolically. For it is written, Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear. Break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor. For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband. I'm not going to be speaking much about that.
That really almost could be a separate sermon. But you can just picture this, that Sarah, as we'll see, Abraham's wife, she is in a natural sense, she is infertile, she's too old. And she doesn't, ten years, she's promised a child doesn't have one. But just like was prophesied to those that were in exile, in the time of the Babylonian exile, like there was a sense of barrenness.
Break forth and cry aloud even though you don't yet have evidence that you're going to bear this child because the truth is that the one who seems to be desolate and barren is going to actually have more of those than the one who seems to have it all. That's kind of what's being said there. Now, verse 28, You brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at the time he was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the slave woman and her son.
Here's a place where I like the NIV translation. Get rid of the slave woman and her son. For the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
Are you ready for some good news? Beloved, you are children of promise. You are not children of the slave woman. You are children born supernaturally according to promise. You are a child of grace. I've got two words for you today. One is an exhortation. Get rid of the slave woman.
And the second is an assurance. You're an heir, not a slave. Now, to understand this story, of course you need to go back and remember the story of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar and Ishmael and Isaac. If you're not familiar with the story, I'll try to recap it. Abram, whose name is later changed to Abraham, is called along with his wife Sarai, whose name is later changed to Sarah. They're called up out of the Ur of the Chaldees and God appears to Abraham. We don't know why exactly Abraham. The point of the story is God can do what God wants to do and he wants to bless this man so that he'll be a blessing. So it's God's sovereign grace that takes the initiative and brings this man into the land and places him there and says, I am going to bless you and I'm going to make your name great and you're going to be a blessing and you're going to have a nation born through you and your descendants will be as numerous as the stars are in the heavens.
If you could count them, they'd be as many as the sand of the beaches. And he just issues this unilateral promise to Abraham. And Abraham, he believes God. And the Bible says God reckoned that faith as righteousness. So what we learn about Abraham is that he's an ordinary man. Maybe he's got some wonderful virtues, but he's still an ordinary man, flesh and blood, and he is not in and of himself righteous.
Everyone's been born in sin and there is no one in and of him or herself who is purely righteous. But he trusted God on this promise. He just believed. And you'll see that he didn't believe it perfectly.
I mean, he had moments even where there was a measure of some doubt about it and he needed reassurance, but he believed God. And when he did, there was a gift that then took place in which God then looked upon Abraham as if he were righteous based on the fact that he believed. And this all prefigures what it means to be a Christian. Because what it means to be a Christian is not to become more righteous than other people and therefore somehow be rewarded by God. That's exactly not what Christianity is. What Christianity is instead is an invitation into a relationship with God wherein you believe the promise of God.
The promise of God that comes through his word by revelation of the Holy Spirit confirming to you that this faith comes alive in you, that this word is true and that Jesus was the Son of God. And that he was both God and man. He came to die in your place. And he took not only the penalty for your sin, but he became sin. And he was buried and he was raised from the dead.
This is what we believe. And that through this process of this gift and this death and this resurrection, there is a release of the blessing of God of his presence into our life through the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes into your life, he never leaves you.
You are his child forever and you belong to him. And the Holy Spirit, we're seeking to convince you that you're a child and if a child is an heir, then a co-heir with Christ himself. And this is what we believe, that when we receive that promise, God reckons us as if we're righteous. This beggars our belief because it's such an extraordinary gift because what it means, Paul's been saying all throughout Galatians, is that when you are justified, when you are saved through grace by faith, it is just as if I'd never send to God. And it's just as if I'd lived a righteous life.
He reckons me as righteous. This is what he had done pre-figuring this in Abraham. Now, despite the fact that Abraham and Sarah are given this great promise, ten years later they have no baby.
Y'all, it's hard when there is something that tarries, that you hope for, you expect, you believe, and yet it's not there. And there are going to be some things that we are not going to realize in this world, we're going to realize them in heaven. What heaven is to us is a unbelievable promise that guarantees our inheritance and that the best is yet to come. Alan Wright.
Today's teaching, Getting Rid of the Slave Woman. It's from our series on Galatians and Alan Wright is back here in the studio in a moment with us for additional insight on how this applies to our lives and today's final words. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Alan, for someone listening right now and they're nodding, they're saying these amens along with the teaching today, and we're picking back up on the next broadcast.
What's our final word today? Well, it's such a deep and powerful image, the comparison of Hagar, the maidservant that Abraham and Sarah called in when it seemed like the promise wasn't coming to pass. And all that she represents.
So she represents human effort, right? But God wanted Isaac to come into the world supernaturally. The promise was that Abraham and Sarah would have their own biological son. So Hagar is the slave and Sarah is free, and Hagar represents human effort, but Sarah represents the power of the spirit. And so when Paul is writing in Galatians, he goes back, gets this whole image at the day when Sarah got fed up with Hagar and said to Abraham, get rid of the slave woman.
And so Paul is using that image to say, you need to get rid of everything that smacks of human effort, flesh and law and fear, and instead live by the power of the gospel and the freedom of the spirit. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching, delivered right to your email inbox, free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 15:50:59 / 2023-03-05 16:00:02 / 9