INTRO - In our message last week week discussed why we need law; specifically the Law of God.
This morning we continue to address matters related to the Law, but with specific emphasis on Christ’s relationship with people.
Perhaps you recall the wedding between Kate Middleton and William Arthur Philip Louis, or better known as Prince William.
Kate invited people from her village including the postman, pub owner, and a shopkeeper.
She wanted a “peoples wedding.”
While the touch made the wedding was a nice touch of the everyday person, that day was nothing less than remarkable for Kate.
On Thursday she was Ms. Kate, but on Friday she became Duchess of Cambridge and heir to the throne.
TRANS - For anyone “in Christ’ they are “heirs according to promise (v.29).
They are in a line ready to receive the inheritance that God has for His children.
Now, this inheritance is not like the one Kate, Duchess of Cambridge recieved, but one that is much better!
See God promises His Kingdom, eternal life, a new creation, and over in Romans Paul says they inherit the world.
Hebrews says the inheritance is as “city that is to come”, “a kingdom that cannot be shaken,” and “a better country, that is, a heavenly one.”
But, listen here, Revelation tells us the promise of the Bible is “a new heaven and a new earth,” “the holy city,” “new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
We’ve discussed the promise made to Abraham and his seed.
We noted the curse gets reversed.
Now we note humanity’s fall is undone and all creation is renewed.
How is it we become ‘heirs according to promise?”
As we will see, to do so we must become Christ’s own possession.
We must belong to Jesus.
We then come to possess these “precious and very great promises” (2 Pt. 1:4).
Jesus must possess us.
He must be ours and we must be His.
TRANS - Let’s begin by reading our text:
TRANS - Let’s PRAY and dive into our message from this passage.
Prision Life without Jesus
Isreal apart from Jesus.
That’s where Paul starts; he talks about the ones under the Law.
For us, and for all people, Isreal provides an example.
Their interaction with God gives us lessons for all the nations of the world.
Paul paints a very depressing picture of the sort of life a person has without Jesus.
The picture painted is a life of prison due to the fall of humankind.
Recall we talked about this last week:
If you recall from Genesis chapter 3, God’s responds to human sin by putting all creation under a curse.
The curse has everyone in prison.
But, come to the nation Isreal and things get complicated.
Why is that?
The reason is God gave the Law to the Israelites.
Because Isreal was under the power of sin when God gave them the Law, the Law didn’t bless but cursed the nation.
They were under the curse of sin and the curse of the Law.
V.23 puts it to us this way:
“in custody under the Law” that is under the Law’s curse.
The Law together with its curse reminded Isreal that they did’t have access to God’s inheritance as it was promised to Abraham.
The Law’s curse blocked the promise.
Paul puts it this way in v.24:
The Law reminded the Israelites they didn’t have access to God’s inheritance promised to Abraham.
ILL - In his book, Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s inside View of White Christianity, Edward Gilbreath writes about how African-Americans feel captive by powers greater than themselves.
Gilbreth explains how people can feel trapped by circumstances from where their is no way out and feeling denied blessings.
Isreal must had felt that way, that is trapped without ability to escape and feeing denied blessings.
That was the nation’s life as explained in the OT.
That was life before having the experience we have in Christ through faith.
TRANS - Apart from Jesus we are captive, in prison, and not able to access God’s inheritance.
But, their is hope.
Let’s take a look at that now.
Party Life with Jesus
ILL - Do you know that feeling.
The one when all of a sudden you go from being the outsider to someone on the inside.
Here is what I’m saying.
You go to a dinner party and you don’t know many people.
Suddenly you start getting involved in the conversations and before you know it you are part of the party.
Now, think how great it is to go from being in prison to being an heir with Jesus.
If going from the outside at a dinner party to the inside feels good, how much greater is it to go from being away to being with God!!!
God tells us that Isreal was not going to be under the curse forever, but “before faith came, we were kept custody under the Law” (Gal 3:23).
V.25 tells us the turning point:
That means, Jesus changes everything!
Jew that put their faith in Jesus, their Messiah, leave the Law’s prison.
Gentiles who were seperated, as we see in Ephesians:
Gentiles, by God’s grace can become part of God’s family:
By faith we become one with Christ Jesus.
We are moved to the inside, part of the party.
Faith is what does this.
Paul puts it this way in v.27:
“Baptized into Christ” This is not going into water like we do when baptized, but immersed into Christs own life.
Perhaps its because the early believers did it all at one time?
That is, repentance, faith, conversion, and baptism all at the same time.
They really wasted no time.
The going under the water was, still and as it is today, a way that we profess our faith in Jesus.
Water does not save someone.
Jesus saves people.
But, let me be clear.
Baptism is still important.
The Bible, the NT, is very clear on the need to be baptised.
I waited years before I was baptized.
Why, I was baptised when I understood the Bible’s clear instruction to all who believe to be baptized.
TRANS - From the outside to the inside.
We’ve noted the prison and the party.
What about the person.
Who do we become once saved?
Person's Life in Jesus
V.27 says “baptized into Christ” and “ clothed yourself with Christ.”
That means the old person, old identity, old way of life is behind.
We put on a new person new identity, and take up a new life.
Our passage takes us from incorporation into Jesus by faith to getting a new identity because of Christ.
That is why Paul says:
What kept us from God is taken away.
The old distinctions no longer apply.
Nothing can keep a new person in Christ seperated from God.
This says we are radically changed by Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the thing about us, not being Jewish or Greek, not slave or free, not male or female.
No, we are who we singled out because we are part of God’s own family in Christ Jesus.
That is who I am.