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Standing in Freedom

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2022 12:01 am

Standing in Freedom

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 24, 2022 12:01 am

Our spiritual freedom is threatened when we think that our performance becomes the measurement of our justification. Today, Derek Thomas calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus and what He has accomplished for our redemption.

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When we embrace legalism. We take our usual of what Christ has accomplished and perhaps a little bit of pride comes in. If you managed to obey here and there a little bit and that you all of a sudden you're better than someone else and not only is it crippled you and brought you into slavery, but it's also made you proud and you had just started to swell and you've taken your eyes off Jesus is exactly what the churches in Galatia were doing.

That is why Paul wrote his letter to the he wanted to remind them of the gospel and to reinforce to them that nothing could be added to it this week on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Derek Thomas is been taking us through the book of Galatians, reminding us as well to hold fast to the freedom that we have in Christ less than 10 and we are in chapter 5 in the will just look at the first 15 verses 104 call from previous lesson we already alluded to this. One of chapter 5 for freedom Christ has set us free and that's really where Paul has been going but was the GPS setting that Paul put in in chapter 1 verse one.

This is where he wanted us to go to to see a freedom. Sociologists will sometimes say that it's America's most prized value. I remember last year being on pikes peak at 14,000 feet in elevation in the Colorado and it was the inspiration that do was the inspiration of course for America the beautiful. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

It's a beautiful thing. It's a majestic thing and to price if tend not to let it go prep some of you will immediately remember aligning from Braveheart's freedom and that's what Galatians is when I first saw Braveheart to Mel Gibson painted blue and white course.

This was in the 13th century, trying to be free from the oppressive for the English King Edward Long shanks and so on. But when Mel Gibson said that word freedom very dramatically. I thought, oh, Galatians, and that's the cry that's coming from the heart of the apostle Paul and he's concerned for Christians in the church in relation especially tender Christians with tender consciences because Judaizers persecuting them the lording it over there consciences on the putting them back into slavery and they are missing out on the joys and the blessedness of the freedom that Jesus has purchased for us while you remember that Jesus said if you abide in my words you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

And if the son sets you free.

Then you are free indeed were free from the burden of having to justify ourselves. Where free from the birds and of trying to win God's gracious favor of where free from the oppressive burden of those who would judge us and impose upon our consciences loss values that are man made all the societal values, but the not biblical values that are not God's values. So let's explore this opening section of chapter 5, bearing in mind it's about freedom. First thing I want is to say is that freedom is threatened when we take it for granted freedom is threatened when we take it for granted for freedom tries to set us free to stand firm therefore and you notice that that's a command by the word stand firm therefore do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Don't take freedom for granted. Don't be guilty of beginning with the spirit, but ending with the flesh don't develop a mentality that says I came in, by grace, but the rest of it is all entirely up to me and my efforts. The law, Paul says is not of faith. The law is not of faith. The law is not friendly to face the mobile crusher will kill you all will put you back into a place of slavery.

Again, you become like the children of Hagar, rather than the children of Sarah you will become children of Mount Sinai rather than children of Mount Moriah, and Jerusalem.

The yoke of slavery.

And think about is that yoke wooden thing that was clamped around your neck and not a lock put on it and you would draw Colton push it's not from God but hate this persuasion is not from him who calls you. This legalism is it's not a God thing. Notice in verse two. Look I pulsate you that if you accept circumcision. Christ will be of no advantage to you that we've seen the issue of her obeying calendar days and weeks and months, and so on.

Now this issue of circumcision.

Legalism never ends. It's not just one thing it's many things sit some multi headed Hydra and each head has findings ready to bite you in the neck can paralyze you in placing you. It's not from God's sake. This persuasion is not from him who calls you there sir. The deep sea to default mechanism in the heart of every individual towards legalism, towards self-justification for hard wired to think that we are saved by efforts were saved by human participation and obedience to God's law. The new perspective on the apostle Paul suggests that this kind of legalism was not a part of the inter-testament to Judaism, but scholarship has since proven I think otherwise that it was so systemic within the inter-testament to Judaism that the very obedience to circumcision as a boundary marker was in itself seem as meritorious and gaining merit in the sight of God is insisting that Peter will say something similar in the Jerusalem Council in acts 15. A yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear, and that's what legalism… Like a yoke of slavery. Law keeping has no limits and it'll say to you, it's not enough to do this.

You've got to do that and that's in Batson and in that, and before long your joy is gone on to your sense of who you are is gone. So the first thing is that freedom is threatened when we take it for granted in order so he puts it in verse nine a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Just a little bit of legalism and before long it's infected the entire body and paralyzed and the morning then we should remind ourselves that we are free in Christ Jesus has purchased us in order that we might be free from the yoke of bondage free from man-made laws, free from laws that once had a place within the history of redemption, but have no place now in terms of obedience to win the favor of God. So freedom is threatened when you take it for granted. Secondly, freedom is threatened when you tick your eyes off Jesus.

Notice how he puts it in us to look. I pulsate you that if you accept circumcision.

Christ will be of no advantage to if you think that by being circumcised, you can win the favor of God.

If you think that imposing circumcision on the Gentiles will somehow or other, make them more acceptable. If only they dress like us, if only they look like us, if only they have the same interests assess if only they conforms to our system of values, if only they voted like us.

It's very selflessness and sometimes it's not supple at all.

And sometimes it's this crisis that Paul is saying look, if you go down that road you will take your eyes off Jesus Christ will be of no value to you. All of a sudden you're looking at loss in looking at obedience are looking at conforming you're trying to measure yourself by the standards of other people and perhaps a little bit of pride comes in. If you managed to obey here and there a little bit in the new. All of a sudden you're better than someone else and not only is it crippled you and brought you into slavery, but it's also made you proud and you had just started to swell, you've taken your eyes off Jesus when I was a very young pastor said this many times before but I don't apologize for repeating it again today. It's the perfect lesson that Paul is actually teaching us here. I was a young preacher I would visit these two sisters. There was 1/3. She had died, and never actually met Miss Kathleen, but I met the mismanagement #9 when I first knew them they were in their 80s and they both live to over 100 and visit on the live fairly close to the church and I would visit them about once every couple of weeks and also usually a fairly lengthy visit couple of hours so more and make a cup of tea to do was be cookies and I was 26, 27 years old and one day I'm feeling a little down and to a little sorry for myself and mismanage to only had one.

I should have cancer ride removed and shared her aesthetic and and she looked at me with a good eye and she said see no young man seen no one in the picture. But Jesus until I first heard it. I thought well that's a little sentimental.

I thanked him and I didn't think anything more of it until I got into the car and just kind of haunted me and I doubt that a day has gone by since that I haven't thought about what she said see no one in the picture.

But Jesus turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. I think that's what Paul is saying here when you go down this road of legalism you're taking your eyes off Jesus you're taking your eyes off what he has accomplished of what he has bought 240 is 14. You so see Jesus.

Remind yourself of what is accomplished. Remind yourself of his perfect obedience.

Remind yourself of him crucified upon across dying varied resume victorious ascending to heaven coming back again. Freedom is a beautiful thing because it's a Jesus thing and Jesus is all together beautiful freedom is threatened. If you take it for granted freedom is threatened.

If you take your eyes off Jesus and what he has accomplished for you. Freedom is threatened when guilt becomes the measurement of my justification. My sense of guilt that my sense of conviction of guilt becomes the measurement of my justification for the Prince Harry goes on to say the three I testify again to every man who accept circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

It doesn't stop with circumcision doesn't stop with one law.

It's many loss.

Actually it's unending because if you have to obey one you have to obey all kind have to read it all and all of its fullness when he says in verse four.

If that's the direction that you're going if you are severed from Christ followers and saying the true believer can fall from grace. That's not his point but what he is saying is that if this is the direction you're going, you might as well be separate from Christ because you're not looking to him and the measurement now of your justification is yourself. You would be justified by the law.

You have fallen away from grace from talking grace you forgotten that salvation is a free gift, but we can't earn it through this. By faith we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness, for in Christ. Neither circumcision will run circumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love our freedom is threatened when guilt becomes the measurement of my justification like performance becomes the measurement of my justification, my full performance :-) flawless performance. The gospel is for sinners like David who fell catastrophically slept with Bathsheba were, who became pregnant and it led terse spiral of Lonnie's as he plummeted further and further into sin, and yet and yet David this God's son and heir because his justification isn't measured by the quality of his disobedience, but by his faith in God's promise and freedom is threatened when the measurement towbar.

Justification is our obedience and then, fourthly, freedom is threatened when we think we can do as we please and all of a sudden Paul spins it around. Yes, we are free, free to be what God intends us to be.

But notice in verse six faith working through love, faith works faith… Luther once said a busy little thing.

Faith wants to love Christ with all the hearts and minds and soul and strength.

Faith once to do what God wants us to do if you love me, keep my commandments, but the motivation for keeping God's commandments is not that I might be justified.

It's not that God would love me a little more closely with infinite love his love me from all eternity.

He loved me before I was ever born. He loved me and drew me to Christ's. We are the called one says Paul says that the very beginning in chapter 1 of Galatians called us by his grace into union and fellowship and communion with Jesus Christ in order that we might out of gratitude as a way of Thanksgiving as a way of saying this is the measurement of my love for you. I give myself entirely to him crucified with Christ and our lives are consecrated, then to a life of obedience not in order to win God's favor, but because we are the favorite ones. He says in verse 10 I have confidence in the Lord's that you will take no other view of the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is, but to find brother still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted in that case, the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves and term Harwich. Paul really takes this metaphor to its ultimate conclusion. You know these people with naïve's if they want to circumcise you then go the whole way and cut it all off, and the horrible and graphic and we don't think about it. That's what Paul is saying because it's not enough simply to say obey this law or doctoral or doctoral. It's endless.

And before you know it you are in sleeve and sleeve to law and you cannot get free from its verse 13 you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another for the whole law is fulfilled in one word, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

But if you bite and devour one another, or charts that you are not consumed by one another and all of a sudden this letter that is been about legalism is now on the other side and it's saying our freedom is not that we might be onto no man's freedom is not that we can live as we please.

When you love someone you don't disobey because it's a chore you don't obey because it's an obligation you obey, because you love that person and you want to please that person so the swings and roundabouts of legalism and antinomianism and six, and issue this always before the church.

And Paul is saying the answer is always Jesus particular I use of Jesus. Don't give up freedom Christ. Don't give up your freedom in Christ.

That's why the apostle Paul was so forceful in his admonition of these professing Christians who you foolish Galatians, he said we're anger in Paul's voice there don't work but we also hear grief because he loved his brothers and sisters in Christ this week on Renewing Your Mind. We have been pleased to feature Dr. Derek Thomas's series. No other gospel. Paul's letter to the Galatians, there is always a temptation to add something to our salvation. We want to feel is the work were playing at least a small role somehow in gaining God's favor by our good behavior. That's why understanding Galatians is important for each of us. Your study of this great book will be held by Dr. Thomas is 14 part series and will send it to you when you give a donation of any amount to regular ministries you can make your request or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343.

Regular we strive to establish you in the word of God and to deepen your understanding of God is why we publish table talk magazine.

Our hope is the table talk through articles in daily Bible studies will help you have your mind saturated with the word of God. You can take a look at the magazine and read some of the sample and and while you're there, you can click on the subscribe button in the upper right-hand corner next week, Dr. Steven Nichols joins us to explain why we trust the Bible is sufficient for all of life. But the crucial question arises will be accept its authority. Please join us again Monday for Renewing Your Mind

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