Sermons

Sun, May 20, 2018

You Cant Back Into Your Future

If you have been with us you know by now that Paul was writing to a group of churches in Galatia who were turning their relationship with Jesus into a bunch of rules and regulations. Instead of trusting in what Jesus has accomplished for them on the Cross and trusting in what Jesus had done, they were turning back to the law in hopes of earning God’s favor. Its important to note that any time someone turns away from the Lord to some “so called” new religion or some new way of serving God, they are not turning ahead or progressing but just they opposite, they are going backwards and digressing.
Series:Set Free
Duration:58 mins 21 secs

Series: Set Free

Text: Galatians 4:8-20

Title: You Can't Back Into Your Future



Fears for the Church

 

“8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

 

12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What  then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

 

17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.”

 

If you have been with us you know by now that Paul was writing to a group of churches in Galatia who were turning their relationship with Jesus into a bunch of rules and regulations. Instead of trusting in what Jesus has accomplished for them on the Cross and trusting in what Jesus had done, they were turning back to the law in hopes of earning God’s favor. Its important to note that any time someone turns away from the Lord to some “so called” new religion or some new way of serving God, they are not turning ahead or progressing but just they opposite, they are going backwards and digressing.

 

Its insane to go back under the law after receiving the life of grace. The law has nothing more to teach us. Its impossible to be right with God by the works of righteousness.

 

1. “You Cant Back Into Your Future” .

 

Forgetting where you came from will prevent you from getting to where you want to go.

 

Verses 8-9. Remember “those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat it.”

 

Paul is reminding the Galatians that they were enslaved to gods who couldn’t save you and now you put your trust in them?

 

 

Verses 8-10, “8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.



How to be right with God is and always has been on the basis of faith. When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior we are declared righteous, perfect righteousness is our because of the perfect righteousness of Christ.  

 

You recall the Legalist would follow Paul around and teach that salvation wasn’t a gift, to be saved you must also be circumcised and follow the law of Moses, all 613 laws!  

 

Paul knew exactly what to ask as he himself had asked the same questions in the desert of Arabia following his own conversion. The apostle Paul is the last guy you want to get into a debate with on the laws of God. He was after all a Pharisee of Pharisee’s.

 

Paul was a legalist and he trained legalist so he knew what they were thinking before they thought it.

 

If righteousness is on the basis of the law these legalist, these Judaizers have a problem.

 

How is it that Abraham was declared righteous 14 years before circumcision was given

How is it that Abraham could be righteous before God for 430 years before God gave the law of Moses?

 

Remember back to Galatians 3



The reason Paul was so angry with these Judaizer’s was because he fully understood to live toward God as if our outward compliance to the law could earn His love is, was actually, a denial of the very gospel he preached. You cant have it both ways. If a person could be saved by the keeping of the law then Jesus died in vain.

 

The apostle Paul knew that salvation by works is a futile attempt for the simple yet profound reason in that, we cannot get from God by our keeping of the law what He’s already given to us freely by His grace.

 

OK, then, Paul asks the million dollar question, “What purpose then does the law serve?” If God didn’t intend for us to keep the law as a means of salvation, what is the law for? And here is the genius of Paul’s theology:

 

Galatians 3:19, “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.”

 

Galatians 3:24-25  “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”



While the law possesses no power to save—actually better stated, while our obedience to the law possesses no power to save us—the law does play a vital role in our lives as a tutor. The law was made necessary because of sin, to serve as a teacher to keep human conscience alive with a sense of our guilt, and thereby arousing within us a sense of need for a Savior. See Romans 1 and Romans 7.

 

Here in chapter 4 Paul is attempting to give the Galatians a hug after the spanking he just gave them in chapter 3. You remember what Paul had written in Galatians 3:1…

 

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.

 

Ouch!!!

 

Now here in chapter 4 Paul is wanting the Galatians to remember back to how it was in the beginning. Paul says remember when we were passionate in our relationship with one another

 

Every marriage has stages or phases it goes through.

1. Passion

2. Realization

3. Rebellion

4. Cooperation

5. Reunion

6. Explosion

7. Completion



Verse 11: 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.



Paul is saying in essence, How is it that things can move from a gift to entitlement.

 

It’s sad when grace ceases being a gift.

 

Paul had taught them that it is Jesus + Nothing = Salvation

 

He says, I’m worried, I fear for you. Who bewitched you?

 

They pretend like they don’t know Paul, they are avoiding him because they don’t like his message any longer… Paul preached Jesus!!!

 

Paul always preached Christ and Him crucified

 

Verses 12: 12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all.

 

 

2. Imitation is the sincerest form of worship.      

 

Colossians 1:28  

28  Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.



Christ fully formed in you. Jesus will help you grow up!

 

1 Corinthians. 11:1, Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

 

 

Philippians 3:17, Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

 

Paul is saying… patten your life after mine

 

Hebrews 13:7,  “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”

 

Paul is saying under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, follow the example of your leaders

 

Following Jesus is great but the problem is we are not perfect.

 

We all struggle in many ways... when you follow imperfect people who follow Jesus imperfectly you have a pattern to follow.

 

Paul never claimed he was perfect, He claimed Christ was perfect. He said of himself, “I’m the chief of sinners!” Then he says after confessing that, follow me!  Paul is saying, follow me, I’m going to Jesus to get more grace! I need it!

 

3. Life is a symptom of your spirit.

 

Whatever is in you will come out of you when someone bumps your cup.

 

Your attitude is the key to your altitude.

 

Guard your heart for out of it flows the issue of life. Get around people of faith. It’s not enough for you to guard your heart but you have to guard your heart when other people do not. You have not injured me... the way you react to a wounded spirit can injure your spirit. Paul is saying I’m sad but not I’m not bitter. The doors open for you! I’m still here for you. Im not going to be bitter. That’s Gods Heart for me and you. It’s the Prodigal Fathers Heart for his son.



Verse 13:  You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.

 

Verse 13.

 

In verse 13 the apostle Paul gives the people a little dose of humble origin. Reminding them when you received salvation.

 

Paul says, I got sick… In Acts 13 in Perga. 3600 feet above sea level. Paul preached because he was sick. He had an eye problem

 

No matter how I got here I’m going to grow where I’m planted.

 

Quote: ‘life is about putting others' needs above your own fears.'

 

Divine interruptions are often the doorway to divine appointments

 

Inside Infirmity is opportunity.

 

Set backs are often times God set ups.

 

You never know... Every day is an opportunity

 

Living with grace!!!

 

You only got saved because I got sick

 

Forgetfulness is the enemy of faith

 

Stay humble, stay small in your own eyes, and remember




Verses 14-16,  14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What  then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

 

The danger of ingratitude.

 

4. Neglect begins where gratitude ends.

 

Romans 1:21-22

21  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22  Professing to be wise, they became fools,

 

In verse 14 you treated me like an angel but when the new car smell wore off then you were done with me.  

 

Malaria untreated effects vision. It’s believed Paul had eye problems. The Galatians had said, “I’d tear my eyes out for you Paul.” Eye disease were the eyes constantly drain…

 

Now they won’t even look at Paul any more.

 

A sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice until it costs you something

 

Verses 17-20: 17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.”

 

I went through pain to see you saved. I wish I could write a sweet letter.

 

Ephesians 4:14-16,  

14  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

15  but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--

16  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

 

They were not preaching the gospel because they were putting themselves into bondage.

 

Help us keep our eyes on Jesus!

 

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