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Liberated by Faith

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2022 12:00 am

Liberated by Faith

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 17, 2022 12:00 am

Are you striving for sanctification by works or by faith?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, June 17. If you have ever been afraid you'll do something that will cause God to reject you, well, there's freedom and liberty for you. Let's hear some assuring truths from Galatians chapter three. And then if you look in the last word in verse five is faith. And also in verse six is the word believe, which is the same thing. Verse seven the word faith, verse eight the word faith, verse nine the word faith, verse 11 the word faith, verse 12 the word faith, verse 14 the word faith, verse 22 the word faith, 23 the word faith, twice in 23, 24, 25 and 26.

Now, whenever you find the word mentioned that many times in that shorter period, God's trying to get our attention. And so when Paul was writing to these Galatian Christians here, who were saying, in essence, if you're going to be a Christian, what you've got to do is you've got to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior and keep the law. And we've seen all the way through here, he says that keeping the law does not make it possible for man to be saved, has nothing to do with being saved.

That wasn't the purpose of the law at all. So let's look at these first five verses. So he begins in verse one of chapter three saying, Oh, foolish Galatians here. He's saying you are lacking in understanding and judgment. And he says, who has bewitched you?

Now, we're not talking about witchcraft, but he's talking about somebody has so mesmerized you that they have just lured you into a whole new thought pattern here. And he says, as a result, you are no longer obeying the truth. He said, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth crucified among you. He said, how could you allow those Judaizers to bewitch you, to foil you, to confuse you when Jesus Christ's crucifixion is so fresh in your mind before your eyes?

How could you allow that to happen? Then verse two, he says, he says, I want to know something. That's the way he says this.

I want to know something. Did you receive the Spirit as a result of keeping the law or by the hearing of faith? That is, by trusting God. Did you receive the Spirit by keeping the law or by trusting the Lord?

So he's after something. Verse three. He says again, are you so foolish having begun the Spirit? Are you now completing and perfecting? Are you growing in the Lord? Are you maturing in your life having begun by faith? Is your life maturing as a result of keeping the law? Living up to some standard.

And all these questions have an ode to them. He says in verse four, have you suffered so many things in vain? That is, they had been persecuted some. He says, have you suffered in vain for having received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith and faith alone? Is all that in vain? Verse five, he says, he therefore that ministered to you the Spirit and works miracles among you. Is he doing this by the works of the law or is it all by faith? And so these first five verses, all Paul is saying, he says, look at your own life. Look at your own experience. Are you where you are as a result of trusting God or living up to the law?

And you and I need to ask ourselves the same question. When you look at your own life and all that God has done for you and all that he does do and the pattern which he keeps in doing it, is he blessing you as a result of your living up to the standard, trying to keep the Ten Commandments, which you cannot do, trying to live up to the Sermon on the Mount, which you cannot do, trying to live up to self expectation, trying to keep on pushing your own standard up a little bit higher, and trying to reach that day by day in self effort. Are you maturing in your faith by doing that?

Can you explain what God's doing in your life as a result of your trying to live up to God's law? And every single one of us would have to say the same thing that these these Christians at Antioch would have to say. The real truth is no, that everything God does in your life and my life is a result of faith.

It is all trusting him. And that's why he laid this 20th verse of Chapter two on them so thoroughly. Before he came to Chapter three, he said, I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live yet not I, but Christ lives in me, the life which I now live in the flesh.

I live with the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. The whole life is a life of faith, not living up to anything. So the first five verses says the testimony of experience says you are not maturing in your faith as a result of trying to live up to anything.

It is by trusting in what Jesus Christ is in you and is doing through you. So the second part here, he says, beginning in verse six, is the testimony of scripture. He says, in fact, not on this personal experience, prove that you can't make it by trying to keep the law. He says the scripture doesn't even teach that. Look, if you were in verse six, he says, even as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, that is, it was reckoned unto him for righteousness, not because he kept the law, because did Abraham have a law to keep?

Did he? So he wasn't keeping any Mosaic law. And if you'll notice in verse seven, he says, Know ye therefore that they which are of faith are the same as the children of Abraham? He said, Look, he said, You're telling me that you're the sons of Abraham. He said, If you are believing and trusting God, if your hope is built on faith, then you're a true son of Abraham, not by trying to keep the law. Verse eight, And the scriptures foreseeing ahead of time, prophesying ahead that God would justify the heathen through faith, the Gentiles preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, And these shall all nations be blessed. That is a promise, because, you see, the Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was chalked up to him for righteousness. Verse nine, So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham, for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. For it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them. So he says, Now, look, Abraham believed God and God accounted to him righteousness because of his faith.

And you see what he's saying? Yeah, he's taking the things that they're most familiar with to prove to them the only way they'll ever be able to achieve anything in life is through faith in Jesus Christ, not by the works of their righteousness, which is not really righteousness, nor by keeping the law. Look in verse 13. He says, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. He says Christ took our place in the curse. In order that, listen, in order that the blessings of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. He said, Now, God intends to save the Gentile as well as the Jew.

That includes all of us, you know, that God intends to save all of us. How? Through faith. Abraham was accepted before God.

How? By faith. You and I accept in the eyes of God again by faith, not by living up to somebody else's standard, not by self-imposed standards, not by keeping the Ten Commandments or trying to live up to the Sermon on the Mount, but by trusting in what Jesus Christ did at the cross. In Abraham's day, it was trusting in the coming Messiah. For us, it is trusting in the past Messiah who has come, died, buried, resurrected. So he says in verse 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, he says, I speak after the manner of men.

That is, from a human standpoint, let me show you something. Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disemoweth or addeth thereto. Here's what he's saying. He says if two men make a covenant with each other, one of them says, Well, I don't want to keep this covenant. He says, You can't do that. Those two men must agree not to keep the covenant. When two men make a covenant, they sign a contract with each other, they are both liable to the commitment that they've made. Now, he says in verse 16, Now to Abraham and to his seed were the promises made. That is, God made a covenant promise with Abraham. And what he's saying by verse 15 is if two men are bound by covenant promise or contract, neither one of them can break that without mutual consent. He says, Now to Abraham and his seed God made a covenant promise, which we read a few moments ago. He saith not and to seeds as of many, but as of one and to thy seed, which is Christ, speaking of the Christ who was to come. And this I say that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years afterwards, cannot disemow that it should make the promise of none effecting.

Here's what he's saying. He said, Now look, to these Christians here who were saying, You've got to be saved by faith and keep the law. He said, You want to bring up Abraham and say that, well, here's the way Abraham did it. He says, Abraham was accepted by faith. He said, Now watch this, and let's put them in a real corner.

They had no answer to this. He said, How do you answer the fact that four hundred and thirty years before the law was ever given, that Abraham was accepted in the eyes of God, four hundred and thirty years before the law was given, God made a covenant, a promise with Abraham. Now, he says, The law cannot disemow that and make it of none effect, because listen to watch this, because Almighty God made a covenant promise, and it was unconditional.

When God makes an unconditional promise, no kind of law can render that promise null and void. For example, you and I have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. We have become children of God based on a promise that God has given to mankind, contracted through the cross, and the promise is this. If you were received by faith upon repentance of your sin, Jesus Christ, my son, is your personal Savior, accepting His death on the cross as total, absolute, adequate, and complete payment for your sin.

The moment you do that, you are saved and eternally secure, not based on anything you do thereafter, but based on what He did and your acceptance of Him and His work on the cross. God has given to mankind a promise, and it was conditioned upon faith and repentance, and the man who repents of his sin and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior is forever and eternally secure in Him. That's God's contract with mankind. Now these people were trying to live up to a law in order to keep what God had provided. Then they were arguing the fact here that now that the law was given, that superseded faith.

Paul said no. The covenant promise that God made with Abraham 430 years before the law was ever given. He says that law did not render null and void when Almighty God personally said to Abraham, this is what I'm going to do. If a man could possibly keep any part of God's law and be made acceptable in his sight on the basis of his ability to keep the law, then there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ coming.

But he says the purpose of the law was to reveal our inadequacy, not to bring us to God. What he's saying here is that since God offered salvation by faith, therefore God doesn't have to change anything. When Jesus Christ came to the cross, He didn't have to say, well, now that you've been saved by law, now you can be saved by faith. He says all the way back to your father Abraham, he looked to God in faith and God accepted him on the basis of faith. Then he says to these Antiochian Christians and these Judaizers, then how come you tell me that in order to be saved today, you've got to receive Jesus Christ by faith and repentance and add all the mosaic law to be saved.

And when you read that passage, and the reason I went through it quickly is because if we got married up in any part of it, you'd miss the whole point, I'm afraid. What he's saying here is simply this, the only way to be saved is by faith. That's how men have always been saved.

The law didn't change the way of salvation, it just showed men who were being saved by faith how absolutely essential it was that that was the only way to be saved. Now what Paul is saying all the way through this book is this, as you and I trust Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only to be what we need for him to be and to equip us for what he has called us to do as long as we're trusting him, the channel of flow is coming our way. Once we decide and the moment we decide, we think we can handle this in our strength, in our energy, in our knowledge, in our wisdom or because our pride is such that we think that we've got to do a few things to help God out or we feel that somehow we want to prove our worthiness before God when we begin to do that, that short circuits what God does. Now let me just say this to you, the reason for our...

Listen, now watch this, this is going to be so simple you're going to miss it. Why do you and I fail in our Christian experience day by day? And we can give a thousand reasons and we can excuse ourselves and rationalize all over the place but there's just one real reason. Think about this, Paul said, listen now watch this, I'm crucified with Christ, he died, I died. Nevertheless I live, yet not I Christ living within me.

The life which I now live, I live with the faith of the Son of God who loved me, gave himself for me, Christ in me. All right now listen, when Jesus Christ ascended he said, I'll send the Holy Spirit, he'll be in you with you and upon you. Why did the Holy Spirit come to indwell us? Listen, because the coming of the Holy Spirit was as essential to our daily victory as the cross was to our salvation. The law couldn't save you, it took Christ on the cross. We can't keep ourselves, we can't live the Christian life, proof of that is all of us have blown it, amen. We have all blown it, I mean since we've been saved, we have blown it and blown it and blown it. Now watch this, if Jesus Christ is living his life in you, being everything that you need, then why do we fail? It's real simple, in that moment, in that experience, we are not trusting Almighty God. So we decide to meet our own needs our own way. We decide to do our thing our way. Trust says, I am willing to wait upon him, to believe him, to receive from him, to know him as the source of all of my needs.

You say that's too simple. It may be, but it is the gospel truth. We sin because we don't trust. He says, we just live trust in him. It is all by faith. And friend, until you and I are willing to admit, we cannot live the Christian life, we are absolute failures at living the Christian life and until we admit that, we'll never experience victory. And the only way you and I will have victory is by throwing ourselves helplessly at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ and telling him, God, I cannot try, it doesn't work, I'm telling you, God, it won't work, it can't work, it hasn't worked, I'm giving up, this is it. And when I give up and I allow the Holy Spirit to live his life in me, then I begin to experience the victory.

It's the same thing. It's just thousands of years later, different circumstances, but the same problem. Total dependence upon him and not upon ourselves.

Now I want to give you a little challenge. If tomorrow you'll sort of keep a running account, when something comes up and you disobey God, stop and ask yourself this question. Was this act of disobedience an act of unbelief on my part? Did I in any way express unbelief?

And here's what you're going to find out. Every single time you sin, you will have expressed unbelief in the adequacy of Jesus Christ through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to meet your need and take care of you in that given situation. If you can grasp that one simple truth, you know what will happen? Jesus Christ will begin to free you in some areas of your life that are blind spots that Satan's got you all hung up on. You're saying, well, here's the reason I keep falling over.

This is the problem. And the problem is you're not willing to trust the Lord to meet that specific need at that moment at that time in your life. I challenge you to keep a running account and see how many times you doubt God in this coming week. Listen, even while you've sat there, you've already thought about some things in your life that are not right and you've had to say, I never thought about that being unbelief, but it is. Listen, if you'll just get a hold of that and just hold on to it, as difficult as it may be, for one week, asking God to show you every time, how did I express unbelief? It's going to begin to be a step in freeing you from whatever that is that has you hung up. God will begin to send into your life and your heart the joy of beginning to feel a little bit of liberation and freedom in your Christian experience.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 18:14:45 / 2023-03-31 18:22:49 / 8

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