Back to the future 1
GALATIANS 4:1-5 “BACK TO THE FUTURE”
IN TH E 1985 SCIENCE FICTION COMEDY, MICHAEL J. FOX’S CHARACTER (MARTY MCFLY) ENDS UP GOING BACK IN TIME. THE MOVIE SETIING BEGINS WITH HIS PARENTS WHO WERE IN BAD SHAPE BECAUSE OF THEIR PAST. (FATHER WAS BEING BULLIED) (MOTHER WAS PRUDISH) MARTY GOES BACK IN TIME TO 1955 TO SEEK TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS PARENTS MEET SO HE CAN BE BORN. A LONG STORY SHORT THE PARENTS END UP MEETING IN THE 1955 TIMEFRAME SO BECAUSE OF THEIR SON’S INTERVENTION, THEIR LIVES WERE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. I’D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT A SON WHO DID NOT GO BACK IN TIME BUT STEPPED IN ON TIME. HOW MANY KNOW THAT BEFORE HE SHOWED UP OUR LIVES WERE IN BAD SHAPE, HOWEVER BECAUSE HE CAME, OUR LIVES HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER.
That’ what I seek to do today, go back to the future, not to change anything, but to show us something that Christ is all we need. We find in this text, Paul writing to the Galatians Churches concerning their salvation. They were not Jews, they had been converted on Paul’s missionary journey. The problem was they were suffering from a group of people called the Judaisers who were teaching them that legalism was the way to go.
What is legalism? Legalism is a mechanical and external behavior growing on self-reliance because of a desire to gain a reputation, display a skill or satisfy an urge for personal power.
In today’s standards, you may be a legalist if:
If you think you must become good enough or do enough to maintain your salvation or when you sin, that you cannot come before God unless you have some sort of probationary period (ill: God don’t hear from me today)
If you elevate Christian tradition to a status on par with the teaching of Scripture itself ( ill: if you esteem Christmas more than the Christ, you might legalistic)
If you require others to live in the same manner as you do, yet you cannot find justification for what you are doing in Scripture (ill: you must wear a skirt, no make-up, cannot go to the movies)
The problem with legalism is that it gives the appearance of spiritual maturity when, in reality it leads the believer backwards into a second childhood. it gives the feeling of accomplishment and achievement, it even looks like you are going forward when actually the person is regressing) ( ill: the pilot gets on the intercom and announces “our navigator has lost our position and we have been flying aimlessly for over an hour, the good news is that we are making good time)
I) THE CONTRAST OF OUR POSITION IN CHRIST (VS.1-2)
1) Paul introduces us to the Christian experience called adoption. The word adoption means “to placed as an adult son” it really has to do with our standing in the family of God, we are not little children but adult sons with all the privileges of son ship.
2) Here is the contrast of our position in Christ (there are children of God and Sons of God) ( We are children of God through faith in Christ, born into the family of God. But we are automatically placed into the family as a son with all the legal rights and privileges as a son.
3) When we trust Christ, we enter in as a spiritual babe who needs to grow, but we are adult son’s who can draw on the wealth and the privileges of sonship.
4) Here is the key: we enter God’s family by regeneration, but we enjoy God’s family by adoption (a lot of us have entered in, but we do not enjoy who we are in Christ Jesus)
5) Why, because legalism leaves you empty. (legalism always relies on self-effort to either attain or maintain justification before God. (that stuff will drain you, however one who enjoys true salvation understands that it is by grace we are saved, not by works, lest any man shall boast!
II) THE CONFLICT OF OUR POSITION IN CHRIST (VS. 3)
1) Paul points out that we were children in bondage to the elements of the world.
2) The elements means the basic principles or the ABC’s. The law had Israel in kindergarten and grade school learning their spiritual ABC’s so they would be ready when Christ would come. For when he came, he would fulfill the requirements because he would fill in the alphabet ( he is the Alpha and Omega )
3) Here lies the conflict. Paul explains to the Galatians that they have been saved but they still want to do childish things. (that is what the law/legalism is childish things! (legalism is not a step towards maturity, but really a step back into childhood.
4) Ill: it’s like a man who was in the library filled with all these books but instead he chooses to recite his ABC’s ( the abc’s help us understand the language, but when we learn how to read it gives us liberty ( law/legalism is the language, but Christ is the liberty! (it gives me more options)
5) Bible: Paul said, when I was a child, I acted like a child, thought like a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things! (what things do you need to put away?) ( traditions, attire, posturing, faking)
6) God wants us to be like adults and face that we are messed up,
III) THE COMING OF CHRIST (VS 4)
1) the coming of Christ was a time when the world was providentially ready for the birth of the Saviour. The entire world was anticipating his arrival, old religions were dying, man’s philosophies were powerless and empty.
2) The timing had to be right. (it was right culturally Latin/Greek was understandable) (governmental: roman laws protected the people) ( archetechually: roads were built for travel
3) They were waiting for the Messiah, it is not that he came by how he came, Born of a woman! ( a little baby)
4) Jesus birth was not an accident, but and divine appointment!
5) Big things come in little packages
6) Ill: the other day I ordered a new computer bag, the order stated that it weighed 13 lbs.
7) Through modern technology I could track the package to see where it was at, I looked at the location and the anticipated date, it said that the package was in Michigan and would not arrive until 3 days.
8) By the time I got home the package was there that day. There it was this big heavy box, this bag must be something.
9) I begin to go through the box but much to my surprise, the box was filled with paper and out came this little bag.
10) I went through the bag and found it to be more than I needed. (Jesus came not when folk expected him, not how they wanted him, but he was more than we needed!