Faithlife Sermons

The Promise over the Law

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Call to Worship

Please turn with me to
I want to begin today with a story of a man named John.
John was to say the least a rowdy young man.
He liked to stay out late at night drinking and partying with his friends.
This had become the customary life of this young man.
On March 19th 1982, John left a club where he had been out partying with his friends.
He stumbled out towards the parking lot, so intoxicated that he couldn’t keep his car keys in his hand for more than a few seconds.
After some time of struggling, John was finally able to get into his car and began driving down the highway.
The speed limit on the highway was supposed to be 55 MPH, yet John was driving around 100.
Not only was he speeding but he was also swerving all over the road.
Many times John was just mere inches from hitting other vehicles head on.
That’s when it happened.
John glanced in his rearview and seen that there were red and blue lights coming up behind him and he knew that they were coming for him.
He pulled over and waited upon the officer to approach his car.
Though John was speeding, the town had no laws on their books that would prosecute John for driving while intoxicated.
Not only that, but the officer never checked John’s speed and was only pulling him over because he was one of the vehicles that John almost hit.
The officer told John to be safe and pay more attention to his surroundings and also told him that it was pretty unwise to be driving while intoxicated.
A few months go by and John leaves the local bar in the exact same way he had before only this time would be different.
Not because of anything that John had done but because the city was finally able to put a law on the books regarding driving while intoxicated.
John’s careless and reckless behaviour wouldn’t go unpunished this time.
When the officers spotted the vehicle doing 120 MPH they instantly turned on their lights and pulled him over.
As the officer approached the vehicle, it was quite obvious that John was well beyond intoxicated and he was quickly arrested.
After his time sobering was done he appeared before the Judge which had already decided to make an example out of this young man.
He charged him with a fine of 10,000 dollars for every mile he had driven and had put other peoples lives in jeopardy.
The total of the fine equaled out to be 250,000 dollars.
John knew that this was a fine that was going to be impossible to pay, especially now that on his record would be these charges of a DWI, careless and reckless endangerment as well as speeding.
Yet in the end, it was not the law would prevent John from speeding again.
It was not the law that would prevent him from driving around intoxicated.
It was not the judge, the jail or the cops which would prevent him from breaking the law.
Instead it was his father.
You see while John was sitting in jail, His father gave what little he had and refinanced his own home to pay the debt of his son.
What prevented the man from breaking the law in the future was the love that his father had for him.
What his father was willing to give up because of the great love that he had for his son.
The love of the father paying the debt for the son is what would ultimately keep John from continuing in his ways.
This is a picture of the Christian life.
This is what should come into our minds as we begin to have thoughts about sin.
Though the Law is there and in place, the law is not what keeps us from sinning in those ways.
Instead what keeps the Christian from returning to the law is the love that the father has for them in that He would give up everything in the person of Jesus to pay for your sins.
The Law is there but it is not what should bind the heart, instead, the love of God through Christ should be what causes the Christian to seek after a pure life.
Yet we have within the Church today some misguided notion concerning this idea of the Law.
And if we were honest with each other, I think we would all admit to ourselves that we are often happier living under some form of Law.
And in many ways that is perfectly okay.
I mean could you imagine for a moment what would happen in our society if we were not a nation governed by Law?
One Hollywood producer took this into account and wrote a screen play based upon something like this.
In 2003 there was a movie released with a form of this ideology.
The general theme of the movie was that for 12 hours, once a year, there was no law.
Nothing was illegal apart from attacking the government or government officials.
Business’ were created to offer complete armor to peoples homes and to build safe rooms to house the whole family.
Gun sales spiked like crazy about a month prior to that date and in many ways it caused the economy to boom in the area of safety and security.
About the only good side to it was that wives who were tired of their husbands failure to pick up after themselves only needed to wait until that one special day of the year and they could deal with him however they saw fit....
Wives who were tired of their husbands failure to pick up after themselves only needed to wait until that one special day of the year and anything was legal.
Now wives just so you know, Im not advocating for this…
On a serious note, did I ever tell y’all about
But more seriously, the idea was that the homeless would be purged from the streets.
Those who were considered a burden to society were strategically eliminated.
I’m sure the government actually loved it as well because before the people they could have clean hands.
All hospitals and police forces were shut down during this time and there was literally no Law.
The theme of the movie was that this allowed for people to resolve conflict and for the criminally minded individual to have a legal time to pursue his desires without threat of repercussion.
In many ways the movie presented some form of utopia to those who we’re bent towards crime.
But for those who longed for a clean society, this purge was an emotional roller coaster.
The lawless society for even a fraction of the year was horrendous.
Each of us would agree that the idea of having a law to govern our society is a good thing.
It’s something that we need.
As Parents we discipline our children using the law to suppress the sinful our hearts of our children and to point them to Christ.
In many ways the Law is great.
And what Paul is advocating for here in this passage is not to be removed from the Law as a moral standard.
In fact, nowhere in any of Paul’s writings concerning the Law of God can this argument be made.
Instead, what Paul is trying to argue for is the heart motivations behind following the Law.
In one way we could say that this allegory from Paul is a word picture.
Paul contrasts the irreconcilable difference between a mere legal religion and true spiritual life.
Listen, think about this passage in its context for a moment.
A whole group of Judiazers trying to lead the people back into a system of Law where Christ had freed them.
Think about that in relation to this allegorical passage.
The Judiazers would have been priding themselves on their heritage found in Isaac.
I mean after-all, even they would have seen Isaac as the true heir to the promise that God had given Abraham.
Isaac was the son of the free woman Sarah.
Isaac was the owner of the inheritance.
But Ishmael, he was the son born of the slave woman.
For him there was no inheritance.
It was as if Ishmael was a gentile.
Think about this.
To be born a Jew meant that you by your very birth are a child of the covenant naturally.
To be born a gentile means that you aren’t born into the covenant.
Should you want to be a part of the covenant you would have to be adopted into the family by circumcision.
As a gentile you could embrace the Mosaic Law and align yourself with Israel but you still didn’t have the covenant naturally.
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