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BOYS TO MEN

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INTRODUCTION

OPENING STORY: TIME MY FATHER WAS LIKE 12 YEARS OLD AND CAME HOME WITH A REPORT CARD THAT HAD ALL A’S FOR GRADES, AND ON THE BACK HAD ALL U’S (UNSATISFACTORY) IN CONDUCT. THEN HIS TEACHER, MRS. CODNER WROTE, “CRAWFORD LORITTS IS DOING A FINE JOB AT BEING THE CLASS CLOWN”. AT DINNER TABLE HIS DAD SEES THIS AND SAYS, “SON YOU GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS. AND THIS BEHAVIOR STOPS NOW, TONIGHT”. AND DID A FEW OTHER THINGS TO AFFIRM THAT BEHAVIOR THAT WE WON’T TALK ABOUT. HE WAS CALLING HIM UP TO MATURITY. HE WAS CALLING THIS BOY TO BE A MAN.
CREATING THE NEED
WE ARE IN THE AGE OF EXTENDED ADOLESCENCE…WHAT’S TRUE SOCIOLOGICALLY, PAUL TELLS US, IS ALSO TRUE SPIRITUALLY. HE IS WRITING THE GALATIANS BECAUSE THEY ARE IN AN AGE OF EXTENDED SPIRITUAL ADOLESCECNE, AND HE IS CALLING THESE SPIRITUAL BOYS TO BE MEN/GIRLS TO BE WOMEN.
EXPLANATION: THIS IS HIS POINT IN THE OPENING VERSES. PICTURES ALL OF TIME AS A HUMAN BEING. VERSE 4- WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN WE WERE ENSLAVED TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES = THE LAW. IN OTHER WORDS LEANING ON RULES AS A MEANS OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS CHILDISH IMMATURITY. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE DO THIS- THE JEWS WITH THE LAW. BUT ALSO THE IRRELIGIOUS DO THIS- LEANING ON OTHER THINGS, OTHER gods/IDOLS- FOR SELF WORTH. SUCCESS…MONEY…BEAUTY. THESE ARE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES AND MARKS OF IMMATURITY. YOU’RE GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS.
TOMMY MORGAN ILLUSTRATION: SEEN ON TV LICENSE PLATE/IRON MONEY…WE LAUGH AT THE IMMATURITY BUT AT LEAST HE’S HONEST, WE ALL IN DIFFERENT WAYS DO THE SAME THING! COME ON, YOU’RE GETTING TO OLD FOR THIS!
SO WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO BE SPIRITUALLY MATURE, TO GO FROM BOYS TO MEN? A RENEWED HEART, REAL LIFE, AND A TOTAL RELIANCE ON THE GOSPEL.

A RENEWED HEART-

PROBLEM: YES THE IRRELIGIOUS CAN ACT SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE, BUT IRONICALLY, SO CAN THE RELIGIOUS. IN FACT THIS IS PAUL’S WHOLE POINT. THE JEWS OBSERVED THE LAW METICULOUSLY, OFFERED SACRIFICES WHEN THEY MESSED UP, WENT TO THE SYNAGOGUE, HEARD THOUSANDS OF SERMONS, WORSHIPPED IN THE TEMPLE, AND YET WERE PROFOUNDLY SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE. THEY WORSHIPPED OTHER gods, EXPERIENCED THE DISCIPLINE OF GOD, AND WERE FINALLY EXILED. YOU CAN BE PROFOUNDLY RELIGIOUS AND CHILDISH AT THE SAME TIME. YOU’RE GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS.
ILLUSTRATION: HS REUNION. WE’VE ALL SEEN THIS. YOU LOOK AT SOMEONE AND KIND OF SHAKE YOUR HEAD SAYING 20 YEARS LATER AND YOU STILL THE SAME OLD CLASS CLOWN. YEARS DOES NOT EQUAL MATURITY.
APPLICATION: AND THAT’S SO MANY CHRISTIANS. WE ALL KNOW CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE GONE TO CHURCH ALL THEIR LIVES, HEARD THOUSANDS OF SERMONS, CRIED AT THE ALTAR, HELD THOUSANDS OF QUIET TIMES AND UTTERED MILLIONS OF PRAYERS, AND HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH MONEY, BUT ARE STILL PROFOUNDLY IMMATURE. CUSS YOU OUT. SLEEPING AROUND. GREEDY. YOU’RE GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS.
THE REMEDY OF JESUS:
PAUL LOOKS AT HUMANITY IN TERMS OF GOING FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADULTHOOD, AND THE CRITICAL MOMENT THAT HAPPENED SPIRITUALLY WAS WHE JESUS CAME. AT THE FULLNESS OF TIME. PLEROMA. TIME IS A PREGNANT WOMAN. JESUS STEPS ONTO THE SCENE. AND HE CAME TO REDEEM: EMANCIPATE US FROM SLAVERY TO RELIGION AND THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD, AND TO FREE US TO SERVE HIM.
ROBERT WOLGEMUTH GREAT GRANDFATHER STORY OF REDEEMING SLAVE. WHERE AM I GOING TO GO? SO HE SERVES HIM NOT AS A SLAVE. THIS IS REDEMPTION. PAUL A SERVANT OF CHRIST.
A RENEWED HEART EXPLANATION: THE SPIRIT IS SENT INTO OUR HEARTS CRYING ABBA FATHER. THE WAY YOU KNOW YOU’RE A LEGITIMATE CHILD OF GOD IS NOT SO MUCH SEEN IN YOUR ACTIONS, BUT IS THE CRY OF OUR HEARTS. CRY IS A LOUD SHRILL. ABBA IS BABYTALK FOR DADDY SYMBOLIZING A RELATIONSHIP. - GOD GIVING A NEW HEART. PROBLEM IS THE LAW FOCUSES ON BEHAVIORS AND CANNOT GET TO THE HEART. THE GOSPEL IS GOD GETS TO YOUR HEART AND THEN WILL TRANSFORM YOUR BEHAVIORS. THE ROAD TO MATURITY IS NOT IN TRYING HARDER, BUT IN HAVING GOD PENETRATE YOUR HEART.
KORIE ILLUSTRATION: WHEN I WAS SINGLE I TALKED A LOT OF TRASH. I’M THE MAN. STILL GONNA HANG OUT WITH THE BOYS. I’M RUNNING THIS. WELL FROM JUMP THINGS CHANGED. CALLED HER THE DAY I GOT THE NUMBER. FELLAS WERE LIKE WHERE ARE YOU. I TOLD HER I LOVE YOU FIRST. SHE TURNED THIS INTROVERT INTO AN EXTRAVERT. TALKED ALL NIGHT ON THE PHONE. SHE GOT MY HEART AND I CHANGED. THE WAY TO CHANGE IS NOT THE CHANGE, IT BEGINS WITH THE HEART. YOU WANT TO BE MORE GENEROUS? FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS. YOU WANT TO BE MORE AFFECTIONATE AND UNDERSTANDING IN YOUR MARRIAGE? FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

A REAL LIFE-

EXPLANATION: SPIRITUAL MATURITY IS SEEN IN A REAL LIFE. THE PRINCIPLE HERE IS THAT OF AUTHENTICITY. LOOK AT PAUL. VERSES 12-20 HE GIVES SOME BACKGROUND. STONING IN LYSTRA. THORN IN THE FLESH. AN EYE IMPAIRMENT, DIDN’T SEE WELL. ALLUDES TO IT HERE IN THIS TEXT IN VERSE 15; 6:11. AND THIS POSED A PROBLEM. THE GREEKS VALUED THEIR SPEAKERS. WHAT ACTORS ARE TODAY, SPEAKERS WERE BACK THEN. AND THEY WANTED STRENGTH NOT WEAKNESS. YET PAUL COMES IN WEAKNESS TO THEM. AND NOT ONLY THAT HE SAYS FOLLOW ME AS I FOLLOW CHRIST. AUTHENTICITY.
POINT: ONE OF THE PRIMARY WAYS YOU KNOW THE GOSPEL IS AT WORK IN YOU AND YOU ARE STEPPING INTO GOSPEL MATURITY IS YOU ARE WALKING IN AUTHENTICITY. PARENTHESIS- AUTHENTICITY DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN TRANSPARENCY. THERES SOME THINGS ABOUT ME YOU WILL NEVER KNOW, HOWEVER I AM AUTHENTIC. ADAM AND EVE AND FIG LEAVES. ONE OF THE THINGS SIN DOES IS IT WHITTLES AWAY AT AUTHENTICITY.
ILLUSTRATION: I THINK THIS IS WHERE WE CAN LEARN FROM KIDS. LITTLE KIDS ARE AUTHENTIC. THAT’S FOR SURE. KENDAN: I DON’T FEEL LIKE HEARING NOTHING ABOUT NO JESUS TODAY. TELL THE TRUTH, YOU’VE FELT THAT WAY TOO.
APPLICATION: WHO IN YOUR LIFE KNOWS ABOUT YOUR DRINKING PROBLEM, YOUR PORN ADDICTION, THE FINANCIAL MESS YOU’RE IN. A BUDDY OF MINE JUST THIS WEAK SAYS PRAY FOR ME I’M REAL CLOSE TO CROSSING A LINE WITH A WOMAN. I NEED HELP. WHO DO YOU TALK TO ON THAT LEVEL?
HOW WAS PAUL ABLE TO BE SO AUTHENTIC: HE WAS SO SECURE IN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. IT’S AS IF PAUL SAYS, IF GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT ME AND STILL EMBRACES ME, THEN I’M FREED FROM TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU. YOU’LL NEVER BE AUTHENTIC WITH OTHERS UNTIL YOU’RE FIRST SECURE IN CHRIST.

A RELIANCE ON THE GOSPEL-

EXPLANATION: PAUL IS CALLING THEM OUT OF SPIRITUAL ADOLESCENCE AND INTO SPIRITUAL MATURITY. YOU’RE GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS. AND HE NOW ENDS BY SHOWING THEM THE BETTER WAY OF THE GOSPEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF GETTING THEM TO RELY COMPLETELY ON THAT GOSPEL.
SARAH/HAGAR STORY: SARAH WAS BARREN AND FOR WELL OVER A DECADE WAS WAITING ON GOD TO MOVE AFTER HE HAD PROMISED. WELL, SHE GOT TIRED OF THIS AND TOLD ABRAHAM TO TAKE HER MAIDEN HAGAR. THEY HAVE A SON ISHMAEL. HAGAR, REPRESENTS THE OLD COVENANT AND WORKS. SHE HAD THE ABILITY TO HAVE KIDS, AND THEY RELIED ON HUMAN ABILITY AND DID THINGS THEIR WAY. THIS IS THE LAW, RELYING ON OUR OWN ABILITY. BUT THE PROBLEM IS PAUL ENDS BY SAYING THE SLAVE WOMAN HAGAR NEEDS TO BE CAST OUT. OUR OWN ABILITY CANNOT GET US TO GOD.
ILLUSTRATION OF THE OLDER BROTHER IN . BOTH SONS ARE ALIENATED FROM THE FATHER. BOTH SONS TRY TO CONTROL THE FATHER’S WEALTH. THE DIFFERENCE IS THE YOUNGER REPENTS, BUT THE OLDER, MORAL, RELIGIOUS ONE DOES NOT!
"If anything, the idolatry and slavery of religions is more dangerous than the idolatry and slavery of irreligion, because it is less obvious. The irreligious person knows he is far away from God, but the religious person does not"- TK. QUICK APPLICATION.
THE GOSPEL IS FOR THE BARREN AND THE WORTHLESS: SARAH DIDN’T HAVE THE RESOURCES OR ABILITY. IF GOD DIDN’T DO IT, IT WILL NOT GET DONE. SHE’S MARGINALIZED AND DEEMED WORTHLESS BECAUSE OF HER INABILITY TO HAVE KIDS. BUT GOD…GOD SHOWS UP TO THIS BARREN WOMAN’S WOMB AND DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE.
POINT: OUR HEARTS ARE BARREN WOMBS, TOTALLY COLORED BY SIN, AND INFERTILE TO THE THINGS OF GOD. WE NEED GOD TO SHOW UP! BUT GOD HAS TO DO IT!
DIRECTV ILLUSTRATION: I BOUGHT THE EQUIPMENT AND TRIED TO SET IT UP, NOTHING. FRUSTRATED I CALLED THE WOMAN AND SHE TOLD ME I COULDN’T GET THE TV EXPERIENCE ON MY OWN. A SATELITE WAS NEEDED TO COMMUNICATE OUT IN THE HEAVENS. GOD NEEDS TO TURN OUR HEARTS TO THE SATELLITE OF HIS OUT IN THE HEAVENS AND WE CAN COMMUNICATE AND LIVE THE LIFE HE INTENDED FOR US...
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