Sermon Notes from Sunday, May 5, 2013
LIVING LIFE UNCHAINED
17 But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves are also found to be sinners, is Christ then a promoter of sin? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
18 If I rebuild those things that I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker.
19 For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; 20 AND I NO LONGER LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME. THE LIFE I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH, I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COMES THROUGH THE LAW, THEN CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING.
Why Grace Makes Some Grumble (17)
- We are Saved By Grace through Faith in Christ
- We still sin
- Does that mean that Jesus, because of His grace in forgiving us our sins…past…present…and even future…therefore promotes a sinful life?
In other words, since faith in Jesus grace grants us freedom to live without the law of works, that means Jesus gives us freedom so that we can live in sin without consequence.
Paul’s “Subtle” Response: “NO WAY JOSE’!”
(May it never be. God forbid! Absolutely not! Not now…Not Ever!)
- Paul uses this phrase 14 times in the New Testament
- Each time it is in response to a false twist to His teaching.
There is No Hope Found in the Law…for a Reason (18-19a)
- Living under the Law Means our Focus must be on What We’re Doing
o Think about this: Why was it so easy for the Jews to miss what God was doing through…
- The Prophets
- John the Baptist
- Jesus Christ
Because they were focused on what they were doing (and people around them) and not on what God was doing.
Have you ever known someone that would NEVER wave to anyone while they are driving. Why? Because they are so focused (and rightly so) on driving that they don’t take the time to see the people waving at them.
- Living under Grace means our Focus must be on What Christ Did.
For Paul, as a once-upon-a-time Pharisee, he would have lived like everything depended on keeping the Law. The Gospel, to him, would have actually been leading people away from a connection with God. This is why he so vehemently opposed and persecuted “The Way” before he met Jesus himself. Everything was up to his own righteousness and holy living.
Illustration: A Stairway to Heaven
Picture building a stair case to heaven. You would use the very best materials you could for this project. This would represent your very best…your best behavior…your best works…your best righteousness.
Before you could use your stairs, however, they would need to be inspected, and the building inspector for projects such as these is God. Your work and craftsmanship are top-notch. The beauty of these stairs could be beyond compare. Then there is this little caveat found in the Inspector’s Manual.
Isaiah 64:6: All of us have become like something unclean, and ALL OUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS ARE LIKE A POLLUTED GARMENT; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
All of what we can produce is like a veneer covering over rotted lumber. The moment you take your first step on the stairs they crumble away revealing nothing more than hollow, rotten, wood.
Paul realized that the purpose of the law is to reveal our hopelessness In essence, the law is there to put to death our self-righteous attempts and reveal God’s plan to impart His righteousness on us through Christ.
LIFE UNCHAINED More than a Pretty Exterior (19b-21)
Galatians 2:19b-20 – I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
- I am Crucified With Christ
- My SELF-EFFORT is dead
- Christ Lives In Me
- His grace, sacrifice, and resurrection are what I depend on
- I Live By Faith
- My salvation is found in faith alone
- In the One Loved Me
- and Who Gave Himself for Me
Notice: Paul takes it one step further and echoes what I shared briefly last week, that if “righteousness comes through the law,” essentially if we could work our way to salvation, then Christ died in vain.
So, How Should We Live this LIFE UNCHAINED?
- If Faith in Christ is not License to Live However We Want…
- Then what does that mean for us and how we should live?
- Live as one who has Christ Alive in You
- Live as a Creature who is being Made New (2 Cor. 5.17)
- Live in New Life…a Life Unchained
- Live In Christ…With Christ…and For Christ