Galatians 3:1-9: SERMON NOTES

It’s no coincidence that we are studying this section of Galatians today as we send another of our families back to the nations. Their plans have been impeded by Covid-19, and the sending date falls on the date we get to preach Galatians 3:1-9.

You can’t plan these things on purpose. You just try to obey the Lord day to day, make godly plans, make effort to execute in excellence, and the Lord Jesus weaves it together for eternal good. 

It is no coincidence that the Holy Spirit has Paul place his preaching to the Galatians from Genesis 15:6 AND 12:1-3 right in the center of his letter. 

Because it is the center of his theological argument as to why the peripheral issue of circumcision cannot take the center stage. 

What is at stake in Galatians is the gospel of the kingdom’s mission to all nations. 

A misunderstanding of the Scriptures and their gospel intent and thus a misunderstanding of the law’s purpose has resulted in unnecessary barriers of adding something to Jesus that is preventing non-Jews from coming to Jesus.

  1. Truth should be clear from Genesis 15:6 (CSB) Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

The letter to the churches of Galatia is really a corrective application of Genesis 12:1-3 (CSB) 1 The LORD said to Abram: Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Listen carefully: If we make Galatians first about faith alone in Christ alone, ALONE, we will miss the thrust of why we need faith alone in Christ alone. 

Faith alone in Christ alone is the message for the mission, not the other way around (which would be a mission for a message). The covenant of redemption is vital here. We have a mission rooted in God’s eternal nature and plan that requires a gospel message. 

Galatians is about the mission of the gospel to the nations and combatting unnecessary barriers created by faux religious culture or just plain old sin that keeps people from faith alone in Christ alone. 

The gospel of the kingdom is for all nations, not just one tribe, therefore, anything that becomes a tribal-centric barrier to Jesus is out of line with the gospel of the kingdom. 

It is a bewitching lie that denies we ALL get ALL of God through faith in Jesus. V. 1-2

  1. The “You” is supplied from the second person, but the word is literally, “Oh!”
    1. Paul’s exasperation is palpable. 
  2. Literally, Paul asks, who has given you Galatians the evil eye! 
  3. Jesus’ cross was put on display through the apostle’s preaching and suffering.  
  4. Verse 2 isolates the issue: We ALL get ALL of God by faith. 
    1. This inquiry recalls what God did in saving Cornelius when the Spirit sends Peter to preach the gospel. 
      1. Acts 10:30-48
      2. They were given the Holy Spirit by believing the message with no other regulations. 

It is folly to receive Jesus by faith and then try to add to faith some “thing” to get more of something you already have. V. 3-4

  1. Paul is calling them foolish, and he is addressing them not the sin.
    1. He is not attacking their intelligence.
    2. He is addressing their lack of biblical knowledge and spiritual discernment. 
      1. They have been taught the Bible, instructed in the truth, and are now turning from it. 

We get all of God by faith just like Abraham. As a result, all those who believe in Jesus are children of Abraham, and thus we ALL are one family by faith in Jesus. V. 5-7

  1. Genesis 15:6
    1. God’s saving of people by faith is a whole bible teaching not just a Romans or Galatians or New Testament issue. 
    2. God’s saving of people is / always has been by faith so that all nations and cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic levels can get into the kingdom of God as one family, not as a confederation of tribes. 
      1. Jesus is building one church of diverse people in many locations among all cities and nations. 
      2. And they are scrapping hard to try and figure it out. 

God’s first and only plan is saving people from all nations by faith in Jesus. God is the preacher of that message. And, that message is the multifaceted gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ who is God. V. 8-9

  1. The Covenant of Redemption: The gospel is the idea, initiative, labor, plan, and the reality of the God of the Bible, and in God’s person, the Father giving a people from the whole of creation to the Son drawn by the Spirit. God saves and restores these people AND creation back to its curse-less state for his glory and our restored good, wholeness, blessing, and joy. 
    1. This is why we have a mission that has a gospel message that looks from God out through all of history not backward through history to God. 
      1. This is why Genesis 15:6 and Genesis 12:1-3 are as much gospel preaching as the book of Romans.
    2. Galatians 3:8 is a template for our preaching of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ to any ear across any culture so they can hear and be drawn to faith in Jesus alone. 
      1. Acts 17/Gospels “come follow me…I’ll make you fish for men”/Acts 9
    3. Our evangelistic work is to get people to Jesus by faith. 
      1. Our discipling work is then teaching them to obey everything Jesus has given us in Scripture. 
      2. We don’t need to get them to the Reformation in Church History on day negative three. 

Application

The barrier to being on God’s mission for the Jews and Gentiles in Galatia was misunderstanding the law’s place in God’s work of redemption.

If the end is God’s mission to redeem a people for Jesus from all nations through faith in Jesus, what must we do to make sure we participate in that mission from Rome, GA, and ensure we don’t put up any unnecessary theological and organizational barriers to that mission?

Claw and scratch to reclaim the local church’s place as the primary agent of Jesus’ mission to receive a people from the Father by the Spirit, not just be a Sunday gathering. 

We have to strive to regain an organizational and relational connection to the nations from the local church. 

The good news is, we already ask the right question, and we’ve been founded for that work, yet we exist within a context that pulls us gravitationally back toward another framework. So, it’s hard. 

  1. We must ask and answer the question, “What if the whole church was the missionary?”We lost the Great Commission to organizations in the late 1700s and early 1800s and subsequently, the local ministry was lost to a newly created economic framework of parachurch “ministry”. This is the reality we inherited. 

Thus local churches have evolved into sources of money and a few necessary volunteers for others to do the work. While the rest of us are just funders. 

Local churches in our setting are typically relegated to Sunday gatherings and fellowship small groups. 

The whole church as a Great Commission force looks like every disciple a disciple-maker, vocationally skilled and producing gospel fruit, engaged in the public square, not as a separate ministry but as a function of their vocation, and capable of planting churches from their disciple-making and raising up biblical leadership. 

This does not mean that there is no room for full-time professional people in church and GC work, but THAT is the result of growth not necessary for growth. 

We will teach you this, but you have to be willing to give the time, expend the effort, be challenged, learn to pass it on, actually pass it on, and make the changes necessary to practice it. 

  1. We keep shifting from a “needs” mentality to a “assets” mentality.
  2. We keep shifting from “programs” to consume to “domains” to be engaged by every member glocally. 
  3. We keep shifting from “volunteering” in our city to “partnering with our city” to bring the healing of the new creation to reality. 
    1. It’s one thing to provide labor for the city’s efforts. 
    2. It’s another to be the solution for your city’s needs. 
      1. See Global Impact – Restoration Rome
  4. We keep shifting from “managing projects and events” to “leading every member” in making disciples as the foundation of our tactical approach to the Radical Life of IN/UP/OUT.
  5. We must learn how to communicate the multi-faceted gospel of the kingdom to the heart of people right where they are beginning in Rome, GA.
    1. This is not one size fits all. This is missiological theology in practice. 
      1. See Acts 17 for a template.   
  6. We must begin teaching and preparing the next generation to strategically enter their vocational domains as disciple-makers so that the nations become the natural result of living “sent” lives. 
    1. We have to teach them that vocational discovery and engagement IS the way we will reach the nations not merely more bible study and sending them off to other agencies apart from their churches. 
      1. I love how Brittany leads our little ones to pray for their domains. 
      2. The word “vocation’s” root is “voca”…calling.
      3. We must be careful in referring to professional “ministry” as calling and then everything else as the laity or ordinary people, not quite “clergy”. 

Corporate Prayer

Ezekiel 36:37-38 (ESV) Thus says the Lord GOD: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

  1. Increase our people.
  2. Increase our holiness.
  3. Increase our sending.

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