Galatians #04 – An exposition of Galatians 3:1-29. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 1, 2009.
Without a doubt there is no greater joy than the joy of being set free. Set free form bondage. Liberated from the clutches of a tyrannical force. But don’t take my word for it. Ask anyone who has been freed from a P.O.W camp or one who has been held captive behind the iron curtain or been the slave of alcohol or drugs. Ask any poor soul who has been a victim of endless demonic oppression who is now free of that awful, frightening influence. But these are dramatic examples. They bear little or no relation to where most of you are or have ever been. There is another type of bondage. A more subtle enemy that is every bit as deadly. One that can choke the life out of you without your realizing it until it is too late. The reason it is so dangerous is because it is disguised. It presents itself as being spiritual. But rather than being God-centered it is self-centered. Rather than focusing on God it focuses on self. It is the system of legalism. A “faith” that says right standing before God demands meticulous adherence to a rigid set of rules and regulations. A system that says you get salvation the old fashion way…you earn it!
Paul, in writing the Galatians hammers home the message of freedom and grace. The over all message of the book is our freedom in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free,” Paul declares. Paul, with the skill of a surgeon, cuts to the heart of the matter. He waste no time with diplomacy. From the opening verse he hammered away at the opposition. In chapter one he establishes the fact that the gospel he preached was of divine origin. It was no man-made fairytale; it was a revelation from God. In chapter two he reminded us that we have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of that message. We must maintain the truth, the wholeness and purity of the message of salvation by grace alone! In chapter three Paul gets to the heart of the matter. Paul presents a three-pronged argument to prove that salvation is by grace through faith. I will grant you that Paul deals with some weighty matters in this chapter. It is heavy in theology but stay with me. This is the essence of the gospel.
Text: Galatians 3:1-25
Thesis: Right standing before God comes by faith in Christ alone.
- Your own experience of grace proves that faith is the basis. (3:1-5)
- The example of Abraham proves faith is the basis. (3:6-18)
- The purpose of the law proves the fact that faith is the basis. (3:19-25)
Do you desire right standing before God? Do you want to be right with God? You will not find it in a set of rules and regulations. You will not find it by working hard. You will find it when you come to the end of yourself and graciously accept the free gift of salvation by faith.