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No Rebellion

Give Me Liberty  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Galatians is God’s strongest word against legalism. The flesh loves to do things religious—celebrate holy days, practice rituals, attempt to do good works for God. Many religious systems today mix law and grace and present a garbled, confused way of salvation that is actually a way of bondage (Gal. 2:4; 4:9; 5:1). Keeping the Sabbath, dietary laws, an earthly priesthood, holy days, obeying rules—all of these are swept away in Galatians and replaced by the glorious liberty the believer has through faith in Christ! Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 515). Victor Books.

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There is something within us that seeks rules and regulations and the trappings of religion. When we embrace the idea of salvation being by grace through faith in what Jesus did as opposed to what we do, it may feel a bit like rebellion. It isn’t, it’s embracing what should be and it is what Scripture teaches.
The question in verse 5 concludes Paul’s appeal to the experience of the Galatians. It also transitions to the next element of Paul’s appeal; the objective evidence of Scripture.
Galatians 3:5 NKJV
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Does God save by the works of the law or the hearing of faith?
Judaizers made a big deal out of Abraham and being children/followers of Abraham. Since Abraham was a big deal, Paul reaches to Abraham for his answer.

An Answer, Galatians 3:6-7

Galatians 3:6–7 NKJV
6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Paul draws his answer from Scripture, quoting Genesis 15:6

Genesis 15:6 NKJV
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Paul applies his answer consistent with Scripture

“therefore” connects verses 6 and 7 indicating that verse 7 is logically built on verse 6
what an application! “only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham”
Those who are Jewish by birth but reject Jesus are not sons of Abraham
Those who are Jewish by choice but reject Jesus are not sons of Abraham
Those who receive Jesus and His grace through faith alone are sons of Abraham, regardless of who they are otherwise

An Explanation, Galatians 6:8-14

Before Abraham was “Father Abraham”, he was just Abram. Galatians 3:8-9

Galatians 3:8–9 NKJV
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Abram believed and trusted God. He was not circumcised and had no law to dictate his actions. His was a life of faith, not law. By faith, he received the promise of God.
Genesis 12:3 NKJV
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The blessing pointed to Jesus, Abraham’s descendent. It also pointed to Abraham’s life of faith in receiving God’s favor, not earning it.

The law brings only a curse due to our inability to completely follow it Galatians 3:10

Galatians 3:10 NKJV
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
Paul again quotes the Scriptures
Deuteronomy 27:26 NKJV
26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ”
the “confirmation” here is not a verbal assent but rather a confirmation of action in keeping the law.

Faith brings about just living, not the law Galatians 3:11

Galatians 3:11 NKJV
11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Paul again quotes the Scriptures
Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV
4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Legalism breeds pride and arrogance. Faith breeds just living.

There is contrast, and conflict, between the law and faith Galatians 3:12

Galatians 3:12 NKJV
12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
Paul again quotes the Scriptures
Leviticus 18:5 NKJV
5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
The reason the law does not produce life is because no one has, or can, fully follow it!

Failure to fully follow the law has consequences Galatians 3:13-14

Galatians 3:13–14 NKJV
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Paul again quotes the Scriptures
Deuteronomy 21:23 NKJV
23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.
Disobedience to the law brings a curse. Jesus took the curse of the law for us so that were free of the curse and requirements of the law.
Freedom in Christ is not rebellion against God’s plan, it the point of God’s plan! Since it is the point of God’s plan, we do not need to feel guilty for enjoying freedom. We also do not need to feel tempted to revert to legalism. By constantly quoting from the Scriptures, Paul demonstrates that this was always God’s plan.
There are two points of application for us:
The direct point - enjoy freedom through faith in Christ knowing it is God’s plan and purpose for us to do so
The indirect point - how do you answer the questions you have about life and the questions others might have about your life? You find the answers in the Scriptures.
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