Significance and Satisfaction found Solely in Christ, Galatians 6:14-16
Introduction Everyone wants his or her life to count… but How do you know when your life counts?
1. In sports we know when someone scores or makes the big play.
2. In school its based on the grades that we make and our accomplishments.
3. At work it depends on how well we do, and often it depends on how much $ we make or what kind of quality of life we can provide.
Regarding being satisfied or feeling significant- I think John Piper is right when he says, "If people would just like you, you'd be satisfied. Or if you could just have good job with a good wife and a couple good kids and a nice car and long weekends and a few good friends, a fun retirement, and quick and easy death and no hell..."
But, what can you do to make sure that your life counts?
Before we look at how to have a life that is satisfied and significant, I want to point that there is no such thing as a significant life without Christ.
One of the worldview changes that many Christians need to make is to get rid of the idea that there is significance without God.
What we call the American Dream has become an unending cycle of dissatisfaction and unfulfilled desires. Why? Because the American Dream of today is devoid of God.
No matter how much life you live or how much $ you make, or how many times you multiply what you have been given- a life without God is sad and surprisingly unsatisfying, and eternally insignificant...
Our passage today teaches us the truth that:
Significance and Satisfaction found Solely in Christ
"14 But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God." Galatians 6:14-16
Walking through the text:
“14 But far be it from me to boast”
Boasting = Rejoicing, Exulting, Glorying In
Paul is explaining that in following Christ, there is no rejoicing, there is no exultation, there is no joy... apart from Christ.
Joy is not the same as happy, but Joy can be experienced with emotions that are like happy...
Happy is conditional upon our circumstances, and Joy is the result of what is happening on the inside.
“except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Paul states that if he is going to enjoy, rejoice, or exult in anything... He is going to do it in the instrument that brought death to Christ.
Why would an instrument of agony and torture bring any sense of rejoicing?
How does the cross bring an inner result that is evidenced in what we would call Joy?
Because what happened on the cross changed everything...
In Genesis 3 Adam and Even sin and the curse of death is imparted to humanity From Genesis 3 until the cross Sin holds sway over humanity. The curse isn't broken until the cross.
On the cross Jesus, the Son of God, sinless... without blemish... willingly dies in the place of sinners. He receives the curse of sin, he receives death... so that forgiveness of sin might be given to sinners. This is only possible because He receives the punishment that we deserve for our sins, and in turn purchases pardon for us to receive what don't deserve... forgiveness and new life.
This is why Paul says that on the cross the world was crucified to Him, and He to the world... “by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Christ died because God loves the world.
All who believe and trust in Christ give up the life of sin that this world aspires for and pursues a life of satisfaction and significance b y living for God by faith in Christ.
Paul writes in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me."
The life of satisfaction that you long for and hope for is found in Christ.
1. It is found in renouncing the world and all of its failed attempts at satisfaction.
2. It is found through forgiveness resulting from the grace of God seen in the sacrifice of Jesus.
3. It is known through the new life that God gives you because of the victory over death and sin through Jesus' resurrection!
15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
There is nothing that you can do or I can do that will count towards a life that is pleasing to God apart from Christ.
1. Our works don't amount to a life of significance.
2. Our efforts don't produce a lasting satisfaction.
3. But, God through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection gives us new life!
Christians are not those who earn their way into God's kingdom, they are those whose way into the kingdom was paid for by the death of Jesus, and receive new life by the resurrection of Christ!
16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Paul explains that for all who walk according to the rule of Christ there will be peace and mercy.
What is the rule to live by? It is the standard by which all Christians live- crucified to the world and united with Christ by grace through faith, not by works.
Peace is made by Christ and it is found in Christ, therefore peace is lived out through the one who trusts in Christ.
Peace is for those who follow this rule or standard, and Paul prays here that mercy would come to Israel because apart from Christ even Israel is without hope.
Israel is only at peace with God when it is attached to the vine. Gentiles are only at peace with God when we are attached to the vine.
Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches. In Romans Paul explains that there is one vine, and that Israel is connected to the vine if they have faith and believe, and that those who don’t are cut off, while at the same time the Gentiles who believe are being grafted in and attached to the vine by the grace of God.
Not even Israel’s heritage and lineage is enough to be at peace with God. Abraham’s descendents must believe to be at peace with God. This is prominent doctrine in the book of Romans, and Galatians is like a smaller version of the book of Romans, covering many of the same truths about Jesus and living for Him. So, it’s no surprise that here in the closing of Galatians Paul makes sure that the Cross of Christ is central to the salvation of all people, including Israel.
Don’t forget that Paul is an Israelite, which he uses to further strengthen his point in the book of Romans, and that truth is present in everything he writes.
Do you want to know peace? Do you want to know mercy?
What does this mean for us? This means that there is no peace without Christ. It means that there is no mercy apart from the cross of Christ. It means that there is no satisfaction apart from faith in Christ. It means that Christ is significant, and for your life to be the same, you must be a new creation. It means that God's love has been shown to you: Romans 5:8 says "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." There is no one too far from God's love. It means that satisfaction and significance are found in Christ... and that Christ has found you... Romans 10:9-13 says "9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." It means that for you to truly know the fullest life possible, like Paul, like me, and like many others here in the room today you have to die to the world, and live to Christ. Joy, Mercy, Peace, Satisfaction, and Significance are found in Christ. What do we do with what we know? What will you do with your life? Will you be saved? Will you give your life to Christ? Will you renounce the world and its fleeting pleasures to be satisfied in Christ? Will you give up the vain pursuit of significance through your own efforts and live a life of eternal significance because of the work of Jesus Christ? Jesus is alive! We celebrate today a risen savior, who has overcome sin and death, who has come to bring His sheep home by faith in Him. Do you believe in Him? Do you trust Him? Will you boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ with your life? When you reach the end of your life... what will you have to show for it? What will the story of your life be after today? Will it be one of satisfaction and significance? Or will it be the tragedy of all tragedy's because you missed Christ and gained the world?
Significance and Satisfaction found Solely in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection Galatians 6:14-16 Stories... Ruby Eliason & Laura Edwards... Both were killed years ago in Cameroon. Ruby was over 80, single all of her life. She poured it out for one great thing: To make Jesus Christ known among the unreached, the poor, and the sick. Laura was a widow, a medical doctor, pushing 80 years old and serving at Ruby's side in Cameroon. The brakes on their car failed and they went off a cliff, and they were both killed instantly. Is their story tragic? To lives driven by one vision, spent without recognition for the poor and the perishing to know Jesus, decades after most people their age have retired. No, this story is not tragic... it was simply part of the the trajectory they were on in living for Christ. Let me read another story, this time from Readers Digest February 2000: Bob and Penny... they took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, FL, where they cruise on their 30 ft trawler, play softball, and collect shells." ---- This is the trajectory that our culture is telling us to live our lives for... live your life to spend the last remaining chapter of your life on this earth before you give an account to God your maker collecting sea shells and playing golf... Don't get hung up on sports, retirement, or even going to the beach... The point is the trajectory... The point is what are you hoping will satisfy you? What are you doing with the life God has given you? What is the ultimate trajectory of your life? What is the basis for who you are and what you do? In Christ, all of our life counts... all of our relationships, all of our endeavors, all of our thoughts, and even our emotions, they all count. When we live to boast in the cross, we live to see all that we have, all that we do, and that will ever be through the lens of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. I Corinthians 6:19-20 Says "19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." As new creations... our lives are the result of the work of Christ... and because He is alive, He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us... When you are saved... All of you, and all that you do is done as a part of God's family. Will you trust in Christ today? Do you trust in Christ today? If you want your life to count... If you want to be saved... If the Spirit of God is calling then come to Christ... confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, and be saved... Leave here today following Christ.
Significance and Satisfaction found Solely in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection Galatians 6:14-16 Be Satisfied and Find Significance in Jesus If you want to know Christ then I am going to ask you to stand up... what you need right now is not my words or my life, what you need is to confess your sin and your need for Christ... ask for His forgiveness for your sins... place your hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Receive salvation... give your life to God by believing in Christ today. (Guided Prayer) If you know Christ... make your life count... make it count by dying to the world and living to Christ... repent of the rebellion in your life and heart. Be reconciled to God through Christ, and be reconciled to your brothers and sisters in Christ... Let today be monumental in your life not because of what you have done, but because of who you have returned to... Jesus. Transition Joey is going to lead us in a time of response... if you have trusted in Christ today for the first time then I encourage you to come down and let us pray with you during this song. Let us know you so we can walk through this journey of faith together. If The Lord is compelling you to turn and renounce the world to follow Him with a renewed commitment to Him, then this space is open to you as well. Come and pray, repent of your sin and be reconciled to God as we sing.