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A Personal Plea for Liberty

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2022 12:00 am

A Personal Plea for Liberty

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 21, 2022 12:00 am

Evaluate whether or not you're so busy working for God that you forget to praise Him.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, June 21st. As a Christian, you are 100% accepted and deeply loved by God. Embracing that truth will impact how you live every day. Here's more on our study of Galatians. If you'll turn to Galatians chapter four, and we saw beginning in this fourth chapter, we were talking about bondage here and how the child differed from the servant.

And he gives an illustration in the beginning part of this fourth chapter. Well, the latter part of it, he does the same thing in the last few verses there, but beginning in verse 12, and he bases this plea for liberation, first of all, on the purity of his motive. He says, brethren, I beseech you, be as I am that is free from the law, for I am as you are. He says, you are free from the law.

You have not injured me at all. That is, he says, you have done me no harm. You know how through infirmity of the flesh, I preach the gospel unto you at first. Now, when Paul first went to these Galatian churches, he didn't intend to stop here and evangelize these people.

But because he developed an eye disease, which was called ophthalmology, he had to stay there. And as a result of having to stay there, he began to evangelize these people. And he said, you know how through infirmity of the flesh, I preach the gospel to you at the first. That is, that wasn't my ultimate objective there.

I was on my way through. But he says, and my temptation that is my trial, my eye disease here, which was in my flesh, you despise not nor reject it. He said, you didn't reject me because I was hard to look upon, because I was diseased, because I was sick of infirmity. He said, you didn't despise me nor reject me. And that's the only time that word reject is used in the Testament.

And it needs to spit something out. He says, you didn't reject me because of my sickness, but rather, he says, you receive me as an angel of God. And when the Jewish people there would not listen to him, and they walked out of the synagogue, the Gentiles came and said, look, we'd like to hear what you're saying.

So this was a very special group of people who had treated Paul very, very friendly and warmly. He says now in verse 15, he says, Where is then the blessedness you spoke of? For I bear you record that if it had been possible, you loved me so much, you were so grateful that I shared the truth you he said you would have plucked at your own eyes and have given them to me. He says now what's happened? When I first came and share with you the truth, the response was love and you took me in even in my condition. You took me in and loved me and responded to me.

He says, What is it now? Am I in verse 16? Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? Is that not exactly what happened to Jesus? When he told the people of his day the truth, they crucified him. That is Satan's one of Satan's most choice methods.

And that is the people that he would somehow work in the minds and hearts of people to bring about a distortion of truth that the very truth teller end up being persecuted. And you see, if a person has difficulty in accepting the truth, they need to ask themselves, Why is it that I am uncomfortable with this? Is it because it is unscriptural? Or is it because I don't like what it demands of me? Is it because I don't want to face what God may require of me? Is it because I'm unwilling to yield to that point of my life?

Is it because God is going to require me something that I am not willing to give up at this point in my life? And so what do we do? We do several things. We either become very passive to the person who's doing the talking or we attacked in order to destroy the person who is giving the truth in order to avoid facing the truth. Now I say that to you not because I'm afraid that you would attack me for what I've said to you. But if you hear the truth, you must be willing to be open enough to say, Lord, are you saying something to me that is difficult for me to accept, that is rooting up my foundations, that's making me very uncomfortable? And listen to watch this, the only way to be continuously growing in the faith is to be continuously, listen, continuously yielded to Almighty God, that whatever else He wants to send into your life, whatever else He wants to remove, regardless of how long you've been dragging it along with you, God must have the freedom to remove, tear out, destroy, uproot in order to plant something new and to keep on building us into Christ's likeness. Whenever we get to the point in our Christian life where we are satisfied with knowing so much, that's as much as, in other words, that'll get us into heaven, that's all we wanted anyway, there's something desperately wrong with that kind of believer. If you're sitting here week after week and you're satisfied where you are, then I'm going to tell you something, as loving as I know how, your relationship with Jesus Christ is not right.

It can't be right if you're satisfied without a hunger for God. One of the sweetest old ladies in this church, and I'll ever remember her as long as I live, one of the things about her that used to thrill me is here she was in her 70s, she couldn't get enough. And she wasn't trying to get more to get ready for heaven, she was as solid and settled in her salvation experience.

Beautiful, sweet, lovable woman of God brought her Bible, always asking me questions about things that I'd preached about and to make little notes in the back of her Bible to be sure she got it down just right at 72 years of age. Now I'm going to tell you why I tell you that. Because I want you to know something that I feel inside. I want for you to hunger and thirst and desire Almighty God in your heart above everything else in this world.

That's the reason. And that's why I don't mind repeating something over and over and over and over again. Somebody comes in and says, well, that preacher's repetitious. You tell him, amen he is. Because my desire is that you are equipped because it's ringing in your ears and the cross is standing before your eyes. And the Spirit of God is bubbling in your heart because you know what you believe and why you believe it and you can't keep quiet.

You've got to tell somebody. That is the most contagious kind of Christianity. And it's the kind Almighty God wants for all of his children. And so I want to ask you a question. Do you have a little streak of pride?

It's not right down the middle of your back, it's over here on this side somewhere. Just a little bit that won't let you quite accept something new that you've not heard before because you don't know how to deal with it. Let me tell you something. Be very careful how you respond to new truth. You want to check it out with Scripture, number one. If it's not Scripture, just forget it. But if somebody comes along with the Word of God and teaches you the truth and you're uncomfortable, what you need to ask yourself is this, God, are you trying to say something to me about me?

That's the honest way to respond. All right, beginning in verse twenty-two. Now here he goes back to picture again to describe to them, verse twenty-one, to describe to them in picture form, something they could relate to. And I want to show you what he's saying here briefly. Listen, he says, tell me, you that desire to be under the law again, do you not hear the law?

Do you not understand what's going on? For it is written, and then he gives a picture here of something. You'll recall that Abraham's wife Sarah was barren.

She could not have a child. So God had already given Abraham a promise. Now why is the word promise a promise that his sea would be like the stars of the heaven?

Well years went by and no sun. So Sarah gets the wise idea she's going to help God out a little bit. So she says to Abraham, a Hagar my handmaid.

I want you to go into her and have a son. So Ishmael was the son of the flesh, the son of works, the manipulation of two women and a man. And his name was what? Ishmael. The other was the son of promise whom God had promised Abraham and his name was what?

Isaac. All right, on the basis of that, look if you will in verse 22. For he says it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a slave girl, a female slave, a bond woman, and the other by a free woman Sarah. But he who was of the bond woman, the slave Hagar, was born after the flesh, and the work of man, Hagar, Ishmael. But he of the free woman Sarah was a promise, that's the promise of God.

Now he wants to show them a comparison here. Which things are an allegory? He says what I'm going to show you is what happened to Abraham, Hagar, Sarah, Ishmael, and Isaac is a picture of what I want you to understand about the law and about grace.

Which things are an allegory? Picture for these are the two covenants. The one from Mount Sinai. Where did Moses get the law? So when he speaks of Sinai, he's relating to what? The law. Okay, so he says, one of these covenants from Mount Sinai, which genders or which what?

Or which brings forth the what? Bondage. So trying to keep the law puts you in bondage. As he says before, God did not give the 10 commandments in order to save man. It's not a plan of salvation. The law was given to do what?

Bring man to his helpless, the awareness of his own helpless condition, that he can't keep the law. There's not a man, a woman, boy, girl in here, who has kept all the 10 commandments. And he says, if you violated one of them, you're guilty of how many?

All of them. So we're all guilty. And no man and no generation, no nation could ever keep the law of God. So he says it came as a schoolmaster, as a teacher and to render us helpless before God in order that we might recognize our need of Christ by faith. So he says that one covenant was from Sinai, which brings forth the bondage, which genders the bondage, which is agar or hagar. The slave woman was a symbol and Ishma was a symbol of the law.

It was of the flesh. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and answers to Jerusalem, which now is and is in bondage with her children. And watch this, but Jerusalem, which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

So here's what he's saying. He says, now on the one side, you've got Mount Sinai where you get the law. Hagar and Mount Sinai and Ishmael all referred to the law and the bondage. On this side you have Sarah, the woman of promise, Isaac, the son of promise and Jerusalem. So he says, what you have is two contrasting pictures. One of them represents slavery and bondage in the flesh. One of them represent the promise and spirit and freedom and liberties.

That's what he's saying here. So he says, verse 27, for it is written, rejoice thou barren that bear is not break forth and cry about the travail is not for the desolate that is the abandoned hath many more children than she which has a husband. Now we brethren as Isaac was, listen, we as Isaac was, he was the son of what? Slavery or promise?

Promise. He says, we are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh, Ishmael, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, Isaac, even so it is now.

Here's what he's saying. He says, these Judaizers over here, who are under law, in the flesh, he says, now they're persecuting you who have by faith have been liberated from bondage and you've been saved with the grace of God and you're free in Christ Jesus. Those who were symbolized by Hagar and Ishmael living in bondage are now persecuting those of you who've been free and liberated. He says, as Ishmael would fight against Isaac, so now the Judaizers under the bondage of law are persecuting you who've been freed from the law. And you see what we have today to bring that into today's terms, those believers in the body of Christ today who are living by the law and under the law and trying to work up at approval before God and trying to work up acceptance before him and who place great expectations upon other believers because they don't do what they think they ought to do. Those people are guilty of the same thing these Judaizers are guilty of. So you see, we are to respond and to act toward each other in love, not putting a bundle of bondage on somebody else to live up their expectation because we are in this narrow rut of laws and regulations and we want to do this right, that right, unless we get God's disapproval and therefore we won't have his acceptance in one of these days, we're going to have to do this that and the other and on and on and on we go, we've been through all of that.

And you see what he's saying here, there is a contrast and we must not put other people under bondage. You say, well, does God not have any expectation of us? God has responsibilities for all of us. God has equipped every single one of us to fulfill adequately and perfectly his will for our life. I didn't say you'd be perfect in doing it, but if God is the God he says he is, he's not going to ill equip us to do a job for him. Now, if I fail out of neglect to sharpen my skills or whatever they may be and I do a poor job, I am responsible for doing a poor job. When God gives us work to do, we're responsible to get it done. That is a part of our ministry. It is a part of what God has planned for our life.

And so you see, I'm talking about a balanced life. I'm not talking about do nothing, say nothing, be nothing because God doesn't expect it. No, Jesus Christ had a ministry to fulfill, but he wasn't under bondage to do it.

Jesus knew how to interpret every single law and regulation, not as a point of bondage, but rather as an opportunity. And so what you and I must see is this, that we can put other people under bondage if we're not careful. And so people go away from church and they don't understand why they feel what they feel. But let me tell you what they feel.

They never quite feel like they measure up. And I want to tell you something, there's nothing any more destructive to any believer than to go to church and go away week after week, never quite feeling like they ever measure up. Amen? God Almighty has so worked in our life, He wants us to do what we do because we love Him, cherish Him and cannot in our love and devotion ever do enough, not because He expects the impossible, because we love Him. And you see what is motivating Paul first of all here is purity of motive. He loved these people. And the second thing that's motivating him is the picture of scripture of Abraham, Hagar, Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac.

All right, go back if you will. Verse 29, but it's then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born out of the spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, he said, What sayeth the scripture, cast out the bond woman and her son, for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then brethren, we are not children of the bond woman, but he says we are free. We are freed by Almighty God and the work of His Son at the cross 2000 years ago, the battle is over, it's already been won, and you and I have been liberated to worship Him and love Him and adore Him and serve Him in that order. Worship Him, love Him, adore Him and serve Him.

Why? Listen, because of what He did 2000 years ago. And because of the way that is affecting my life today, I want to worship Him and praise Him and love Him and adore Him. And if my praise and worship and love and adoration is right, nobody's ever gonna have to beat me over the head to serve Jesus Christ. My plea to you, my friend, is to accept your liberty in Christ Jesus and let your service be motivated by love and devotion and praise to Almighty God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 21:08:50 / 2023-03-30 21:15:52 / 7

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