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The Lifting Of A Curse

Galatians - Freedom!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The blessings of having the curse lifted.

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Please open your Bibles to .

Read Galatians 3:10-14
We will look at verses 10-14, but specifically be zoomed in on verses 13-14.
I suppose verses 13-14 will be our main text.
Read
When I was a kid, every fall we’d go to the fair.
It was at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds out on the border of Moreno Valley and Perris.
For 2 weeks it felt like we’d go to the fair every night.
We’d see:
Concerts
Rodeos
Demolition derbies.
One of the highlights was the exhibition halls.
There’d be the strangest stuff on sale.
Most of it was junk.
I’d always look for the gliders.
They’d be these huge styrofoam airplanes.
The salesman would be in the hall with this giant plane.
He’d throw it in the air, and it would do a perfect loop and land right back in his hand.
Over and over again, he’d throw it.
And over and over again, it’d land perfectly in his hand.
And I knew that was going to be my prize from that year’s fair.
I’d do some extra chores at home, get some extra spending money and go to the fair looking to buy the giant glider.
I was so excited to bring that glider home.
I’d get home. Go out into the front yard.
Go out into the middle of the street, because I know, I ‘m no professional.
I don’t want to accidentally throw this plane on someone’s roof.
I thought this through.
I’d go into the middle of the street.
Make sure the wings were angled just right.
Prepare my self to throw the plan.
Throw it at a slide upward angle.
The plane would go up, up, up … and then nose dive right into the blacktop.
The wings which were a single piece of sytrofoam that went through the middle of the plane would, would break in half.
And there it was … my first flight and it broke.
$15 down the drain.
And I’d try and fix it.
That’s why God invented duct tape.
For my styrofoam gliders.
I’d tape those wings back together again.
I’d do a good job.
NASA couldn’t put it back together like I did.
The guys on Apollo 13 would have wished they had my skill with that duct tape.
I’d go back outside.
Try another attempt.
Get the angle just right.
Throw it slightly up.
And it’d do the same exact thing.
Fly up
Then nose dive … right into the ground.
Wings would break in two.
I’d throw another tantrum.
And the cycle would repeat itself.
Once it broke you could never get it quite right again.
It was always doomed to fail.
That break in the wings was always going to be a weak spot, I could never completely repair it.
And that’s what we are talking about, mankind is under a curse, and we are doomed to fail.
And like that glider I bought from the fair, there’s just no fixing it.
And that’s what makes this passage so spectacular.
It tells us about a curse.
A weakness.
An area where we are doomed to fail.
But it tells us how God not only fixes it … but how He makes it so much better.
Which rarely happens.
My glider seemed to get weaker with each attempt.
God is going to improve on His work.

Let’s start with the fix, or the Blessing.

It begins with the human condition.
Verse 13 describes our condition, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law ...”
The condition is we are under a curse.
We are under a curse.
Like the glider, our wings are cracked, and we are destined to fall.
Now what I’m about to say, I don’t say because I hate people.
Because trust me I don’t.
Sometimes hearing the truth about our condition is hard to hear, it’s hard to bear.
You go to a doctor, he gives you a bad diagnosis.
You don’t get in his face and yell at him.
You don’t say, “Why would you say I’m sick? You must hate me.”
You know he is diagnosing your problem.
Looking for the symptoms and describing your condition is not hatred.
And the same goes for this curse.
Describing our condition is not hatred, think of it as a diagnosis, however negative it sounds.
The natural man is in a condition, where his nature is cursed.
The problem with mankind isn’t that others corrupt us, the problem with mankind starts within ourselves.
And that’s probably what we don’t like to hear.
We want to blame others.
We want to blame the devil, the people you’re around, the dog.
But the problem really begins with us.
says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Let me explain why that is such a problem.
The human heart is the reason for the problem.
It desires bad things.
We have a will, we have the ability to make decisions, but the problem is that our will is motivated by the heart.
The decisions that we make have a bias in them.
Yes men have a will, and yes, we
They are influenced by what our heart desires.
And if the heart desires bad things, then the decisions of the will will be tainted.
Sure, you can make decisions, but what do you do when the main deciding factor, your heart, is corrupt.
Jesus knew this as well.
In He said, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
We like to blame others around us as the reason for our problems.
For the past couple of months we have been a very sharing church.
You have been sharing some colds.
You are around people who have a cold, then you receive the cold from them.
We like to think of sin in the same way.
It’s not my fault.
It’s those around me.
Sin is not like these colds.
It’s not something that is passed around.
Sin starts within us, and is demonstrated outward.
The ugly reality of the sin infection is that it means that those without Christ, do not pursue God, nor do they do anything good.
Paul describes this reality in by saying, “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
And if left untreated, this sin will kill you.
The Puritan, John Owen, said, “be killing sin or it will be killing you”.
This is a curse that is on every person.
Each day bring us one step closer to death.
That’s the condition.
Each day brings us one step.
But we are beginning this sermon with a blessing.
A blessing is good news.
Christ is fixing us.
Verse 13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
Death slinks towards us like a bloodhound on the trail.
It smells our sin and death pursues us.
Because of Christ’s great love for those that the Father gave Him, He came to remove that curse from His people.
How did He do it?
He didn’t simply forget the curse.
Nor did He simply forget our sin.
By the way, God can’t just forget sin.
He can’t just say, “I love you, so I’ll let that one slip by me.”
That would contradict His justice.
Part of Who God is is that He is just.
says of God, “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
Justice cannot turn it’s head to where there is a violation of the law, that is unjust.
So for God to remain just, he must deal with sin.
It must be punished.
God remained just and demonstrated His loving nature by having Christ put on the very curse we were under.
It’s as if it was removed from us, and placed onto Him.
Jesus then received the penalty for that curse.
And because of this action sin is dealt with.
Sin is paid for.
That is just.
What does this mean in regards to that curse?
It’s lifted.
It’s paid for.
And it is paid for completely.
If Jesus removed the curse from you:
Sin can no more threaten you with the wrath of God.
Sin can no more threaten you with the justice of God.
It was paid for on the cross.
If you are in Christ, you have received this blessing.
It is yours in Christ.
I want you to have this blessing.
It is the cure to the human condition.
It is the fix that is needed to restore us.
And it’s only available in Christ.

I think back to my glider that I bought from the fair.

With each fix … it actually got weaker.
It was never really fixed.
It broke easier.
It became less reliable with each layer of duct tape that I put on it.
It became heavier.
It didn’t fly right.
The work that Christ is doing is the opposite.
That first blessing … was good.
It was perfect.
But the blessing of Christ, is bigger the more you gaze at it.
It comes into focus the more and more.

The blessing is also a A Global Blessing.

Moving on into verse 14, Paul says, “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles ...”
The Galatians were under an attack by the Judaizers.
They were a group of Jews that believed God’s promises were only to the Jews.
They saw themselves as an island of God’s grace, and that God had only blessed them.
What they didn’t know is that God’s plan was that He would be the Savior of people from all over the globe.
The Judaizers thought it was the Jews alone.
God never said it was the Jews alone.
He mentions the promise of Abraham.
Back in , at the tale end what is known as the Abrahamic Covenant, God tells Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God’s desire was for all the families of the earth to be blessed through Abraham and his descendants.
What does this mean?
It means the promise was never intended to be just for Israel.
Israel was supposed to be a blessing to the nations.
They were supposed to be a lighthouse that shone into the dark night the hope and promises of God.
They were supposed to be that city on the hill, that said, “The Lord is here.”
People were supposed to look to Israel and say, “I want that.”
I think of the Queen of Sheba who came to visit Solomon, at the height of his power and reign.
She came and saw the nation of Israel.
She was amazed at what she saw, and she praised God.
, “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”
The Queen of Sheba praised God because of what she saw.
That was good.
The goal was for people to become a part of this nation, because the Lord is there!
The true Israelite was not just a citizen of the nation, but a worshiper of God.
A couple examples of people from other nations becoming a part of Israel to worship God.
Rahab was not an Israelite.
She lived in the city of Jericho, as a prostitute.
She’s not remembered for her prostitution.
She’s remembered for being spared in the destruction of Jericho.
Rahab hid 2 spies of Israel when they came to spy out the land in .
Her hiding them was a form of repentance, of turning to the Lord, because she knew that the Lord was doing something.
She sought safety among the Lord’s people.
She became a part of the nation of Israel.
In fact, she became the great, great grandmother of King David.
There’s Ruth, a Moabite woman who married an Israelite.
After her husband’s death, instead of returning to her land and living in idolatry, she told Naomi, her mother in law, “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
The goal was for people to become a part of the nation, recognize the glory of God, and become worshippers of God.
It’s about God saving people so they would become worshipers of Him.
And that is happening.
Verse 14, “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles ...”
I don’t know if you realize it, but that was earth shattering news.
The Gospel wasn’t just for a few elect Jews.
It was for people from all over the world.
This is what gives it’s power.
If you remember the setting of :
You have Nicodemus, one of the leading Pharisees, sneaking away to Jesus and asking Jesus about the kingdom of God.
This Jew would never have thought about people outside of Israel.
But Jesus certainly did, that’s why when you get to it’s so powerful, ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It’s not that God only loved Israel.
He loved people from all over the world.
And His desire is to bring people into His kingdom.
And why is this happening?
So that He will receive glory.
Do me a favor, flip over to .
Look at these verses:
For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
If you’re into writing in your Bibles, underline these 6 phrases:
There
For my names sake
For the sake of my praise
For my own sake
For my own sake
For how should my name be profaned
My glory I will not give to another.
God is doing great things for his name’s sake.
So that people will give Him praise.
So that people will recognize His glory.
Let’s combine these 2 thoughts:
1. God desires to bring people into His kingdom from all over the world.
2. He does it for His own glory.
So what do we do with it … we tell it.
We get excited about it.
We worship Him.
We celebrate what He has done.
We talk about what Jesus Christ has done.
We talk about His death, burial and resurrection.
We talk about the great love of God, demonstrated in Jesus Christ so that we would be counted as one of His people, thus fulfilling that promise that was given to Abraham.
This is the great motivation behind evangelism and missions.
Our motivation is that we love God and we love to talk about God.
We know of His greatness and we desire others to as well.
John Piper has said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
We tell the world of what Christ has done, they then respond in faith, and receive the blessing of Abraham.
Piper, John. Let the Nations Be Glad! . Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
They are counted as his descendants, as God’s people.
The promise is that the Gentiles, the world, will be saved through Christ.
But the goal is that God would receive glory.
So our goal is that more people would recognize the glory of God, and worship Him as supreme.

I told you that rarely does something break and the fixes make it stronger.

But in the story of mankind, that is true.
We have sinned, we fell.
Man receives a corrupt nature, prone to sin.
On his own he is on a path to Hell.
But yet, God is fixing things.
He’s removing the burden of the curse.
He removing the penalty of sin, by having Christ pay for it.
And He’s making it even stronger.
I feel like the infomercial, where the voice over says, “But wait, there’s more!”
Because there is more.
God removes the curse through Christ.
God is making the outsiders insiders through Christ.

And there is another blessing, A Spiritual Blessing.

Look at the final part of verse 14, “so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
This is the ultimate proof that God is making things better than how they even began.
In Genesis, when God created Adam and Eve, things were good, they were very good.
They were sinless.
They were in the presence of God.
He would walk among them.
He would talk with them.
But they lived conditionally with Him.
They could remain in that presence as long as they were perfect.
As long as they didn’t sin.
That was the condition.
Have you ever thought about how terrible that expectation is?
There is no grace in perfection.
There is no room for mistakes in perfection.
Because if there is one sin, then it is no longer perfect.
Their one sin, removed them from the Garden and the presence of God.
Understand, Jesus could have just removed sin.
He could have said, “All your sin is gone” and then left us with a sinful nature, and hearts that desired sin.
But He didn’t.
He forgave sin, then He sent the Holy Spirit.
This time it’s not just us dwelling in a garden.
This time it is God the Spirit that dwells within man.
He lives within the believer.
We are not abandoned to try and figure things out on our own.
The Spirit gives us understanding to His Word, the Bible.
The Spirit gives us understanding to spiritual truth.
says, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Do you ever wonder why you get it and others don’t?
It’s not because you are smarter.
It’s the Holy Spirit.
Having the Spirit means you can pray.
Do you realize, that if you don’t have the Holy Spirit … you can’t even pray?
says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Remember that communion that was lost between man and God in the Garden?
Now it’s even closer.
Because the Spirit is within you, and you can pray to Him anytime you want.
In the Old Testament, they had to go to the Tabernacle, a tent to have fellowship with God.
According to Paul in both Corinthians, you are a Temple of the Living God, because the Spirit lives in you.
The Holy Spirit not only opens your eyes, but He empowers you through spiritual gifts.
These gifts aren’t super powers for your glory.
They are gifts used to equip and build His church.
Some people are gifted to:
Teach
While others are gifted to serve.
Others encourage, and others help.
But all of these are so that you can be used by God to build the church to His glory.
Adam and Even lived in the Garden in a conditional setting.
One sin meant that they lost that presence of God.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was conditional.
He could enter a person and then leave a person.
Think of David’s prayer after his sin with Bathsheba.
Remember what he prayed?
, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.”
He sinned and he was afraid of the Holy Spirit being removed from him, just as God had done from his predecessor Saul.
But the Christian doesn’t have this fear.
You do not have the Holy Spirit as long as you remain perfect.
And that is good news.
God is making things even stronger.
You will have the Holy Spirit, until you are brought into glory.
He is a guarantee that you belong to God.
says, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
This means you don’t have to live in fear of losing the Holy Spirit.
You don’t have to live in fear that God will take His Holy Spirit from you.
He is a guarantee.
He means something.
He means you belong to God.
And you never have to worry about being removed from His presence.
Don’t we need that?
Don’t we need that kind of hope?

God is fixing things.

And He’s making it better than it ever was before.
He’s removing the curse of sin.
He’s making a large kingdom.
So large it could never be counted.
His presence is in us by the Holy Spirit.
And how do we receive it?
It’s not by going and being perfect.
It’s not by making a big check out to the church.
It’s not by going on some pilgrimage.
It’s through faith.
That means trusting in Jesus.
Trusting that His death removed sin.
Specifically, your sin.
Trusting that He is adopting people.
Trusting that His Spirit is in you.
Using you to build His Kingdom.
Changing your very heart.
This promise is yours by faith.
It all comes back to Christ.
We have Him.
He has us.
He’s not just fixing you.
Is this what you believe?
If so … then live joyfully in it.
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