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July 7, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Walking In the Spirit.” Today’s scripture passage is Galatians 5:13.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform or continuing a study series entitled walking in the spirit which is a study of Galatians chapter 5 through the study will see how believers can have freedom in Christ as they walk with him each day.
Let's listen to today's message where Steve will begin part one of the study of Christian liberty from Galatians chapter 5 when I ask you take your Bibles this morning. Please in turn with me to the book of Galatians Galatians chapter 5 this morning. This morning we will begin a two-part series that is actually introduced in the verse in the verse 13 today will be foundational for your understanding so that you understand what liberty is and then of course how it spit spells out into the way that we live our Christian life tonight. Also during the discipleship group meetings deny you have time to pray together and talk through and discuss what you've heard today in chapel in in your study and your E studies and I hope it will be a great blessing for you personally. Galatians chapter 5 in verse 13 were going to look at the opening phrase this morning that Paul actually introduces this passage of Scripture and actually this study is the beginning of the walking in the spirit concept and Paul begins by saying these words for brethren, you have been called unto liberty in the fat in the financial world.
Those of you that are business majors will appreciate this, that your portfolio normally refers to a collection of all of your investment.
That would include stocks and bonds, real estate contracts things that you own. When you put it all together. It shows your president or your personal financial wealth or your worth your portfolio determines your worth now is a believer, we have an incredible spiritual portfolio is given to all of us by our Lord. Ephesians chapter 3 in verse eight Paul says under me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, unsearchable means beyond our comprehension. Not really fully possible to understand, but we have been given these amazing riches that are in Christ.
Could it be as a Christian that you are not growing spiritually because of your sheer lack of knowledge of what's in your spiritual portfolio. One writer said in this way the great temptation. Most of us face is to believe that very little has happened to us through grace we are encouraged to hold a different perspective by enlarging our understanding of what God is done for us and has begun to accomplish in us. One of the great spiritual holdings that we have in our spiritual portfolio is the blessing called Christian liberty and it is truly one of the greatest blessings that we have in Christ. Paul says, for brethren, you are called unto liberty so what is Christian liberty. First of all let me say that the word liberty simply means freedom. Now what is this freedom then that we have it in the context of the book of Galatians we discover the meaning of liberty by looking at three key verses to help us understand this freedom that we have and that's what I'd like us to do this morning. Look at the three key verses in the book of Galatians that uses the word liberty where's the first verse is found in Galatians chapter 2 in verse four, if you'll take your Bibles and turn their planes. Notice what Paul says and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily or secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.
A little background. Paul here is referring to the problem that had arisen in the churches of Galatia mentioned this last week Paul and Barnabas go on their first missionary journey to this region known as Galatia is in central, southern Turkey, in this journey. They went to various cities and preach the gospel of God's grace and the Lord work marble marvelously and there were many people that were say. But after Paul and Barnabas leaves. There are certain professing brothers that come from Jerusalem, whom Paul called false brethren or we call Judaizers and they came and they began to teach a different gospel by way let me to stop here and make a public confession if I made last week. I did make a mistake pointed out to me by one of our Bible professors and lest I be accosted every week. Let me confess my sin.
Last week I said, James, Peter and John. Those three that were James and John that were brothers were that James that was my bad. I realize that during the message is James Jesus's brother, because the other James the brother of John had already passed away. He had been killed by King Herod and so last I get accosted again this week I want to make sure that I make that public confession this morning.
Now these Judaizers did not deny the Messiah ship of Jesus or the need of faith.
However, what they did do is they added to the message of grace. They said that faith alone was not sufficient for salvation. So what did they do, they began to insist that believers had to go back and follow the Mosaic law, what would that include well that would include kosher food laws that would include observing special Jewish days and am particularly, it would include circumcision, which was the sign of the Abraham covenant and Paul uncovered what he said was their secret plot. That is, they came in to check out or spy on the believers liberty they came to see what they were doing with the result of putting God's people back under the Mosaic law and there are serious problems that come believers go back under this law were those problems that Paul proposes. There are two of them in their founding Galatians chapter 5, beginning in verse two.
The first problem is that if you live under the law, you are indebted to keep the whole law perfectly look at what he says in verse three, for I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do a whole wall if you accept the necessity of circumcision.
That's not enough. You can't pick and choose, you are obligated to keep the whole Mosaic law.
The 613 codified laws that God gave to Moses and the law requires that you keep it perfectly now. What if you don't keep the law perfectly, and Paul tells us notice what he says in Galatians 3 in verse 10 for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse word is written curse.
It is everyone that continue with not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Here's his point.
If you are living under the law, you are indebted to keep the whole law, and the point is you can't, and the moment you put yourself back under the law as a means of salvation you have put yourself under the judgment of God. If you are trying to work your way to heaven, you are under God's curse because you have to keep the whole law perfectly but then there's a second problem that's actually found in verses two and four and that is this, that if you live under the law. All there is no personal benefit. The Christ life and his death. But what he says in verse two behold, I Paul saying to you that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Those first four Christ is become of no effect unto you.
Paul is saying that if you accept the necessity of circumcision for relationship with God, then there is no advantage there is no benefit to you in the life and death of Christ, literally you are severed from Christ. Why, because when you put yourself under the moment Mosaic law.
It is saying that what Jesus did is not sufficient to save you that he is not enough.
Now what is the gospel. Simply put, it is this that Jesus live the life that you should've lived. How did he live his life he lived his life as a Jew under the law, all in perfect and complete obedience to all of God's law. That's why the Bible says Jesus Christ is the one who is righteous, he is the right one but not only did he live the life that you should've lived because you did not live that long life.
But secondly, Jesus died the death that you should all die for. When he died on the cross, God brought his own judgment on the head of his own son.
God cursed his son in our place in the gospel is this Jesus live for us and Jesus died for us.
And when you put your faith in Christ. What is God do God removes your sins because Christ paid the penalty in full God places to your account the righteousness of Jesus Christ literally it is transferred. It is deposited into your account so that his righteous life is now your righteous life, and if you say I have to go back under the law in order to have a relationship with God then you're saying that what Jesus did on the cross and what he did in his life is not enough and when you say it's not enough and is not faith.
It falls back to works is like you walking into the business office of Bob Jones University to pay off your school bill you pay it all and the Milan nice lady says to you, that's not enough that you will know a little bit more now. If you are like me, I pay Bob Jones University every single dime I owed them and not one penny more. And some of you would be really upset if they said that what you paid is not enough.
You need to pay more for the believer to go back to the Mosaic law is to leave the freedom that you have received in Christ by his life and death. So what is Christian liberty. It is freedom from the law as a basis for salvation through faith in Jesus.
Christ, no one measures up to God's standard for the law reveals the perfection of who God is. We are saved by the perfection of God's there's there's a second verse I want to take note of and that's found in Galatians chapter 5 in verse one. This is the second time. The word liberty is used in the book of Galatians.
Notice what Paul says stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ is made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage not notice the statement stand fast therefore I'm sure you've heard your pastor say if you see the statement.
Therefore, you asked the question, what's it therefore or what's it you know why. Why is it they are. We call this an application verse that is Paul is telling you to do something based on the previous statements that he had made. And really, it's important that you understand why he says stand fast therefore in the liberty where Christ is made us free, and actually it goes back to chapter 4 verse 21, and I want us to go back and look at that this morning because Paul's discussion is based on an illustration that he's using. And that is the illustration of the two sons of Abraham. What were their names. Ishmael and Isaac, and Paul uses them as an illustration of the old covenant and the new covenant and notice what it says in Galatians 4 and verse 21 it says, tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law, for it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid that's Hagar and the other by a free woman that Sarah but he who is of the bondwoman was born after the flash, but he of the free woman was by the promise which things are an allegory in an allegory simply means that there's more to it then the literal statement there is a meaning an illustration. What's the illustration of Ishmael and Isaac. Let's begin with Ishmael who was Ishmael. He was the son that came to Abraham not from his wife Sarah.
But Hagar Nagata made a promise to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son.
The promise came to Abraham when he was 75 to his wife when she was 65 and the promise came up for 13 years. They went along without having a son.
And so what happened was that God made this promise, but they did not take the promise and so so Abraham acted on his own initiative, we would call that simply the flesh, and he fathered Ishmael through his slave Hagar, and Paul uses Ishmael to illustrate and understand the law of Moses. The old covenant, and that is first of all, Ishmael was the son of slavery, his mother Hagar was a slave woman and here's the point of the illustration that if you go back to the old covenant you are going back to slavery, you're putting yourself back into bondage trying to work your way to God within. Secondly, Ishmael was not the son of God's promise that is God made a promise but it was not going to come through Ishmael. I was going to come to Isaac and so therefore there was no inheritance for Ishmael and the point Paul is making is that not only if you go back to Ishmael you're coming back in the slavery, but there is no inheritance of eternal life through trying to keep the law.
There is no eternal life. That way, you do not get in the heaven. That way, and then Paul jumps to Isaac who was Isaac. Well we know Isaac was a son of Abraham and Sarah.
He was born supernaturally with Sarah was 90 years old and Paul uses this to illustrate the new covenant of Christ and what is he saying to Isaac, number one, Isaac was the son of freedom. He was not a slave but he was a son, and the point is that the new covenant is what brings us into our relationship with God you go back in the Old Testament read that that the new covenant is the way of relationship with God through the life and the death of God's son. Do you want to have a relationship with God.
How do you have it you have it. Through God son. Secondly, Isaac was the son that receive the inheritance and the point is that the new Jerusalem or heaven is the inheritance of the believer. So he takes these two illustrations Isaac and Ishmael. He illustrates the new covenant and the old covenant and then it comes down to the end of the chapter and he basically explains what is a believer to do with salvation through the old covenant.
Well, what did Abraham do with Hagar, he cast her out. What are we to do with the kind of thinking of salvation that comes to the wall. The same thing so notice what he says in verse 30. Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture cast out the bondwoman and her son for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman, so their brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free and then we come to chapter 5 in verse 20 says it is for freedom that Christ is set you free. Therefore, what are you to do two things. Number one Stan firm stand on the gospel and number two. Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Do not put yourself under law for salvation, but stay in the in the grace that is in Jesus Christ. So what is Christian liberty.
It is freedom from the law as a means of salvation as a means of relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. God does not bind up his laws put them in a covenant and hand them to you and say if you want to have a relationship with me that you gotta fulfill this covenant of all snow, God sent his son, who lived under the law fulfill the law all died on the cross for our sins, and he offers to us not the covenant of walls, but Opera offers to a covenant of grace through his son Jesus Christ, fats, freedom a relationship with God based on his promises. And then we come to our final verse, which is the verse. We began with and that's Galatians 5 in verse 13 and notice the statement for brethren, you have been called unto liberty. So three times he uses the word know what I want to note is the statement for brethren you been called the word call in the New Testament is primarily referring to one of the two words in the Bible that describes the believers experience of salvation. That is when you get saved that experience. What's taking place. Number one, there's a calling and the second word is the word conversion numbers are two important words for you to understand the word conversion is actually what we would say the human side of salvation to human response and the idea of conversion involves two things. Number one repentance and number two faith so that when you get saved what you do you repent and you believe repentance is a change of mind about God and yourself. Recognizing God's holiness in your sinfulness you turn from an old life of sin and you turn to God. Faith is dependents own the life and the death of Jesus Christ. Placing your faith in him. So when you put your faith in Christ in you repent you are converted. There's a change in your life. But the word calling is actually referring to the divine side of your salvation experience and the calling report refers to two things. Number one, and an external call number two an internal call now the external call is in reference to the preaching of the gospel. Paul spoke about that in Galatians 1, verse five, notice what he said I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. What he saying here is that when Paul preach the gospel. He called people to come and be say.
Yesterday morning I was preaching at Stanley Heights Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They had to services. The first one was at 815 in the morning and I preached a message on the death of Christ explaining in detail the best that I could what happened when Jesus died, but I did more than that because the death of Christ was for our sins and so I called people to come and respond to that message and thank God. Two men responded yesterday to accept Christ as their personal savior. That's that's the human side of this calling the preaching of the gospel in anyone that preaches the gospel accurately must invite people to come that's embedded in the nature of the gospel.
But secondly, there is an internal call or what we would call the work of the spirit. Notice verse 15 but when it please God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, to reveal his son in me that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. This is Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus and there what Jesus did is he illuminated Paul's understanding. He revealed himself to Paul so to put an insert simple terms, the calling of God is the external call of the preaching of the gospel is the internal call of the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart to bring you to saving faith and without both of those you can't be say so when Paul says here, for brethren, you are called on the liberty he's referring to are calling to salvation where we entered into a relationship with God that was not based on our own self efforts but it was based on God's favor and God's grace to me. Think of it this way. How wonderful it is to consider that the God of heaven has personally called you. If you are saved, then God chose to work in your heart and favor you with grace. Or that's freedom God came to you, it's not you coming to God. It's God coming to you. Think of how wonderful it is that your relationship with God is not secured by your obedience to the laws, but it is secured by the obedience of God's son.
Think of how wonderful it is that I have complete forgiveness from sin and a total acceptance with God based on the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ.
We sing the song.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.
Think of the freedom of those who have lived so wickedly and have been so bad and it discovered that God is so good.
Some of you have come from lives of sin, degradation, corruption. But God in his grace called you to himself, and you came to him and what he do he freely, freely, for gave freely accepted you into his family.
Think of the wonderful truth that I have a father with whom I have X access to come and talk to him at any time. Think of the freedom that I have no that not only am I say but I'm eternally secure in Christ and I never fear of losing that which God what is Christian liberty. It is freedom from the law as a means of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. So as you go on your way today rejoice that you are his you been listening to a sermon from the study series in Galatians chapter 5 by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform