Freed to be Free #10
The Provision of the Promise
As we take up the book of Galatians again, remember that Paul compared the Law of the O.T. to a “Pedagogue” or a Tutor. The Law was a nanny of sorts that would be responsible for the instruction of the children until they grew into Adulthood and were ready to be turned over to a Master Professor.
So, the law served the Purpose of instructing us, teaching us about sin and the glory of God. The law is used like a leash to bring us to God.
The promise enticed us and the law instructs us, both leading us, by God’s Grace to Jesus Christ. So, having come to Christ and placed our faith in him, we are justified freely and so verse 25 of chapter three says we are no longer under the supervision of the law because faith has come … we have a new teacher … The Holy Spirit, who lives in us. He is our tutor, our guide, our strength, our sure hope.
But what IS the Provision of the Promise? Read with me, beginning in verse 25 and let’s see if we can hear what God has provided for us …
3 Beautiful things that are given to us, as a result of a relationship with Christ by Grace through faith.
The law had its place and purpose but it would not do what Jesus did for us through Grace.
The law could reveal sin but not deal with sin
The law could show that we were estranged from God but not bring us TO God
The law served to show how we were separated from each other but could not bring us together
The law showed that we had not hope or future but could not give us hope, an inheritance, a future
But, O the wonder of the Grace of God
Oh the wonder of Salvation through faith alone in Christ Alone, by Grace
“Lord You are good and your mercy endureth forever”
Romans 7:24-8:3 (NIV)
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
Three Provisions we can see … let’s begin with
Something dramatic in the spiritual is taking place here in Christ Jesus. In the Law, we are not brought TO God we are separated from God. The Tabernacle had a fence around it. The Tabernacle was veiled around the Holy Place and then there was an inner veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. All this was a picture of our sin that separates us from God.
In the Old Testament there are no real direct pictures of the individual as being a Child of God. Israel as a people may be referred to with God as Father. But not the individual. Instead the most often used picture is of being “sheep of his Pasture”. That is, property of God. Paul has taught us that apart from God, we are SLAVES to the Law and by it Slaves to Sin. In the law we were sheep at best but slaves for sure …
So think with me of the words of Jesus in
John 10:27-28 “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish”
There is definitely an application for all of us there, but can’t you see Jesus saying to Israel, “those of you who are REALLY my sheep will hear me, recognize me as your shepherd, and you will come to me and you will get what you so desperately need, that is Eternal Life.
Oh but the beautiful thing is that when we come to him we always receive MORE than we needed, MORE than we expected, MORE than we deserve
Hebrews 4:16 let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need
So, we come to Christ and when we do … we receive eternal life but much more …
1. I’ve said it before, we have to recognize that in this world, we are all God’s CREATION, but we are NOT all God’s Children.
2. But when we come to God in Christ Jesus, then all in Christ are All children of God.
1 John 3:2 “NOW … we are the Children of God”
3. We are no longer sheep but children. We are no longer slaves but children of God …
4. I Am SOMEBODY … because God loves me in Christ Jesus … If you are In Christ … you are somebody, you are a child of God
And those who come to Christ, receive eternal life, and find Personhood and …
1. The law gave regulations; the promise gives us position
We are In Christ
All adult sons
More about the latter in a minute but we can’t bypass the WHY …
2. The central point of Christianity is Jesus Christ INDWELLS the one who receives him by Faith. Every other religion or system of belief tells you to follow something, do something, become something … but in Christianity we are somebody because of our Position IN Christ and Christ IN us.
In verse 20 Paul said “not I but Christ lives IN ME”
3. in verse 27 describes what happens … you who were baptized into Christ … clothed yourselves with Christ
What a complete picture and understanding. Please understand that Paul is not talking about water being a passage way to Christ. But two things about Baptism … when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we receive thus are immersed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ comes INTO us in the work and personhood of the Holy Spirit. Because of that internal baptism, we make a public confession of Christ in Water Baptism. Paul says we are buried with Christ in Baptism and raised to walk in New Life. God has made an investment, he has placed in SON in us. And that Investment changes EVERYTHING for you and me
4. Because you have been filled with Christ, Identified with Christ, you have the Position of Being In Christ and thus you have been CLOTHED with Christ. What has happened on the inside affects the way you are seen in the OUTSIDE. He’s already said we become the sons of God, but in verse 27 instead of just saying, all of you who were baptized into Christ have become God’s Child … instead he makes it abundantly clear, when we came INTO Christ and He INTO Us … we PUT HIM ON.
The Great early Church Father and Preacher, John Chrysostom, when commenting on this verse wrote “If Christ is the Son of God, and you have put on Him, you who have the Son within you, and are made after his pattern, have been brought into one kindred and nature with him”
You have a position in Christ BECAUSE Of Christ … You are a Son of God Because you have clothed yourself with the Son of God … You’ve heard it say “The clothes make the man” … Oh I am mindful of the prodigal son who had been off acting like he wasn’t a son. He came home covered in the muck of the pig pen … and the Father says “Put a Robe on Him” … Dress him like he is MY SON.
Again it is not the Baptism that put on Jesus, but Baptism assumes that there has been faith and when you place your faith in Jesus you are Covered by Christ and so when the Father looks at you he sees a Son!
5. When you put on Christ you leave behind slavery and put on the Freedom of being a Son. What an Exchange!
6. And it ONLY GETS BETTER. The more you understand your personhood and position in Christ by Grace, through faith. You WERE slaves to sin and the law. But now you are a child of God, you have Christ IN you and you have Put on Christ so that God sees in ON you and you are not JUST a CHILD … but and Adult Son … in the Jewish Economy of things, a child was the same as a servant or slave, they had no real rights or authority until they became and adult. But then as an adult the daughters were still considered 2nd class at best compared to the Son. So, in Christ, Christ in Me, Covered in Christ, we become to God Adult Sons … (huios)
Romans 8:17 children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together
Look at Christ after the Cross and you will see where we are heading … we are Joint Heirs with Jesus
We are Children of God in Personhood
In Christ positionally and Adult Sons in Position which is very important regarding our inheritance but that is to Come
Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
So IN CHRIST … we have personhood as individuals … but collectively we have
The law makes it very clear how different we are, the promise makes us ONE in Christ
The hope of this world is not love and tolerance … the hope for racial reconciliation and justice is realizing who we are in Christ Jesus so there is
1. we are Sons of God and that means we are brothers to each other. In the church we have historically referred to people as Brothers and Sisters but in the scheme and theme of this verse we can call each other ALL “Brother” … because verse 28 says there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, you are all ONE in Christ Jesus
G.G. Findlay wrote of this verse, Christianity is the perfection of society, as well as of the individual. The faith of Christ restores the broken unity of mankind
The hope for America is Jesus Christ
2. The hope for our Community is to bring people to Christ because when we are IN Christ and Realize we are ONE in Christ, we will care for one another, we will love one another, we will be in relationship with one another and the world will know that Jesus is from the Father.
People don’t you know that our world is full of people wanting, craving acceptance, wanting to feel like they are a part of something. This place that we call the church should be the place that sets the tone for that. We ought to be able to worship together, learn together, disagree with one another, serve together, minister together, take care of each other.
and if we can’t who can?
3. the love of God given freely to man, received by faith is a wrecking crew that demolishes dividing wall …
4. It is NOT saying that we somehow should lose our cultural identity. Nor is it saying that gender is not important because it was GOD who made us Male and Female, we were the ones that caused gender to be a divider. In Addition our station or job position shouldn’t be a divider.
No, it is not that you say, I’m this cultureless, ethnicity free, gender neutral person, with no job identity. But when we say “I am a child of God” … we don’t THINK of culture, gender, wealth, position as meaning anything a sense of Peace, Wholeness and Acceptance comes over us that says you and I are Adult Sons of God …! And look! In our conformity, we are diverse, and I LIKE IT!
This is the Vision of Unity Cast by God the Holy Spirit through Paul … one of Parity … we are all the same having the Same Lord and the same accessibility to God
Diverse and yet uniformly we were sinners and uniformly we are saved by Christ alone.
Parity which leads to
1. We must consider in the church as a whole today whether we recognize and live by this reality or do we further divide from each other
Do we provide an environment that fosters unity or do we create greater division?
2. In Verse 28 Paul writes “ … for you are all one in Christ Jesus”
The word there rendered “ONE” is rendered in the masculine form not in a neutral form. Why is this important. It doesn’t say “we are one idea”, or “one in purpose” in Christ, or even “one church” or “one person” … no, it is as if to say “you are all ONE MAN in Christ Jesus” Why? Because Christ is IN us and he is our very being and identity. So one commentator writes “ the Christ within them recognizes the Christ without as ‘face answereth to face in a glass.’ In this recognition, social disparity vanishes
3. When one Christian sees another Christian, the Christ inside of you should recognize the Christ inside of me like you were walked past a mirror and recognized your own face.
4. Have you ever been in the store and saw someone out the window and thought they looked familiar only to realize it wasn’t a window it was a mirror and that was YOU?
That is the way it is in the Unity of the Believers of Christ
We are ONE MAN …
5. Sometimes I run into some of you on a Saturday and I’ve got a hat on and jeans or something, and sometimes you don’t recognize me, but it’s still me
6. In Christ we are one man, it doesn’t matter if you are wearing a three piece suit or a jogging suit, a velvet dress or a burlap sack, whether you shop at Neiman Marcus or Walmart … we are ONE MAN
7. So how can you be more partial for one over another
How can you treat one with partiality over the other? God doesn’t … Because in him we are like ONE MAN … so would you say “I like that guy, just don’t like his foot”
“you can come in here but you’re going to have to leave your hand outside” Isn’t that SILLY … that is what is the reality in Christ Jesus
8. The sooner we realize that and act like that the more we will look and act like Jesus Christ
John 17:20-23 (NIV)
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
IN Christ we are Children of God, Clothed in Christ Adult Sons
We are One Man
And … the final provision of the promise is our
We are adult sons of Gd meaning we are worthy of all the rights and privileges … but what does that mean?
I DO Have …
1. The same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is YOUR God
The same God who parted the Red Sea is YOUR God
The God who can take an Old Man with no prospects for the future and make him the Father of a great nation can be your God and Father as well.
The same God who said the Righteous will Live by Faith offers you the same life of Faith
2. you don’t have to be physically born into Abraham’s family to be an heir to his promise
3. the Life of fulfillment and promise of Abraham’s is available to you
4. If you watch enough infomercials and enough Christian television you are going to hear the word Prosperity
A lot of people want their piece of the pie, what they think they have coming
But that doesn’t match what scripture says
5. Abraham was the first to receive the Promise … but did he build a big house? Did he take earthly treasure as his inheritance?
No, Hebrews 11 tells us that Abraham lived in Tents, because he knew that this world was NOT his home. He knew that this world was NOT his ultimate inheritance. He was looking to a city whose architect and builder is the Lord (Heb 11:9-10)
6. Listen you should be wise, there is nothing wrong with being frugal, there is nothing wrong with setting aside resources for a rainy day or for your future. Not so much so you can go sit on a island somewhere and do nothing. No, I want a retirement so that I can finish one assignment and take up another. I’m not going to stop serving the Lord because I hit a certain age. If you want to retire on a golf course or on an island or at a ski lodge, well that’s fine because people on a golf course or island or ski lodge or in St. Louis County or City or wherever, need Jesus and you might be the instrument of reconciliation that God uses to bring the message of reconciliation to them. We HAVE been given the Ministry of Reconciliation, every believer, who is NEW in Christ has been given that message to deliver that ministry to carry out.
7. But my PROSPERITY is not in this world … my Inheritance is not in this world …
Jesus said in Matthew 6:19
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
Oh if you are seeking prosperity HERE, you might find a way to get it but then what will you have?
Let me tell you folks, I am not looking to “get mine” on earth
THE Blessing of Abraham is NOT Canaan, it is NOT birthing a nation, those were blessings, those were promises to him, but THE PROMISE, THEY Blessing of Abraham was JESUS CHRIST, IN US through the Holy Spirit …
In Hebrews 11 after listing the Great Hall of Faithful in Scripture it says in verse 39 these were all commended for their faith,
YES SOME WILL SAY JUST HAVE ENOUGH FAITH AND YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT …
Not the writer of Hebrews
He says they were all commended for their faith, yet NONE of them received what had been promised. God planned something better for us so that only together with us they would be perfect
The promise wasn’t just about land in the middle east, or getting a physical blessing … It WAS and IS Jesus, in my heart here and now and with him for Eternity
I may not appear to be prosperous by the worlds standards … but I have a TRUST FUND … I HAVE an Inheritance … for the Future
1. I am a Child of Abraham
2. Just as if I had been born in his line
3. If you believe that the Posterity of Abraham, the offspring of Abraham should be singing about, longing for, striving toward physical blessing, you are selling God short.
4. The Blessing that comes to those who truly are the spiritual Offspring of Abraham is the same thing that was said of him … he was RIGHTEOUS or JUST … JUSTIFIED by Faith … the Blessing of Abraham experienced by his posterity is the Righteousness of God, Salvation by Grace through Faith.
5. Remember Paul told us earlier that the SEED of ABRAHAM was singular it was Jesus … so we become heir and seed because of our relationship with Jesus
We have been set free from the law
We have graduated from childhood into sonship
We have been taken from division into Unity
In Christ Alone
You can have this whole world as an inheritance
Give Me Jesus
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
YOU CAN HAVE all this world
Give Me Jesus …