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God's Promises give us Freedom

The Gospel: Not Just for the Lost  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Promise of God has Priority over the Law

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God’s Promise grants Freedom because the Promise has Priority ()

Explanation: Paul is continuing to build his argument as to how attempting to observe the conditions of the Law (circumcision) are a step backwards. He turns to the OT Scripture and gives the example of Abraham. Before he discusses the promise God made to Abraham he uses the example of a human will to make his initial point.
Once a human will has been ratified (legalized) it becomes unchangeable. The circumstances around the will can change, but the condition of a ratified will do not change.
Illustration: In John Grisham’s novel, The Testament, the rich old man misleads his family into thinking they are going to inherit his fortune. After that family discussion, he changes his will, has it legally validated, and then he dies, cutting all of them out. The family members are furious when they discover what he did, and try to get the money but to no avail.
Argument: Paul makes a lesser to greater argument. If a human document is unchangeable once ratified, then how much more the covenant God makes with His people. In God makes a covenant with Abraham concerning that his offspring would bless the world. This promise God made to Abraham, and unilaterally ratified by passing through the sacrifices by Himself ()
This Promise of God to Abraham came way before the Mosaic Law. The 430 years is a reference to a renewal of the covenant made to Jacob before the family went down to Egypt ()
Application: Paul is encouraging the Galatians to cling to the Promise of God through faith, and not to attempt to work for God’s approval. In the same manner, we can please God by trusting in His promises to us. In Christ, we are free from legalistic attempts to please God

God’s Promise grants Freedom because the Law can only imprison and condemn ()

Explanation: God gave the Law to point out the truth that people are sinful. Paul declares the Law was given to increase transgression. The Law was designed to point out the utter inability of people to live a live of 100% obedience. If that was possible, then one would be justified by the works of the Law. No one (other than Jesus) is capable of doing so.
Illustrate: A doctor diagnoses illness. He examines a patient, determines what the condition is, and then makes a prognosis and gives a treatment plan. The doctor in and of himself does not cure anyone if he or she does not follow the treatment.
Argument: The Law serves as our doctor. The Law examines us and declares us to be sinners. The Law gives our prognosis as certain death, and then admits it does not offer a cure.
Application: The Law discerns our true condition and points us to Jesus. If we are trying to please God through our own efforts, the Law is telling us it is not enough and we will never satisfy our sin debt. Lost persons need to stop working, and start trusting.
Believers, like the Galatians, can fall back into the trap of performance-based approval. We are to remember our true condition before God saved us. We were not in a fender-bender; we were totaled, completely undriveable with a warped frame.

God’s Promise grants Freedom because Jesus is the Fulfillment of the Promise ()

Explanation: Paul continues with another example of how the Law served as our guardian until Christ came. The idea is that of a tutor, or a babysitter who took care of children until they reached legal age. During the time of childhood, the tutor prepared the child for the next stage of life.
Argument: The child yearns to be free from the guardian. to be able to make his own decisions and experience the freedom of adulthood. Paul’s argument to the Galatians is that in Christ, they have come of age. Jesus is the true and complete fulfillment of the Promise of God, and His coming marks a new stage in salvation history. For them to return to observing the requirements of the Law would be like adults wishing to return to living under a guardian who kept them captive.
Application: The freedom to please God is found in trusting Jesus completely.
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