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Freedom at Risk

Freedom - A Study of Book of Galatians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The problem in Galatia and problems today

Notes & Transcripts

Look out for that bear!

I’m sure you have heard the expression, or the warning never get between a cub and its mother. The mother will get to the cub, protect the cub no matter what. Paul in the letter to the Galatians does not start with the typical introduction but jumps right the heart of the matter. He had started the churches in Galatia a few years before and now they were under a sneak attack and Paul is quick to jump in to defend the Gospel and warn the people to watch out.
Paul does not mince words and if you were to look at the book, read it through you, you will see that Paul is a great defender of the Gospel and uses several defences in doing it. So let me basically lay out the book and Paul’s journey so as we journey through the book you can see these things develop.
(Slide) First approach, personal (Gal1-2) - He will show where he got the gospel, who approved of the gospel he is preaching, his personal defence of the gospel.
(Slide) Second approach, doctrinal (Gal3-4) - Will develop the argument of being saved by grace through faith, not of the law; he will appeal to their own experiences and then use some O.T. illustrations to prove the point and the reason for the Law in the first place (expand on this one point)
(Slide) Third approach, practical (Gal5-6) - yes, the application section is not without some thorns first on why we need the application; he will show us what it means to have liberty, what we are to do with that liberty; where the liberty comes from and how it is powered, and who we have the liberty.
(Slide) In the end it will be clear that you either live under the Law or grace - it cannot be both. It was a concern then, and should be a concern today.
So now lets start into looking at our passage today.

Reason for Freedom

Galatians 1:3–5 NASB95
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
Paul’s message is the message of Christ. It is the message of grace and peace. Grace always comes before peace for without the grace of God you cannot have peace with God (Rom5:1) or the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil4:7).
(Slide) Grace - Charis in the Greek
(Slide) Kindness, unmerited favor, linked with mercy
(Slide) Beauty, charm, loveliness, delight
No greater beauty than that of Jesus Christ laying down his life for us, no greater kindness but to extend His grace to us. In turn we should be people of grace, being someone of beauty, charm, loveliness and delight to others so that they too may want to be recipients of God’s grace , unmerited favor and His mercy.
The message of grace is what the Judaizers were trying to change, they were a danger to the freedom that Paul proclaimed and they accepted. The message of the cross is very apparent throughout the letter.
Galatians 2:19–21 NASB95
19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
In looking at a couple of them.
Gal
Galatians 3:1 NASB95
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
Gal
Galatians 2:19–21 NASB95
19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Gal
Galatians 3:13 NASB95
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
Then there is
Galatians 3:1 NASB95
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
(Slide) If you want more you can look at Gal3:13; 4:5, 5:11, 24 and 6:12-14 - the message is clear, Christ and Christ alone is the way, He paid the price to deliver the sinners from bondage. Our liberty, our freedom, is found in Christ!
Speaking of liberty, the opposite to it is bondage, that is what the Judiazers were trying to do to the Galatians, return them to bondage
Galatians 2:19 NASB95
19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.
Galatians 2:4 NASB95
4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
or just one more for today
Galatians 5:1 NASB95
1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Our authority today; our message today is the message of the cross and the freedom that is available there. Paul had a reason, a motive as should we.
Galatians 1:5 NASB95
5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
To the glory of God! The false teachers were doing it for their own glory
Galatians 6:12–14 NASB95
12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Gal6:
Like the cults, the heretics and the like today they are trying to steal converts to Christ to a form of bondage that offers no freedom. It is taking the freedom (the grace) they have in Christ away from them.
Galatians 5:4 NASB95
4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
May our motive be pure, from a pure heart with a clear conscience. A good example is”
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1Cor
Bring glory to God in your body in what you do!
From the authority shown now comes the battle!

Fighting for Freedom

That’s right Paul is suffering from some anxiety due to the situation and jumps right to it.
Galatians 1:6–7 NASB95
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
We were called by grace, the freedom, the liberty they were walking in and trading it for legalism. -Trading, it was present tense, meaning they had not totally sold out, but they were being enticed to a form of bondage in the guise of another gospel which is a different gospel and not the gospel at all.
(Slide) To the Galatians it was disturbing (v.7) and some are wanting to distort the gospel (v.7) - think about it, it was disturbing the them, think how Paul felt as the one who taught them the gospel, was their father in faith to hear about this, no wonder he has anxiety!
(Slide) “They were not just changing religions, or changing churches they were abandoning the grace of God and the God of grace” - Kenneth Boles
In another version of (v.7) let’s look at the wording
Galatians 1:7 NKJV
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Pervert the gospel, that is a pretty strong word, it means to change something from what it is to different state or form. -taking something that is perfect and changing it to something else, only thing that is, well it’s destructive and divisive.
Cults today want to say you need the Bible and . . . (you fill in the blank); but according to the Word we have everything we need in the Bible to take us to glory. No other special revelation is needed, or should be accepted. Anything other than the Gospel of grace through faith; justification by faith is not the gospel at all and see what Paul says about that and those who do that.

Freedom or Accursed: Your choice

It is the message not the messenger that is important.
The message of the cross is active, it is more than just agreeing with a set of doctrines it is submitting to Christ Jesus and trusting Him.
Romans 11:6 NASB95
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Now that leads to Paul’s spirit inspired words
Galatians 1:8–9 NASB95
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
It does not matter if it is Paul himself, an angel or anyone else if it is contrary to the gospel they heard, believed, obeyed and walk in, let them be accursed. He is talking present tense, it was to warn them now, don’t receive those things that are accursed, and don’t be accursIt
“Make love not war” bet most of you had heard that before back in 1969 or maybe even earlier, but that is not a true thing is it? It just is not feasible or possible. Doctors fight, war against disease. legislators war against injustice and crime. Why do they fight? because they believe in what they know, what they do and the y love it.
We are to hate evil
Psalm 97:10 NASB95
10 Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
We are to abhor what is evil.
Romans 12:9 NASB95
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Paul, John and Peter give us lots of scenarios as well as the words of Christ that we will have to stand up and stand out for what is right. Each was willing to wage war because of the Truth, the truth of the Gospel and the Freedom that it brings.
Like a loving father watches over his daughter until she is married Paul watches over the converts lest they be seduced into sin.
2 Corinthians 11:1–4 NASB95
1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
2Cor
No have not forgotten where I am, still talking about “they be accursed” - how can you test a man’s ministry?
(Slide) Not by popularity (Mt24:11)
(Slide) Not by miraculous signs and wonders (Mt24:23-24)
(Slide) But by his faithfulness to the word
Isaiah 8:20 NASB95
20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
But how about a N.T. one?
1 Timothy 4:1–2 NASB95
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Timothy 4:1 NASB95
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
Fall away from faith, from grace, to a system of work that cannot save you, these people to be accursed are deceitful spirits and have the doctrine of demons and are hypocrites. They should accursed.
(Slide) So the word accursed is anathea, meaning “dedicated to destruction”
They had false message with a false motive, they were dedicated to destruction, to destroy the gospel of grace. They wanted to tear Paul down and challenge his authority and his message, thinking Paul was a man-pleaser and as a man-pleaser you cannot trust him. Paul then address that.

Freedom: Who you trying to please?

Galatians 1:10 NASB95
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Paul was not a man pleaser, his ministry did not come from man.
Galatians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
Gal
His message was not from man
Galatians 1:12 NASB95
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
So Paul was not concerned about what man thought, but what God thought.
,
2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB95
9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
May that be our thought too, to live, to speak to please God rather than man.
In the message today Paul has shown us the authority, the anxiety and the adversaries, the same things we face today. We need to be a defender of the gospel too
1 Peter 3:15 NASB95
15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
As I mentioned when started today, first it is personal, there is nothing more personal than the gospel - Lead to invitation and challenge.
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