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Order of Service

Call to Worship Hebrews...
Pray
Music
Announcements:
Tonight is both the Bible Study at 6:30 here at the Church which I want to encourage everyone to be there.
Youth Bible Study is at 4:00. (Any thoughts from the teens)
Also after that we have our leadership meeting as well.
This Tuesday night is our game night so we will need some volunteers for that. 6:30
I am going to the jail since I already missed.
Next Sunday night was supposed to be the Elders training night but we will move that to the 4th Sunday.
Thoughts on Bible study for next Sunday since I’m gone?
Church come and pray for Wesley and I for Mardi Gras.
Call to Fellowship: Standing for the Word
I realized the other day that I put in place the idea of standing for the reading of Scripture in our call to worship without talking about why.
Moses stood before the burning bush, only removed sandals.
the people stood when the pillar of Cloud was at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
When Ezra opened the book, the people stood.
In Christ, we have a firm place to stand.
Lastly, we stand as we draw our attention to who it is that we are here to worship.
Worship is joyous and should flood our heart with joy. But it is also a very serious time that we should draw our attention to who it is that we’re here for.
With all of that in mind, let us rise and fellowship with one another we rejoice in worshipping Christ Jesus together.
Sing

Introduction

Well this is a beautiful morning that we have today to worship the risen Christ Jesus together.
Did you know that I’m not talking about the weather or how pretty the sunshine might be today.
Instead I’m talking about the fact that here we are.
A group of people redeemed in the precious and atoning work of Christ Jesus.
Blessed to come together united through the Gospel and the work that God has done in our own hearts.
Blessed to worship God the Father in all of His righteousness collectively as His beloved bride.
That is what makes today a beautiful day.
The very fact that God would redeem a wretch such as you and I and allow us to enter into HIs presence in the body of Christ is just spectacular!
Today I want to walk us back into Pauls letter to the Galatians Church.
Turn with me if you would to and we’re going to read the first 7 verses.
.
All through the third chapter of Galatians, Paul surveyed a little more than 2000 years of Old Testament history.
He walked through Abraham and his faith in God which was counted to him as Righteousness.
Paul used that opportunity of looking at Abraham to point out the necessity of faith in our redemption.
Notice , it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
Paul then moved on and used Moses to lay a distinction between the Law and faith as well.
But ultimately, Paul went to the higher authority than both of those spiritual fathers when it was all said and done.
Paul went on to point to Jesus and he revealed how Abraham, Moses and Jesus related to one another.
John Stott says it like this,
Paul explained how God gave Abraham a promise to bless all the families of the earth through his posterity; how He then gave Moses a law which, far from annulling the promise, actually made it more necessary and urgent; and how the promise was fulfilled in Christ, so that everyone whom the law drives to Christ inherits the promise which God made to Abraham.”
Now what you find here in the first 11 verses is actually saying much of the same which has already been said in the last chapter.
Yet he does so in what could almost be said to be an allegorical retelling of chapter 3.
My aim in approaching this text today is to speak to two portions of what Paul is laying out here in his argument.
I would try to hit all three but I am not feeling up to par so we will just look at two.
My aim is to show how Paul contrasts man’s condition under the Law with his position when he is in Christ.
Beginning in verse 1 Paul says that the heir, as long as he is a child is no diffferent from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.
Beginning in verse 1 Paul says that the heir, as long as he is a child is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
Let me illustrate for just a second where it is that Paul is going with this passage.
This is rather difficult for us to understand in the same way but I’ll make an attempt.
Imagine with me for a moment that you are a child.
Not just any child but a child who once lived in the greatest households of them all.
A home where you were not spoiled by any means but that you were showered with affection beyond measure.
A home where you never wrestled with self-confidence because you knew who your father was.
A home where your father was the king over all of the land.
And you, this little child with no real understanding, recieved all of this kings attention.
You never knew any form of hardship or struggle because your father took care of you.
You never knew what it was like to be under a burden because your father was always right there with you.
But one day something tragic happened.
All of the earth went into rebellion against this great and mighty king.
People everywhere decided to war against your father.
There became so much hatred for your father that even you, even you as his beloved child began to believe some of the rumors.
began to believe some of the rumors.
Your father could see all of the destruction that was unfolding and how it was going to impact you and separate you from Him.
So one day he decided to leave you in the care of his guardian.
Your father being the loving man and King that he was looked to you and promised that one day he would send someone to bring you back to Himself.
A day when that person would come and get you and set all things straight.
But for the moment, for the moment you would need to stay with a guardian.
At first this time with the guardian seemed as though it could be a time of reprieve.
After all, you loved your father but this was a time where you could be free.
All you needed to do was to follow the rules of the guardian.
And at first those rules they seemed easy to bear.
Life seemed easy enough with you now having a list of things to do and things not to do.
You knew precisely what it would take to make your guardian satisfied with you.
But as time progressed, you begin to realize the burden of the law of this guardian.
You began to see that the rules that the guardian set before you was not something to be excited about.
But was instead something that reminded you of the freeness you had in your father.
The guardians rules began to cause you to have a desire to be back with your father.
How when you were with your father you never needed to worry about any rules or regulations because you knew that you would only do what pleased your father.
As time moved forward as it always does, you began to long for that day that your father promised would come.
You began spending your days looking out your window in anticipation of the one who would come in your fathers name.
You began to long for the day that this yoke and this burden that the guardian had placed around your neck would be removed.
You would wake up each morning wishing to see the man coming down the road.
And you would go to bed each night with tears in your eyes weeping because you knew, you knew that there would be one more day that you needed to remain under this guardian.
And you would go to bed each night with tears in your eyes weeping because you knew, you knew that there would be one more day that you needed to remain under this guardian.
But as time progressed
Now I know there was probably some theological errors in that story somewhere but I’m going to blame them on the pain pills from this week...
You see, this is the story of Israel.
Israel was a people who once knew that their forefather Adam walked with God in the Garden.
They knew that in that garden, Adam never needed to worry about sin.
He was able to walk with the King and rejoice in the life that he had been given by his Creator.
Israel knew just how precious this period of life was.
And they knew that there was coming a day when the King would return to set things right.
Read , , , , , , , ...

“Seventy weeks3 are decreed about your people and jyour holy city, to finish kthe transgression, to put an end to sin, land to atone for iniquity, mto bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and nto anoint a most holy place

I could go on an on and on concerning this longing for the day when the Messiah would come.
The Jews longed for the day that they would see the redeemer.
But in the meantime, they were burdened with a yoke not easy for any man to carry.
Israel was just like this child.
They were put under the rule and the authority of the guardian.
One which would yes show them the holiness of God.
But seeing the holiness of God is not the problem.
Instead the problem is that God is holy and we as humanity are not!
And when we begin to get glimpse of this King of Kings who is far beyond our grasp in His righteousness, we as human beings begin to sink.
We begin to realize just how imperfect we truly are.
We begin to realize just how separated from our holy and righteous redeemer we are.
And we cry out to God to send the one that He has promised.
This was Israel.
Although many of Israel rejected the redeemer when He came and they still to this day reject Him.
That does not change the fact that they cried out for His coming.
(Emphasis on Beautiful)
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim Peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, your God Reigns!”
Israel longed for the day when they could see the date set by the Father.
And oh how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.
In their hearts, Israel longed for good news.
They never gave up.
For several thousand years they kept looking forward and awaiting someone to bring them the Eungellion, the good news, the Gospel.
But let me ask you a question.
Why is it that Israel was able to wait for this long?
I mean lets get real for just a second.
We live in a drive thru society.
We want things our way and we wanted it yesterday.
We order something on Amazon and use our Amazon Prime which promises free two day shipping and if that package isn’t at our house within that 48 hours, we’re on the phone.
If we’ve got to wait more than 5 minutes at a drive thru window we’re tapping our watch and thinking we deserve a discount.
Since that is our heart, I wonder why this was never Israels heart.
I would actually argue that this was Israels problem as well.
How many times in the Old Testament did the Lord need to send someone to set Israel straight?
I just did a search of Prophets of the Old Testament and I quit counting at 170.
There was more to count but I didn’t take the time.
But then that still leaves the question, how many of those prophets had to guide Israel back to the Lord?
I can’t prove this statement without 100% surety but the very nature of a Prophet would say that each of them in some way or another had to guide all of Israel back unto Himself.
Israel needed to be reminded of the great joys that were soon to come.
And that is the iss
A time that was coming where they would be able to be completely removed from being under the guardian.
A time when they could truly rejoice at what great reconciliation has been given to them through the Father.
But they also needed to remember that God works in His timing and not our own.
And Paul lays this out for them.
In verse 4 he says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law.
Look at how faithful the Lord our God is.
Through much longsuffering and patience with His people, He still remained constant.
No matter how many times Israel would run from the Lord, He was faithful to fulfill His promise.
Lord knows that in our own hearts, if someone acted towards us the way that we are toward the Lord, we would cut ties with Him.
Seriously, think about this for a moment.
Think back to that season of your life when you treated God as nothing more than a magical genie.
When the only time that you really thought about God was in that moment that you were about to lose everything.
Or the only time that you prayed was when you thought you were about to die if that’s ever been you.
Think about this.
We all know someone like this don’t we?
Someone who only calls or comes by when they need something from us.
And what is our view of them?
We could care less about them most of the time.
Lord knows that I don’t desire to be like that but if all a person wants from me is whatever they can get, most of the time it doesn’t take very long and I’ll shut that friendship down.
But the Lord ain’t that way.
After all of Israels rejection of Him and the countless many times that they treated Him as a genie.
In the fullness of God’s time had come, He sent forth the one who would bring Israel unto Himself.
He brought forth the one which all of the types and shadows of the Old Testament spoke of.
The Lord sent the one who was born of a woman and under the Law to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Listen because this is one of the most beautiful points of the Gospel.
Every single one of us are this way.
Fullness of time/ Faithfulness of God.
We are born under the Law and separated from God because of both our sinful nature inherited through Adam and because of our own sin.
Yet because of the Lord’s steadfastness with us as a set apart people, because of His faithfulness, when the time came He sent His Son for a fallen people.
The fullness of time spoken of here signifies the most remarkable event in all of human history to have ever taken place.
Nothing like it had ever happened before.
God sent His Son.
This speaks of remarkable theology concerning the nature of Christ.
It reveals that Jesus was not merely a man who was one day created.
Jesus was the Son long before God ever sent Him to the world.
He was and has always been the Son within the divine trinity.
Jesus has always coexisted with the Father.
He has always been co-equal with the Father but for the purpose and plan of God the Father, Jesus took on human flesh.
He became the incarnate Christ.
The first time in all of human history that God, because of of His love for fallen humanity lowered Himself and took on human flesh.
But not in some natural way or form of procreation.
God in the person of Jesus was born through immaculate conception to a woman.
Jesus condescended and became a man, born of a Jewish mother under the law.
God in the person of Jesus entered into the prison where His people were held.
Bringing redemption to all those promised to the Father.
And because of our redemption through Christ Jesus, we now have life in abundance.
We have freedom not ever known to any other generation born prior to the coming of Christ.
We are free to pursue after our creator.
We are free to walk uprightly and bow humbly before the Lord.
Better than that, we are now blessed with being heirs of Christ Jesus.
Do you realize what this means?
Our legal position before God has changed.
Forget some figurative analogy.
The Lord and the Creator of all the universe has looked upon us and declared us innocent and forgiven.
God no longer looks to us as a king would look at peasants and beggars.
He no longer thinks of you as a redeemed person in Christ Jesus as some despicable filthy wretch.
Instead the maker and sustainer of all of the universe looks at you and sees perfection.
He sees perfection.
Not because of who you are.
Not because of what you have done or will do for Him.
Instead He see perfection because of what Jesus has done on your behalf.
Last week I jokingly quoted Joel Osteen and his comment about having a healthy self-image.
A part of that is true.
Not Joel’s idea of a healthy self image but instead what the Bible says.
Imagine how you would function in your daily life if for just a moment you could truly see yourself in the same way that God sees you in Christ!
Imagine your attitude toward life.
Imagine your relationship with your wife or your husband.
Imagine how you would treat one another knowing that this is how God sees His people.
The Lord looks at His people as heirs.
Heirs who are blessed to inherit all that the Son has done.
He looks at His people with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction in Christ.
And if that doesn’t shake you to the core, think about what it is that you inherit that goes beyond this life.
You already have the joy of living in a justified state.
You get to experience the newness of life with the Spirit of Christ within your hearts.
But beloved there is so much more to come.
This time of fellowship, this preaching of His Word and the worship of Him through song, this is only a small taste.
God has only begun to show us what it is that He has in store for us in the life to come.
And we can rest on this as a promise.
In the same way that God was faithful in sending Jesus regardless of the sins of His people, He’s also faithful in holding onto His people as He welcomes them home.
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