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The Righteous shall live by faith

The Gospel: Not just for the Lost  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We not only get saved by the Gospel, we live by faith in the Gospel

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The Gospel not only saves us, it enables us to grow in the faith we possess. ()

Explanation: Paul returns his attention back to the Galatians. In Chapter 1 he was admonishing them for accepting a false gospel of works. He first made the case that his gospel was the correct (and only ) gospel and defended its source and his authority.
Paul is astonished by their confusion - he thinks they may have been placed under a spell that has affected their ability of moral understanding. He then levels a series of rhetorical questions to make his point. And his point is very simple: The Galatians Christians did indeed possess the Holy Spirit. [As opposed to circumcision being the sign of the old covenant, receiving the HS is the entry point to the new covenant.]
But, to Paul’s astonishment, having received the Spirit, they were now being drawn back to a system that looked to works for meeting God’s approval (circumcision & the Law)
Illustrate: Consider a scribe who is hand copying manuscripts by candlelight. Along comes the printing press and electric lights. When the scribe is introduced to these new discoveries he is overjoyed and begins to crank out books. You check on him 6 months later, and you find someone has talked him into returning to hand-copying in the flickering light of a sputtering candle. You would be astonished!!
Argument: Believers need the Gospel for daily life. God brought us into His family by faith in the Gospel, not by any of our attempted good deeds. Now that we are in the family He doesn’t change the rules - our growth and His approval still come through faith.
Application: The process of sanctification is through a continued faith in the Gospel.
As believers we are saints, we are new creations, and we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to our new home in the kingdom of light. God did not do this for us simply for us to remain as we were when he found us.
1. One very important understanding in the process of sanctification is to realize it is an expectation. All living things grow. Christians are living things. Christians should grow.
2. It is not about trying harder. Even as believers we do and will continue to struggle with the desires of the flesh which can lead to sin. When we sin as believers and we understand it grieves the heart of God, we want to stop - which is a good thing. We often fail in our approach. “I got mad yesterday when KFC got my order wrong. That was sin. I am not going to get angry again. When that happens, I am just not going to let myself get angry!” This is just willpower, and it will fail us.
3. It is about releasing this to Christ. It is about going back to the Gospel. Jesus is my Savior and He is all I need. Ask: what is it that I have allowed to become a functional saviour in His place? Do I need to get my way to feel validated? Do I have an overblown sense of my own importance?
4. It is about trusting in the empowering of the Holy Spirit and a reliance on Him. We are able to respond differently when we allow the Spirit access. We can avoid the sin of anger, lust, bitterness, greed, etc. because we have the Spirit of God within us.
Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Living by faith has always been God’s plan for His people ()

Explanation: Paul supports his point by using the OT example of Abraham. God promised Abraham that he would receive land, descendants, and that through his offspring the entire world would be blessed.
Abraham never actually owned any of the land, and years after the promise was made he still had no heir. When Abraham questioned God about no offspring (), God told Abraham he would indeed have a son and his descendants would be like the number of the stars in heaven. Abraham’s response is crucial:
Genesis 15:6 ESV
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
NOTE: Abraham did nothing. At this point he had still received nothing. Yet he believed the Lord and that belief, that faith, was counted to his righteousness.
Argument: God’s plan has always been by faith. This is not a new change in plans. God did not give circumcision to Abraham until years after this exchange, and the Law of Moses did not arrive for another 430 years. Faith preceded the law. Faith is the priority.

Living by Works leads back to being cursed ()

Explanation: Paul continues with his argument for faith-based living by showing the Galatians that not only is living by faith God’s Plan A, attempting to live by good works leads to receiving a cursing instead of a blessing. The law was very clear as to the result of the one who failed to live up to its requirements.
Deuteronomy 27:26 ESV
“ ‘Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
No one, outside of Jesus Himself, has ever kept the law perfectly. That means that everyone who attempts to live by the law will fail () and will therefore be under the curse of the law
Argument: Paul reminds the Galatians of the high price Jesus paid for all believers.
Argument: Paul then reminds the Galatians of the high price Jesus paid for all believers. He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf and took on the curse of the law when He died on the tree (cross)
Deuteronomy 21:23 ESV
his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
Application: The Righteous shall live by faith () Faith is the entrance to the kingdom, and it is also the coin of the realm. Relying on, and depending on the Spirit of Jesus for daily victory is the path of freedom and fulfillment.
We truly need to repent of our functional saviors that we are foolishly trusting in and remember the words of Jesus
John 15:5 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
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