Sermons

Sun, Apr 08, 2018

Grace, Grace, Grace

I titled this message today Grace Grace Grace in honor of chapter 3 of the book of Galatians, Not to be confused with chapter 2, Grace, Grace or chapter 1, Grace. Like I told you when we began this study in the book of Galatians. If you are willing and will take the time to read just one chapter a day for 6 days each week, by the time we finish this study your life will be changed. I mean if it the book of Galatians could have such a profound impact on Martin Luther’s life, the Father of the Reformation I’m pretty confident it could have this same effect on you and me too. This just might be the one book that changes your life and sets you free in your walk with Jesus.
Series:Set Free
Duration:57 mins 15 secs

 

I titled this message today Grace Grace Grace in honor of chapter 3 of the book of Galatians, Not to be confused with chapter 2, Grace, Grace or chapter 1, Grace. Like I told you when we began this study in the book of Galatians. If you are willing and will take the time to read just one chapter a day for 6 days each week, by the time we finish this study your life will be changed. I mean if it the book of Galatians could have such a profound impact on Martin Luther’s life, the Father of the Reformation I’m pretty confident it could have this same effect on you and me too. This just might be the one book that changes your life and sets you free in your walk with Jesus. 


1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?-- 

 

 

Paul was writing to churches in the southern region of Galatia, They churches Paul had started on his first missionary journey in Galatia had moved far from the truth… they were going backwards and not forward in their faith from freedom back into bondage… and Paul was angry as he knew the consequences were eternal.  

 

If you have been with us you recall the outline of the book of Galatians. Chapters 1-2, Paul writes about his Experience, his credentials as an apostle, next we have Paul teaching Theology in chapters 3-4, and in then in chapters 5-6 Application, how to Apply these truths. 

 

Simply put, Galatians is best divided into three parts… Personal in chapters 1-2, Doctrinal in chapters 3-4, and Practical in chapters 5-6. 

 

Interestingly we find in Chapters 3-6 the Holy Spirit is mentioned 18 times…

 

Where the grace of God is the Spirit of God is too, they are inseparable. 

 

What is Paul saying?

 

Paul has only one thing on his mind… He wants to know are these people who who have tricked you into thinking you need something more than God’s grace to live the Christian life? 

 

Paul is reminding them that Jesus had set them free, He removed the chains… so why would you willingly make yourself a slave again? Why would you put yourself in bondage?  

 

 

1  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

 

“O Foolish Galatians” Who refuse to think things through… 

 

Paul is intense. Remember, he is ticked. He has written this letter to the churches in Galatia all in giant 72 font, Capitalized letters for emphasis. 

 

Galatians 3:1 (AMP) 

1  O YOU poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified? 

 

 

It gets worse… Listen to what the Philipps translation of verse 1 says. 

 

Galatians 3:1 (Phillips) “O you dear idiots of Galatia, who saw Jesus Christ the crucified so plainly, who has been casting a spell over you?” 

 

You foolish Galatians… you dear idiots. In Matthew 5:22 Jesus said its sinful to call someone an idiot but its sanctified if you put the word “dear” in front of it. 

 

Just think about it… As a kid you mess up and your dad says to you… “you idiot”. Ouch… that hurts. It sounds like dad is mad.   

But, as a kid you mess up and your Mom says to you, “Oh you dear idiot”… you think, she feels sorry for me. 

 

Thats Paul… he feels sorry for the dear idiots because they know the truth, they had been taught right and knew what to do, they just weren’t doing it. 

 

Paul is not coming down on them because they don’t know something, He is saying you have the knowledge but you are not using it. Its right in front of you, but someone blinded you to it. 

 

How do we grow as a Christian? The same way we did when we first got saved… 

 

Wake up as desperate for God as you were the day you received Him as Savior and Lord. 

 

 

What good is belief if you don’t walk in it?

 

I need as much grace today to keep going as I first did when I came to Jesus to get going… 

 

Are you trusting grace? What does trusting grace actually look like?

 

Where is your focus?

 

“Bewitched”… who has hypnotized you? 

 

Bewitched you… who evil eyed you?… You ever had someone give you the evil eye? How many of you are married here today. Enough said…

 

Paul is saying, “Who tricked you?” Who got you to take your eyes off Jesus. Who got your attention off Jesus? 

 

Jesus is the living crucified, Savior… Paul is saying, I have preached Jesus death and burial and resurrection so much to you you that you can see it with your own eyes. Its ever before you. 

 

Clearly portrayed”… a billboard. They didn’t have social media. They didn’t text message. They would nail a placard to a tree. The message was nailed to a tree for all the people to see and read. Jesus was a placarded for you, Paul writes… 

 

When your eyes get off Jesus we will become like Peter. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he walked on water. When he looked at his circumstances Peter began to sink… 

 

Hebrews 12:2, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

 

 

 

Galatians 1:6, “I marvel”. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel”

The Gospel is so simple… as times goes on in our relationship with Jesus we easily like any relationship, we take it for granted…

 

Our relationship with God is dependent upon God’s grace. Its all about grace with God. Its always about grace. We will see more of that as we get into the life of Abraham. Remember, grace is one way love… God’s love for us demonstrated in what Jesus Christ has done for us.  

 

We aren’t just forgiven in Christ, we are justified… You can be forgiven and still have a criminal record. We are justified which means the record is destroyed… God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. As far as God is concerned you have never sinned. He sees you perfect…

 

After time… all through out scripture, legalism sets in… These Judaizers are seeking to put you under the law.  Jesus + circumcision + law of Moses = salvation. 

 

Jesus only is like a single in baseball to the Judaizers. To hit a home run you need Jesus for sure but you also need some other stuff too. Legalism is what will make you a star… Your own efforts are needed too. You cant just rely on Jesus. He was enough to get you saved but to stay saved you have got to get in the game and do your part too the legalists will tell us. 

 

 

Refuting this kind of thinking, the apostle Paul asks rhetorical questions… Tell me this?

 

2  This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 

 

Paul sets out to prove his case 

 

Paul bases his argument based on their experience.

 

When you were born again did you receive the Holy Spirit?

 

Think about John 3:16, you have eternal life now! Not just when you get to heaven. 

 

The Spirit gave you life. Did He do it by faith or by the works of the law. 

 

The Holy Spirit convicted us, we repented and asked God to forgive us and immediatley the Holy Spirit came into our lives and we were regenerated. 

 

3  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 

 

This question is what Paul will spend his entire book answering, its the heartbeat of the entire book.. The Judaizers were trying to get the people to turn back from grace to the law. 

 

We need Jesus to keep going as much as we need Jesus to get going… 

 

Grace is unmerited favor… we never reach a point where we don’t need grace. 

 

The Spirit wasn’t given to give us a jumpstart, our battery was dead you can say. The Holy Spirit was given to give us a brand new start… 

 

Jesus didn’t bring a defibrillator He offers us a transplant… 

 

When we got saved Jesus replaced our heart of stone and gave us a heart of flesh. 

 

Colossians 2:6, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” 

 

We were beyond helping ourselves… I cant save myself, I cant grow as a Christian on my own. I can do nothing apart from Jesus.  

 

Paul is saying, “Are you so foolish, so unthinking…”

 

If you couldn’t save yourself you cant make yourself holy either. Our sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit. Our continuance in Christ is a work of the Holy Spirit.

 

We need Jesus every day… Grace is what we need every day. 

 

The word “perfect” in verse 3 means “mature”.

 

Sadly, for many, as we continue our love matures into discernment… 

 

Remember when you first got saved everything was new and exciting… 

 

Why was it exciting… Our eyes were on Jesus… 

 

Singing a song over again… greeting people… don’t sit by that person… 

 

Read your bible and you see the longer a church exists the danger of that church becoming complacent… 

 

In Revelation chapters 1-2 Jesus gives John a revelation of the churches in Asia Minor. These 7 churches literally existed in Johns day and Jesus has John write a letter to them. Some say the 7 churches also reflect 7 different types of churches throughout church history. Still others believe that these 7 churches represent 7 different stages of individual believers lives. The bottom line is this. Jesus is having John write these things down that show that in a very short period of time, 40 years after the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the church has “left her first love”. Jesus begins by talking about the church where John is an elder in Ephesus. 

 

Revelation 2:4-5  

4  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 

5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. 

 

“Left your first love”, not “lost your first love”. To the church at Ephesus… Jesus is saying to John as the elder of the church of Ephesus, your church is cooling off… That had to be hard for John to write down… Remember from where you have fallen, Repent, Redo your first works again. 

 

We are compromising… our kids are cooling… The last thing we want to hear is “you have left your first love”.

 

We need a move of the Holy Spirit. You cant fake genuine. 

 

If your birth in Christ is super natural, your continuance in Christ is super natural. 

 

4  Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? 

 

Acts 14, there was pressure. Religious people don’t like Christians who is free in Jesus. “Its all good in Jesus rubs religious people the wrong way.” 

 

Oswald Chambers once said, “Christian perfection is not perfection of performance it is perfection of relationship”

 

I don’t turn to the law, I turn to the Lord… Grace is more demanding than the law. The law just kills you… theres no remedy for the law. It comes with a death penalty. Grace on the other hand says get up, get back up and get going again… 

 

Continuance takes place by the Spirit. 

 

 

5  Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?-- 

 

The hearing of faith… faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Paul taught them the scripture and through the teaching of scripture they believed. 

 

Paul reminds them that when they came to Lystra, and did miracles, the man who was lame was healed. Paul says, they stoned me and left me for dead. God did a miracle and raised me from the dead.  

 

So Paul asks, Who caused you to quit trusting Jesus? 

 

If someone can talk you into it someone can come along and talk you out of it. We need the Holy Spirit. 

 

If the fire is going out in your life how do you get it back? 

 

If you are becoming critical (You might call it discerning, God would simply call you critical) of people and not loving, ask God to touch your heart again… 

 

Do you care about the lost of the world, or even the lost of our city… We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

 

What are you most excited about in this life? 

 

What makes you want to get up every day? What floats your boat?

 

Easter changed everything as it changed a bunch of cowardly men who were cowardly and made them courageous. It took a bunch of men and women who were self centered and made them selfless. It was all because of a work of God’s Spirit. The Same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead works mightily in you the apostle Paul said. 

 

We need to ask God to fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit… 

 

Its the Holy Spirit who Draws, and baptizes, Ephesians 1:13-14 

13  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 

14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 

 

We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit… “sealed” in the Greek language is the term for an engagement ring. What do girls do when they get engaged and a ring is put on their finger? 

 

Jesus gave us an engagement ring, Jesus is coming for us one day… Are we looking forward to that day. 

 

Picture of woman throwing her arms around Jesus… 

 

We are all going to die one day… I don’t know about you but I want to die in love with Jesus… passionate about my walk with Jesus. Loving what Jesus loves… leaving it all on the court for Jesus.

 

Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV) 

7  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 

8  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 

9  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 

10  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 

11  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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