All That Counts
Sermon on Galatians 5:1-6
Theme: To Christ, love through faith is all that counts.
Goal: to motivate Christians to live with the grace of God
Need: we often unwittingly bind ourselves instead of being free in Christ.
Introduction: Tone and Theme tell you a lot before you even get started.
- Philippians is a rejoicing letter
- Ephesians and Colossians are letters of instruction and warning.
- Galatians letter is not pleasant.
o Introductory tone vs 6. I praise God for you… no! Deserting the gospel.
o This is only removed from the Fruit of the Spirit by a couple of verses.
- 2 Corinthians is another painful letter.
- Paul spends a lot of time confirming that he has apostolic authority.
- Just before this Paul is showing the difference between what it means to be a slave and what it means to be free. It’s the difference between Isaac and Ishmael.
o Yeah, we know Paul… we are children of Isaac. Yadda yadda.
The MOMENT OF WHAMMO!
- You Judaizers are the slaves!
- Verse 1:
o It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Its that plain to Paul.
o THEN… Stand firm in the freedom
o Don’t let yourselves be burdened by slavery.
§ Slavery is a sensitive issue for the Jews. Their identity is freedom from exile.
§ Slavery is a sensitive issue for Christians. Our identity is freedom laws beyond Christ.
o Conversation starter: Which practice do we have in our little niche of the kingdom that I or others might hold to as gospel truth?
He Keeps it coming:
- Verse 2: Christ is of no value at all if you start commanding that people be circumcised.
- Verse 3: Say it again if you want it to be heard! Explain that a little bit more.
o I declare if you think a person has to be circumcised or he isn’t a part of Christ’s kingdom, then you have to remember something. You want to be righteous by the law. You have to fulfill the whole thing.
o Confirmed in Dueteronomy 28
o 58If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.
o Hear that from a different New Testament voice. James.
o James 2:1010For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
- Verse 4
o Justified. Waiting to be just as if I’d never sinned. If you are waiting for the law to do that for you, you are going to be in big trouble.
o Not just big trouble but you are going to find yourself worried sick all the time.
§ I am never good enough. I have sinned. I haven’t done enough good things.
o Strange contrast at the end of that verse. The ones who are most concerned about living life perfectly to be sure of God’s grace, are actually the ones who have fallen away from grace.
- Verse 5: The right path to righteousness.
o It includes faith in the middle
o The Spirit is the origin of faith first.
o Then through that Spirit given faith, you will be made right. Like Abraham, you faith through the gift of the Holy Spirit, that is where righteousness comes in.
o Righteousness is not. . .
§ What music you listen to
§ What you wear into the church building
§ Being perfect. That is anti Christ.
- Verse 6 gives us the perfect conclusion.
o The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.