This week, Pastor Chris began a new sermon series through the book of Galatians entitled, “Set Free to Live Free”. The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church in Galatia in order to counter the false gospel that the Judaizers were preaching to the Christian church. These Jewish Christians regarded the Old Testament laws as still binding to Christians, and in their legalism, they disregarded the invasive grace that Jesus offers. Legalism will leave us defeated as we seek to prove ourselves outwardly to God. The simple gospel is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and this revelation should change us from the inside out.
- God’s Grace Brings Peace
Galatians 1:1–3 (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
“Grace” is God’s undeserved favor and blessing given freely through Jesus Christ to people who deserve God’s wrath because of their sin.
Colossians 1:15–20 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Romans 5:1 (ESV)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. God’s Grace Comes for Our Deliverance
Galatians 1:4 (ESV)
4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Colossians 1:13–14 (ESV)
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Justification: “An instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.” Dr. Wayne Grudem
Romans 3:23–24 (ESV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
3. God’s Grace Displays God’s Glory
Galatians 1:4-5 (ESV)
4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 2:4–7 (ESV)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
God’s Glory in Galatians
- Salvation through Christ
- Union with Christ
- Unity in Christ
- Liberty in Christ
- The promised gift of the Spirit
- The fruits of the Spirit
- Grace that affects Christian living.
God’s Grace Displays God’s Glory
4. God’s Grace Distorted
Galatians 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
True & False Gospel
- One focuses on what you do.
- One focuses on what Jesus has done.
John 5:39–40 (ESV)
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
- One focuses on getting God’s approval.
- One focuses on receiving God’s love.
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:19 (ESV)
19 We love because he first loved us.
- One focuses on external duty.
- One focuses on internal desire.
1 John 5:3 (ESV)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:12 (ESV)
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
5. God’s Grace Clarified
Galatians 1:8–10 (ESV)
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
1. What is legalism? What are some examples of legalistic religions?
2. Do you struggle with being works-based in your faith? Where do you struggle specifically?
3. What is justification? What does this mean for your personal relationship with Jesus?
4. Read Galatians 1:10. Why is it impossible to please man and Christ? How can we guard ourselves against this so that we are genuine servants of Christ?
1. Are you struggling with trying to earn your salvation rather than accepting the grace of God? Get prayer from a friend or mentor this week in this area.
2. Take time this week to study the theological concept of justification. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you revelation of what this important reality means for you and your personal relationship with Jesus.