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Freedom in Christ

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There is something very difficult about the Gospel today. Because we receive nothing from God from keeping the law. We lose nothing by not keeping the law. It is a radical thing to believe the beauty of the Gospel. But the problem is that for many people the response from hearing the Gospel is, If that is the case, then people will be able to do and live any way they want. Shane if you do not hammer the law and judgement then people will be profane and hedonistic. “Any way I want baby.” Over the centuries, throughout church history, there is always a time where there was a real effort to tone down the radical nature of the Gospel.
The Anabaptist and John Bunyan.
Let us not lose the essence or true nature of the Gospel today.
Galatians
Galatians 5:1–6 NLT
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
I. Truly Set Us Free
A. Verse 1 is essentially the summary of the last 2 chapters of the book. Paul first tells us that we have been set free in an extraordinary sense.
B. One time where knowledge of the Greek is helpful here. Both the noun and verb of this phrase is freedom. For Freedom Christ has freed you. So what does that mean? Freedom is both the means and the end of a Christians life. The essence of the Gospel is freedom. Christ came to bring freedom.
Luke 4:18 NLT
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,
Luke
C. Christ truly has set us free. This is in the aorist tense … a past completed action. So if you are a Christian, you have truly been made free in Christ.
D. But what we also see here is just how quickly the chains came return. Good ole Legalism wants to have you back in his chains again. How can we keep this from happening?
E. 1. Stand Firm. Stago… A military term. Stand your ground. Hold your ground. Hold your position. And do this by keeping alert, holding on, resisting attacks and sticking together. Some vivid pictures to understand what Paul is commanding. It is an imperative.
F. Even though we are Christians and have been made free, we can lose our freedom if we do not fight for it. Deception is coming. False teaching is coming. Bad doctrines of the philosophies of this world are coming. Legalism is coming hard. We have got to fight against them.
G. 2. Do not get tied up again. Don’t let Mr. Legalism put those shackles around your neck and hands again. The understanding is of a yoke or even a burden. Don’t let him put that weight on your shoulders AGAIN. Legalism or even paganism is a burden or yoke that you have been set free from. Eternal insecurity. Fear based guilt ridden religions and systems. You cannot carry this. Don’t lose yourself in this. Do not lose sight of what counts, your freedom in Christ.
Acts 15:10 NLT
So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?
Preaching the Word: Galatians—Gospel-Rooted Living When You Lose Sight of What Ultimately Counts (5:2–4)

The Methodist movement began in the mid-eighteenth century with a small band of intensely devout students at the University of Oxford. These were towering figures like John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. They would meet regularly for study and devotion; they were known as the Holy Club because they practiced strict methods of increasing their spiritual zeal for God. Yet amid all the religious devotion and moral striving, these men had lost sight of what ultimately counts.

In fine, the Holy Club men knew little or nothing of grace as taught in the Scriptures. Their ironclad régime was one of human effort, that provided no assurance and left the all-important salvation of the soul a distant uncertainty. Its practices brought little joy.… These ardent men strove on and on, yet saw no point of arrival.

Following his conversion, George Whitefield admitted how he’d gotten off track by losing sight of what ultimately counts: “God showed me that I must be born again, or be damned! I learned that a man may go to church, say his prayers, receive the sacrament, and yet not be a Christian.”

II. When Christ Has No Value
A. Are you counting on circumcision? The Galatians have an either/or decision to be made. Will they find it in Christ or will they find it in circumcision. Were they really doing this. Yes. It is similar to the teaching that had to be dealt with in Acts.
Acts 15:1 NLT
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Acts 15:
Acts 15:5 NLT
But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”
B. Here comes Mr. Legalism. Legalism is treating that which is good as though it were essential.
Legalism is treating that which is good as though it were essential.
C. Ok so what is Paul saying. If you believe this, Christ is of no value to you. In historic protestant circles the saying goes. “You cannot add to Christ without subtracting from Christ.” Christ is either all of our value or he is without value. Christ is all or nothing…period.
Wilson, T. (2013). Galatians: Gospel-Rooted Living. (R. K. Hughes, Ed.) (p. 171). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
D. If law obedience is to be part of the system of salvation then Christ has no value to you at all. Nothing. If we say that 50% of our salvation is the blood of Christ and 50% is our efforts in keeping the law. We fail. If we say that the blood of Christ is 80% of our salvation and 20% is our works. We still fail. If we say that the blood of Christ is 99.9% of our salvation and .1% our ability in keeping the law. We still fail and we will go to hell.
James 2:
James 2:10 NLT
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
E. Paul wants to say it again. If you are gonna find favor from God by keeping the law, then you gotta keep all of the laws. Not just circumcision. If you do this you will fail.
Romans 3:20 NLT
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Romans 7:18 NLT
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
F. So you see. We cannot do the law. So if we are saying that keeping the law does anything no matter how little it is, we will fall short. We cannot merit any favor from God by our works of the law.
G. “This passage may well serve as a criterion for all the religions. To teach that besides faith in Christ other devices like works, or the observance of rules, traditions, or ceremonies are necessary for the attainment of righteousness and everlasting life, is to make Christ and His salvation of no benefit to anybody.”
H. “Tongue cannot express, nor heart conceive what a terrible thing it is to make Christ worthless.” This is why Paul said at the beginning of the letter that he who teaches this, let him be accursed.
Excerpt From: Martin Luther. “Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/commentary-on-the-epistle-to-the-galatians/id498662294?mt=11
I. So in the first place circumcision for salvation will make Christ of no benefit. Second, if circumcision is for salvation because of law keeping then you all know that you gotta keep the whole law (). This we see we cannot do. Christ is now of no value. In these cases. This is why it is all Christ or you have nothing.
III. Falling From Grace
Excerpt From: Martin Luther. “Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/commentary-on-the-epistle-to-the-galatians/id498662294?mt=11
A. Is verse 4 really saying that we can lose our salvation. These are pretty severe words being used. Cut off from Christ. Fallen from grace. We should not minimize these words out of fear of theological difficulties.
B. Hendrickson/Kistemaker - If the Galatians, whether all or some, should seek to be justified by way of law, and should persist to the end in this error, the cord that binds them to Christ would not be able to bear that strain. It would snap! They would then have fallen away from the domain of grace, would have lost their hold on grace. It would be with them like it is with withered flowers that fall to the ground and perish.
C. So can we lose our salvation?
If the Galatians, whether all or some, should seek to be justified by way of law, and should persist to the end in this error, the cord that binds them to Christ would not be able to bear that strain. It would snap! They would then have fallen away from the domain of grace, would have lost their hold on grace. It would be with them like it is with withered flowers that fall to the ground and perish.
Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Galatians (Vol. 8, p. 196). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
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