Intro: The Christians in the region of Galatia had been duped into believing that they needed to add the law to their faith in Christ
A)Here in Ch.3 – Paul Challenges them on this Pt. – Having begun in the Spirit are you now going to be made complete thru the flesh?
B) It was a good question – and Paul spends the rest of the Ch. Showing why it is impossible to be made complete thru the law
C)Now At the end of our last study – we answered the Question asked in v.19 – What then is the purpose of the law – noted 3 things
1)V. 22 – The law was a Policemen – arrest us – left us confined or imprisoned by sin
D) V.23 The law Guarded us – Protective custody – Guarded us from our selves – total Debauchery
1) V. 24 The Law was a Tutor to tell us what to do & what not to do
25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
E)When we came to faith in Christ – thing Changed for us – that is what Paul goes into now – Beginning in v.26 of Ch.3 –
1) Today we want to look at the Blessings of being in Christ [RD v.26-29]
1st – In Christ we are Sons of God v.26
A)God is no longer our Judge who thru the law has condemned us and imprisoned us – we no longer fear Him & dread the punishment we deserve
B) God is now our FATHER whom we love because He has – has Redeemed us / forgiven us/ AND accepted us /
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
1) The manner of Love – that God has bestowed on us :
D) Note this: John could have said – Behold what manner of Love the King has bestowed on His Subjects / Master …..Servants / Judge ….forgiven
1)Teacher his students - all of those would have been appropriate – but that is not what he says – He says – Father …. Children: Father kind of Love
Now there are many traits that we could key in our about a Fathers love – I want to briefly mention 5 #1 Love that speaks of Protection :
A)Amanda 7 bad dream ends up in our bed next to me / amazed at how
quickly she falls asleep ( I don’t ) rest , sense of protection fathers arms
B) That is how it is with the Lord – there is a rest in the mist of the storm whenever we come to Him – We find safety & security in his arms !!!
Ps 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
#2 Love that takes pleasure in it’s Children: School play who are your eyes on? Who is your focus ( Did you see my son/ daughter )
A)Max Lucado God is a proud papa Frig picture: wallet - photo
B)#3 Love that speaks of acceptance :
1)Think about when a baby is born - honest - most are kind of ugly - but to that parent gorgeous
1.) “He is so beautiful” - no he isn’t - maternal love - that’s my girl
C) Never seen parents hold a conference: should we keep it !
Nor do they lay out a Criteria :
1) When my daughter Amanda was born I didn’t sit down & say now if you are going to be a Salvato certain rules of house need to abide by
D)When She was born & she was in ! Born again? Your in !
A)In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics Derek Redmond of the US was favored win 400 meter race!
B) But Halfway through semifinal heat, fiery pain seared through right let - crumpled to track with torn hamstring
1) As medical attendants approaching - Redmond fought to his feet Pushing away coaches - medical people - determined to finish race!
C) When he reached the home stretch, a big man wearing a t-shirt read "Have you hugged your child today?"& a hat that challenged Just do it 1)Fought through crowd and security on to track the man was Derek's Dad
C)"You don't have to do this?" - he told his weeping son! "Yes, I do" Derek said I have to finish the race .
1) Well then, Dad said - We are going to finish together
D)And w/ his arm around his son the two finished the race together in what was one of the most touching moments in Olympic History !
In one sense that is like what the heavenly Father did for us - saw us crumpled on the track
A.) Unsuccessful - in trying to keep law / to do right / fallen short/ down
Not a prayer in the world of finishing the race - let alone winning!
B.)He, in His love; compassion sent His son/ to win it for us / to pick us up & to even carry us at times toward the finish line !
1)And as we continue to run the race of life - given H.S. come along side!
C) So its a love that peaks of Protection/ Takes Pleasure in /
….of acceptance / Says I’ll be there/ #5 A love that never gives up!
1) Story of the Prodigal Saw him a long way off “
That dad Didn’t give up on his son coming home !!!!
D) Some here today: Don’t give up continue to Pray …..
So in Christ we have an incredible standing w/ God – Sons & daughters
A)The standing is impressive. It is a place of closeness, a place of affection, a place of special care and attention
B)But wait someone might ask isn’t every human being a Child of God?
Answer is No
1) See God is the Creator of every Human being – but He is only the Father of those who have placed their faith in Christ – Adopted into His Family
C) So unless a person comes to faith in Christ – God will forever remain that persons – Creator & also His Judge /
1) It is only when we come to faith in Christ – God’s plan of salvation that we moved from Created & condemned to Sons & daughters
D) Now lets consider the 2nd Blessing we see here in our text for being in Christ !!!!
2nd Blessing of being in Christ is that we are Covered by Christ
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
A)Now notice that Paul doesn’t say you were baptized into water, but baptized into Christ.
B) A lot of people don’t realize that the Bible speaks of several types of Baptisms :
1) Water baptism: Something a person does after they have put their faith in Christ: water Baptism is an outward sign of inward commitment to Christ
C.) Acts 2 Baptism with the Holy Spirit : Holy Spirit comes upon us in order to empowers us to serve & be witnesses for Christ
1) Baptism with fire - 1 Peter 1:7,8 - Purifying of faith when tested goes through fire/ become more like Christ
D) Baptism of suffering Mt 20:22-23 - Identify with Christ in fellowship of His sufferings - draws us closer to Him
Baptism into body of Christ - 1 Cor 12:13 - When saved - emersed into family of God
A)That is what Paul is speaking of here when he says that we have been Baptized into Christ - being Baptized or brought into the body of Christ
B)Just as in water baptism a person is immersed in water, so when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, we are immersed in Jesus.
C) It should be noted that this is the baptism that really saves us: our immersion into Jesus.
1) If a person isn’t baptized into Christ, they could be dunked a thousand times into water, and it would make no eternal difference.
D) But when a person comes to Faith in Christ they are immersed into Jesus Completely covered by Jesus
The stress here is on our identity in Jesus through faith.
A)We aren’t simply associated with Jesus; we are identified in Him. If He is a Son of God, so are we.
B) If He stands righteous before God the Father, so do we. If He has free access to the throne of God, so do we.
1) If He has victory over spiritual powers of darkness, so do we.
We aren’t associated with Jesus; we are in Jesus.
C) How many Christians seem content with just “dipping a bit” into Jesus! 1) God wants us to be fully immersed in Jesus; not sprinkled, not just a part of us dipped.
D)When a person is immersed in water, you don’t even see the person much anymore – you mostly see the water.
1)When we LIVE like we have been baptized into Christ, you don’t see so much of “me” anymore; you mostly see Jesus. – The Goal
E)Another way of expressing our immersion in Jesus is to say that we have put on Christ.
1) In the original language, the phrase has the idea of putting on a suit of clothes. So we “clothe ourselves” with Jesus as our identity.
The 3rd Blessing that is ours for being in Christ – Is that in Christ we are all one IN CHRIST 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
A)In Christ we belong not only to God as His Sons & Daughters – but we belong to each other as brothers & Sisters
B) And we belong to each other in such a way as to render of no account things which normally distinguish us namely race, rank & gender
C) The Pharisee would pray each morning, "I thank YOU , God, that I am a Jew, not a Gentile; a man, not a woman; and a freeman, and not a slave."
1) Yet all of these distinctions are removed "in Christ"
D)Paul makes reference to 3 areas of distinction that were prevalent in their culture
#1 there is no Distinction of Race : There is neither Jew nor Greek
A)God Chose to live in a special relationship w/ Abe and his descendants
B)But when Christ came – God’s promise was fulfilled that in Abraham’s seed ALL THE FAMILIES of the earth would be blessed
1) That includes every race / color / language – We are all EQUAL
C)Equal in our need of Salvation / Equal in our inability to earn or deserve it and Equal in the fact that God offers it to us freely in Christ
1) Once we have received it our equality is transformed into Fellowship – the Brotherhood which only Christ can create
D) SO #1 There is no distinction of Race -
#2 There is no distinction of rank: There is neither slave / nor free
A) Nearly every society in the history of the world has developed its class system.
1) Circumstances of birth & wealth, privilege & education have always divided people
B) But in Christ those Divisions don’t Exist:
1) There is not a upper class / Middle class or lower class in Christ- We are all on an equal plane !!!!
C) SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE !!!!!
#3 There is no distinction of Gender – there is neither male nor female
A)In the ancient world & even in some places today – women are considered to be second class citizens
B)In recognizing believing women as the full spiritual equals of believing men, Christianity elevated women to a status they had never known before
C) Jesus himself elevated woman – One Great illustration of this is in Jn 4 – Jesus has a special meeting with a woman at a well in Samaria
1) 1st She was a Samaritan ………./ 2nd a woman – talked to her / first revealed that he was the messiah
D) SO Christianity elevated the role of women – But important to understand – there is an order to God’s equality
1) In matters of rule in the home and in the church God has established the headship of men.
E) But in the dimension of spiritual possessions and privilege there is absolutely no difference.
So the 3rd blessing is that there are no Distinctions in the body of Christ
4th Blessing that we receive for being in Christ is that we are Heirs of the Promised Inheritance v.29
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
A)If we are in Christ – we are linked to Abe – his seed – sons & daughters of faith – and Heirs according to the Promise
B) Paul in Rom 8:15-17 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
C) God the Father has appointed Jesus Christ the "heir of all things" (Heb 1:2), and because we are fellow heirs with Him,
1) we are destined to receive all that He receives! AMAZING
Now Here on earth when a Father dies & leaves an inheritance to his Children most of the time each heir receives an equal share of an inheritance, each gets only a certain fraction of the whole amount.
A)But heaven is not under such limits, God's resources are limitless
so our spiritual inheritance is limitless
B) And as Joint Heirs with Christ - we share in everything that the true Son of God, inherits.
1) Everything that Christ receives by divine right, we will receive by divine grace.
C) Eph. 1:3 Paul exulted, Eph. 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,...
D) Notice the Has Blessed us – Present tense meaning – we start sharing in the blessing of these things right now !!!! [Fullness in Heaven]
Guys it is Clear to see that IN CHRIST – we are incredibly blessed – why then would anyone want to put themselves back under the law
A)And in doing so FORFEIT the wonderful blessings that are available to us IN CHRIST
B) The question that each one of us need to answer today is this: Are we in Christ
1) The issue is not “Are you under the law?” The issue is not “Are you a Jew or a Gentile?” The issue is not “Are you slave or free?”
C) The issue is not “Are you a man or a woman?” The only issue is are you In Christ- Has your life been IMMERSED into HIM?
See It is belonging to Jesus that sets us free from each place Paul said the law put us.
A) “We are neither prisoners, awaiting the final execution of our sentence, nor children, under the restraint of a tutor,
B)But sons of God and heirs of His glorious kingdom,
C) Listen: If we are Christ’s, then . . .
· We find our place in eternity, because we are sons and daughters of God.
· We find our place in society, because we are brothers and sisters in the
family of God.
· We find our place in history, because we are part of God’s plan of the
ages, related spiritually to Abraham by our faith in Jesus.
D) It enables me to answer the most basic of all human questions,
‘Who am I?’ ANS ‘In Christ I am a son of God.
1) In Christ I am united to all the redeemed people of God, past, present, and future. In Christ I discover my identity.
E)Answers the Question Where Am I going ? What is awaiting me – Heaven & an inheritance in Glory !!!
1)Are you IN CHRIST TODAY? REJOICE / if not – why? How about now