Paul had established the churches in Galatia in the faith in Jesus Christ. There were those Judaizers who followed Paul, who said that Paul did not tell them the complete truth. That it was necessary to keep the law in order to be saved. Now when you ask someone about their hope of eternal life if they answer you, my faith in Jesus Christ, they’ve answered you well. If they say my faith in Jesus Christ and, the moment they add anything to that, you are in trouble. By grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourself. It is a gift of God and not works, lest any man should boast. And so these Galatians were drawn away, many of them by the false teachers.
So Paul said, O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, (Who has put a spell over you?) that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Now in our communion as we will this Thursday night be observing it, as we eat the broken bread, as we drink the cup, Jesus said this bread is My body, broken for you. He said this cup is a New Covenant in My blood, shed for the remission of sins. So as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we are showing the Lord’s death, according to Paul in Corinthians, until he comes. So as Paul is saying that before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you, he is no doubt referring to the communion service where we again are remembering, and calling attention, to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. So foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth?
2This only (he said) would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Answer me this, did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
There are those groups today that feel the gift of the Holy Spirit is some sort of reward for holy living. But the moment we say gift and reward, you are in two different camps. It is either a gift or it is something that is earned, a reward for faithfulness or holiness or whatever. But we know that the Holy Spirit is referred to as a gift of God. And thus as a gift, it is like all of the gifts of God, to be received by faith. You can’t earn a gift. The moment you are earning it, it’s no longer a gift. So did you receive the Holy Spirit by the works of the law, by abiding by certain standards or did you receive the Holy Spirit by faith?
Now in those groups that teach that the Holy Spirit is rewarded to those who are especially holy or you know, have totally dedicated themselves. I heard testimonies of people who said when I said to God, yes, I’ll go to China, then God filled me with the Spirit, or they said, God, take my cigarettes. When I laid my cigarettes down on the alter, God filled me with the Spirit. And the whole idea is that the Spirit was a reward for commitment, that when I came to a certain degree of commitment, then God blessed me with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gift of God to be received by faith.
Now it is true that if you believe a certain thing, that the way you believe it can hinder your faith. In other words if I believe that I cannot receive the Holy Spirit until I have made some level of commitment, then I’m not apt to, by faith, to accept this gift of God until I have felt that I have attained that degree of commitment. And so my belief system can hinder my faith from just trusting God to do it. And that is the case with many people because of preconditions and pre supposition, my faith is often times limited because I have set certain criteria for the faith. And thus if I don’t meet that criteria, I believe that God can’t do it, as long as I’m doing this. And because I believe that God can’t do it, because the gifts of God are bestowed by my believing that He will do it, then it hinders what God may be wanting to do in my life because I don’t have the faith for Him to do it.
Now, the Holy Spirit is a gift of God, and to be received by faith. You can’t earn it. Nor is it a reward for a level of commitment nor is it a reward for a level of holiness in your life. In fact, the Holy Spirit is given to us to make us holy. And thus you get into a vicious kind of a circle. If you think, well, I can’t receive the Holy Spirit until I’ve achieved a certain degree of holiness and that degree of holiness that I’m seeking to achieve, I can’t achieve it apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. So here I am, you know, thinking oh, I wish that I were more holy so I could receive this Holy Spirit. But yet, you see, that very thing of believing that I have to be to a certain level of holiness, keeps me from receiving the Holy Spirit. So I stay in that place of sort of frustration. Desiring, knowing that I need it and yet, not believing God to do it. And realizing that the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to me to conform me into the image of Christ. To give me the power to live the kind of a life that God wants me to live.
So the obvious answer is that they had received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith. Paul shared with them, concerning the power of the Holy Spirit. They believed God and received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith, not by the works of the law.
3Are ye so foolish (Paul said)? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Now, let me say that I think that this is probably one of the greatest dangers that we as Christians face. And surely it is one of greatest dangers that the church faces through the years. Every genuine revival and move of God, the move of God’s Spirit in a group of people, within a revival, every revival, it seems, every move of God, ends up with man trying to perfect it in the flesh. God began a work in the Spirit. Now we need to get it organized. We need to get committees. We need to hire consultants. And you see, we are going to now, perfect that which God began in the Spirit. This was the problem with the foolish Galatians. Having begun in the Spirit, trusting in Jesus for their salvation, trusting in their faith in Christ to be accounted by God for righteousness, the righteousness which is of Christ through faith, they were now endeavoring by the law to improve that righteousness. Well the righteousness of Christ is complete! You see, this was the whole error of the Pharisees, trying to develop a righteous standing before God by observing the law and keeping every fine little point of the law. But in doing so, they missed out completely.
Paul when he was writing in Romans, chapter nine, talks about this very thing as far as the Jew is concerned. Verse thirty, what shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, that is the righteousness through the law, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at the stumbling stone.
So you can seek to be righteous before God by your good works, by your endeavor to keep the law or rules of righteousness, which many groups establish, sort of rules of holiness or standards of righteousness. You can endeavor by keeping these standards to have a righteous standing before God, but the righteousness that comes from rules and regulations and standards is self-righteousness. Jesus said to the disciples, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
So there is the other righteousness and that is God’s imputed righteousness, where God accounts me as righteous because of my faith in Jesus Christ! So as a Gentile, I have attained to a righteous standing before God because I am trusting fully in Jesus Christ and my relationship to Him to be accounted righteous by God, whereas the Israelites who were trusting in the law have not attained to the righteousness of God. So having begun in the Spirit are you now going be made perfect in the flesh? Are you going to improve on your righteous standing before God by all of your good works and good efforts and keeping of the law.
4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. They suffered persecution from the Jews and from the world outside because they claimed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and that He was the promised Messiah. They committed their lives as servants of Jesus Christ. It brought persecution from Rome. The Romans felt that the Christians who pledged allegiance to the lordship of Jesus Christ, were somehow traitors to Rome, where the caesars had more or less been deified. The people were required to acknowledge that Caesar is lord. Christians could not do that. Thus, they were looked upon as insurrectionists against the Roman Government, and they suffered tremendous persecution.
Paul said if you suffered in vain, if it is in vain. 5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Now Paul is probably referring to his own ministry among them. That marvelous ministry of miracles, the power of the Holy Spirit working through Paul’s life, and question is, is that by the power of the Spirit? Is it by the works of the law? Is that what has empowered a man? Or is it the faith in a man that brings these miracles? And of course, again the answer, it is faith. Not by the law, not by works.
6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And now he goes on to show that Abraham, the man that God accounted righteous because of his faith, believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
This goes back to the Book of Genesis, chapter fifteen (Genesis 15:6), when Abraham believed God and God accounted it to him for righteousness. The interesting thing there, where God accounted his faith for righteousness, it was after God told Abraham to look up into that star-filled sky.
Imagine a desert with absolutely no air pollution and no light pollution. And looking up into that crystal clear sky, in the desert at night, and seeing the myriad of stars.
God questioned Abraham. Can you number them? Now it is interesting that in olden days, there were men who endeavored to count the stars. They came up with different numbers, varying from 6,069 to about 6,220. Some fellow had better eyesight, I guess, than the other. But interesting, in a time when the men of science were saying that there were six thousand plus, stars, God declared even before they were counting them, that they were innumerable. You can’t count them! So God said to Abraham, even as the stars are innumerable, so shall thy seed be. And Abraham believed God! And God accounted it to Abraham for righteousness.
Now, so shall thy seed be. That is, as Paul, seed as one, not seeds as many for that seed is Christ. So shall thy seed be. Abraham believed God. What did he believe? That God would bring the Messiah through his lineage. And believing in the Messiah, God accounted his faith for righteousness.
Now, by your believing in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, God accounts your faith for righteousness. So even as Abraham’s faith in the Messiah, God imputed that faith for righteousness, so we are righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.
As we move into the Pauline epistles, into these letters, usually known as the general epistles, we are going to find this theme emphasized over and over again by Paul. As he talks about his own life as a Pharisee, as a keeper of the law, as one who was striving to be righteous before God by keeping the law. And all of the things that he did as a zealous Pharisee, he says but those things which were gain to me, as a Pharisee, as a Jew, I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. For whom I suffered the loss of all things, but count them but refuse that I might know Him and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of Christ through faith!
Tonight you and I can stand before God and God accounts us righteous because of our faith in Jesus Christ. It is a complete righteousness. I cannot improve upon it! It’s complete! You are complete in Him! The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in our Lord and you are complete in Him.
So Abraham believed God and God accounted his faith for righteousness. 7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. So Abraham became a father, not so much a fleshly seed, for the Scripture said (Romans 9:6), not all who are of Israel are of Israel. And not all are Jews who say they are Jews. Abraham became the father of those who would believe God and in faith, trust God and the Word of God and thus be accounted righteous by God through faith. So we are the children of Abraham.
8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. That’s back in Genesis 12:3. In you all of the nations of the world will be blessed. God, foreseeing that Abraham would become the father of those that believe, that God would justify the heathen or the Gentiles, you and me. God declared that in thee shall all the nations of the earth, be blessed.
9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. The Galatians were basically Gentile believers. Thus the blessings, they that are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Now Paul goes on to declare, 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (That is, if you are by the rules or by the law seeking to be justified before God, then that places you under the curse of the law. Because in the law it is written (Dt.27:26), cursed is everyone that continues not in all of the things, which are written in the book of the law to do them. In other words, in order to be justified by the law you would have to keep the law completely. If you violated it once in any of the commandments, you would be guilty. You would then fall under the curse of the law. James said, if you keep the whole law and yet you violate in one point, you are guilty of all, because the law said, cursed is the man that doesn’t continue in the whole law to do all of the things that are written therein. So immediately we the impossibility of our being justified the law or by our works because the law says, that we are to do them. That is you got to do. You’ve got to keep the commandments.
11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. When Habakkuk saw the deteriorating conditions of the nation, the prophet cried unto God. He said, God, things are horrible and they are getting worse. You can’t trust the leadership. They are lying to the people. Things are bad. And Lord, You are not doing anything about it. And he more or less said, I would rather not know what is going on because it’s too frustrating to see things, the corruption, and all that is there. To see the thing going down and You’re not lifting a hand to stop it.
God responded to the prophet. I am doing a work in your day and if I would I tell you what I am doing, your ears would tingle. So the Lord began to share with Habakkuk, His intention of bringing the Babylonians as His instrument of judgment against the nation of Judah.
The prophet cried out, Lord, wait a minute, that’s not fair! We’re bad! Yes! But they are much worse than we are. Why would You use a more wicked nation to punish Your people? And Habakkuk said, I don’t understand it. I’m just going to go in my tower and I’m going to sit and wait and to see what you are going to do. And as he was sitting in the tower waiting to see what God would do, the Word of the Lord came to Habakkuk, the prophet, saying, “The just shall live by faith.” In other words, Habakkuk, you are just going to have to trust me. You’re not going to understand. You’re going to see things that are going to shake you, but the just shall live by faith.
So, that great declaration of God, “The just shall live by faith.” That of course was the thing that set Martin Luther free when he was reading Galatians and he across this passage, for the just shall live by faith. He had been trying as a monk to mortify the flesh. To get rid of the sin principle out of his life. He was so troubled and guilt ridden. When he came across this passage, the just shall live by faith, he was trying to observe all of the works that the church had put upon him as they were trying to be perfected in the flesh. This verse set him free! The just shall live by faith!
12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. That is, the law requires your doing, your works and thus it is not of faith, for the law declares the man that does them shall live in them. So we are under the curse of the law, for cursed is he that continues in the whole law to do everything that is written therein. If you haven’t kept the whole law, perfectly, all of your life, then you are under the curse of the law, which condemned man to death.
But 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: So Jesus hanging on the cross, received the curse for sin, for my sin, for your sin. We were all of us under the curse of the law. But Christ has redeemed us from that curse because He took our sin. He died in our place, there on the cross. Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.
In order that, 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; This was done in order that you might be blessed! The blessings of Abraham. That the blessings of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ! So by coming through Jesus Christ, God accounts me righteous. I am now in Christ and my identity is not to some nationality or ethnic group, my identity now is to Jesus Christ! If any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation! The old things have passed away. Everything becomes new.
And as Paul will share with us in a little bit, where there is nether Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female, Christ is all and in all!
That the blessings of Abraham come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Did you receive the Spirit through the works of the law or the hearing of faith? Not by the law but by what Jesus has done for us. And of course the Bible, interestingly enough, always emphasizes the work of God in your redemption, not your works for redemption. And whenever you get that twisted, you have a twisted gospel. You have another gospel, one that Paul didn’t preach. And if any man preaches any other gospel than that which you have already received, Paul said, let him be accursed!
And any gospel that says you’ve got to earn it, you’ve got to do so much works to attain it, what ever, that is not the gospel that Paul preached. He preached the gospel of grace, that we through faith in Jesus Christ, have been forgive and pardoned for all sins that we have ever comitted. So the promise of the Spirit is ours through faith, not by the works of the law.
15Brethren, (Let me give you, he said, a human illustration.) I speak after the manner of men; Let me just give you a human illustration here. Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now when you leave a last will and testament, and you die, that will comes into force. It can’t be changed. You are dead. It can’t be altered. He is using the human illustration of a covenant or a testament that a man has made. And when it is confirmed, sealed, so forth, before a notary, this is my last will and testament and it is brought before the court and is presented to the court as your last will and testament. And as it is attested to be a geniune document, etc., then it can’t be changed or altered, though it is a human document.
16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. That is, to Abraham the promise was made that through his seed, all of the nations of the world would be blessed. That seed was Jesus Christ, thus it is through Jesus Christ, that God has brought blessing to all of the nations of the world.
We, today are blessed through Jesus Christ. The covenant that God established with Abraham is in force. And we are the beneficiaries of that covenant. For we receive the blessings that God promised to give through Abraham’s seed. The blessings of salvation, the blessings of redemption, the blessings of fellowship with God, these are all ours tonight, to enjoy freely! For the covenant was made by God with Abraham. And if the earthly covenants are steadfast, can’t be altered or changed, so the covenant of God can not altered or changed. Thus the law, which came four hundred years after Abraham, does not disannul the covenant that God made with Abraham, the covenant of the blessings that would come upon the world through Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ.
17And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. In other words, God did not change. The promises of God are still the imputing of righteousness to those who believe in the Messiah. Even as Abraham believed the promise of God, that through his seed, all the nations would be blessed, God accounted that faith for righteousness. So as we believe in the promise God made to Abraham. And that Jesus is that promised Messiah. Through Him we are blessed. And the law doesn’t alter it. It doesn’t disannul it. It doesn’t change it. The blessings come to you through your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, not through your good works.
Now this is something that I did not realize because of the background that I grew up in, the church background in which I grew up. Because I believed, as I was growing up, that I was righteous because I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink, I didn’t go to shows, I didn’t dance. I didn’t do all of those things that were declared by the church to be unrighteous, unholy things. Now they were good things. There was nothing wrong with what they were declaring to us. I mean it’s healthy not to smoke. I’m glad that I obeyed even though it was under a false kind of a concept. I’m glad that because of the fact that I signed that pledge. I will not smoke and I won’t drink. I signed the pledge. I made that covenant. But the problem was, I thought that made me righteous. I thought that that made me more righteous than these other guys that were sneaking out and taking cigarettes. It had nothing to do with my righteous standing before God. It had a lot to do with my health, and the same with drinking. And of course the same with the shows.
When you see the detrimental effect that the movie industry has had on the culture, the rot that is being portrayed and emulated. You see the whole moral decline, whose guilty finger can be pointed to Hollywood for the way they have corrupted. It is good that I didn’t have my mind polluted and corrupted by going to movies. But that didn’t make me righteous. I thought it was making me righteous. But it didn’t.
The righteousness and the righteous standing that I had before God, is through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the works that I have done for God or the things that I didn’t do. But it is because of the work that Jesus did for me, taking the curse of the law and hanging on the tree in order that He might redeem me from the curse of the law. So the law does not disannul the promise of God that through faith we will be justified.
18For if the inheritance be of the law, Now, we are heirs of God through faith. But if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. God established the covenant, the testament, the will, with Abraham. And so the law does not disannul it. And it doesn’t make the promise of no effect.
19Wherefore then serveth the law? In other words, they would say, why did God give the law?
Paul said, It was added because of transgressions, till the seed (That is the Messiah, Jesus Christ) should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. There has to be two for there to be a mediator, one who will bring both sides together. God is one side. We are on the other side. And the idea is our being just before God.
Now you remember the difficulties that Job was having as a result of Satan’s attacks. And how his friends came to comfort him, but ended up only adding to his misery because they didn’t understand Job’s true condition and what was going on. They thought they did. They thought that no man would suffer like Job suffered unless he was being punished by God for some horrible sin. And their premise was, Job, you must be a horrible sinner and you must be a tremendous hypocrite because we can’t put our finger on it. So you are hiding it well. But down deep inside, Job, man you are bad news because no one would suffer like you suffered unless they were a horrible sinner!
And his friend, Bildad, basically, said, just get right with God and things will be okay. Job answered Bildad. He said how can man plead his case before God in order to be justified? I look at the heavens and the moon and the stars, Arcturus and Orion, and the constellations. He said, God is so vast. He passes by me but I don’t see Him. And he recognized that God is infinite and he was finite.
Probably, one of the best ways to arrive at that consciousness, is just to go out in the desert on a clear night and look at the skies, to look at the constellations and the galaxies out there. You suddenly realize how small you really are. When you realize that God has created the universe. And he measured the heavens with His span. The infinite God! Who am I, that I can plead my case with God?
David caught much the same thought when he said, when I consider Thy heavens, the work of Your fingers.
Now we have an occasion to watch the rockets as they are being propelled into space. It is a tremendous sight as you hear the roar of the engines, as you see the fire coming out and spreading on the ground from these powerful rocket engines, as you see it as it’s sort of being held there and the bolts explode and the rocket begins to sort of shakily begin to move upward. This tremendous thrust as this giant rocket is being propelled into a speed of 25,000 miles per hour in order that it might get into an orbit around the earth. We think of the great thrust, and we talk about the thrust to get several tons of payload into orbit around the earth. And we marvel, we awe at the roar of the engines and the fire and power and the thrust. We love it. But that’s just a little rocket.
What kind of thrust do you suppose it took to get the earth into orbit? Or better yet, what kind of thrust to get the sun into orbit, which is one million two hundred thousand times bigger than the earth? The sun is six hundred fifty thousand miles in diameter. What kind of thrust, travelling at about eighteen miles a second? What kind of thrust do you suppose it took to get the sun into its orbit?
The Psalmist said, when I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers. The fingers was just a flick of His fingers. An infinite God, infinite God, here I am finite man! How can I plead my case before an infinite God? And Job said there is no daysman betwixt or between us, who can lay his hand on us both.
Now that’s the mediator. That’s what Paul is talking about here. A mediator is not a mediator of one. It takes two in order to have mediation. And God is one of the two. We are the other side. But Jesus Christ has become our Mediator. There is one God and one mediator between God and man and that’s the man, Christ Jesus! So where does the law come in? It was added because of the transgressions, until Christ should come of whom the promise was made. This was ordained by the angels in the hands of the mediator. Now the mediator is not a mediator of one but God is one.
21Is the law then against the promises of God? (The promises of God made to Abraham. Is the law against the promises of God?) God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life (to man, then), verily righteousness should have been by the law. If God could set down rules and you can be righteous by these rules, then there was no need for Christ to die. Righteous would then be by the law.
22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. And so the law was given in order that we might see how sinful we really are and realize how desperately we need Jesus Christ.
So the Scripture had concluded all under sin, 23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. The law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
Now, the schoolmaster here is probably not a good translation because we think of a schoolmaster as the teacher up there. But in reality it is the servant that led the child to school, that brought him to school, to the school where he would learn. So, the law was that which God used to bring us to Jesus Christ. The whole purpose of the law is to cause you to realize how desperately sinful you are.
Now that’s the big mistake of the Pharisees, in their interpretation of the law. They were interpreting the law so as to feel very smug, very self-righteous. God I thank You that I am not like other men. I’m so good. I’m so righteous. And that was by their misunderstanding and misinterpreting of the law. For they interpreted it only as far as outward manifestations of the disobedience, whereas the Lord was talking about the inward attitudes of your heart that provoke the outward actions.
You may say, well I’ve never comitted adultery. Thank God, I’m pure, you know. You may rail on those that have fallen, but in reality Jesus said, if you have looked upon a woman and you desired her in your heart, you know, oooh, nice. He said, you’ve already comitted adultery. It’s a matter of the heart. And so we are all guilty. We are all in desperate need of Jesus Christ. So God gave the law in order that sin might appear to be very sinful. That we might realize how horrible sin is! And how helpless we are to overcome sin! And it drives me to Jesus Christ. It causes me to realize that my only hope is through the promises of God that through the faith in Jesus Christ, I’ve been justified from every wrong deed I have ever done.
So the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by our faith in Jesus. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. We’re no longer under the law as a standard or basis for righteousness. Now the law is good if you use it lawfully. But if you don’t use it lawfully, then the law is a false hope. It has brought many people into a false hope of thinking, I’m righteous before God because I go down the ten commandments and I can cross them off and I’ve done the right thing. I’ve never killed anybody. You know, you can go down the line. But the law can’t make you righteous. To look at it as rules to make me righteous before God, you are not using it lawfully. It is to show you your sin to make you guilty before God so that you are driven to faith in Jesus Christ.
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Isn’t that glorious?
The things that men have used as barriers to separate us from each other, the ethnic barriers. Jesus broke then down! It doesn’t matter, your ethnic background. You are important to Jesus Christ.
That Aborigine out there in the back-country of Australia is important to Jesus Christ. Those natives in the jungles of Arienjira, New Guinea, Borneo, they are all important in the eyes of Jesus Christ. The Hittus, the Tutsies and so forth are all important in the eyes of Jesus Christ. They are as important as you. They are as important as me. There are no racial barriers in Christ.
Nor are there cultural barriers. Men so often put up cultural barriers. There are private clubs here in Orange County, where you would not be allowed to go, because of cultural barriers. There are those who look at themselves a little about the others because of the wealth that they possess. That’s not so in Christ.
Nor are there sexual barriers. The male is not superior to the female or visa versa. Christ has broken down all of the barriers that would separate men into various segments or groups. And now Christ is all and in all. We are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. That is the promise was made to Abraham’s seed, which is Jesus. If you are in Jesus, then you are a part of Abraham’s seed. You are heirs according to the promise, not according to the obedience of law, but you are not heirs of God, in Christ. Beloved, now we are sons of God, and if sons, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, because we are in Christ through the promises in Christ. So what a glorious position we have because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. It is His work, not our work for Him. It is His work for us that has brought us to this glorious relationship with through the promises, not by the law.
Well, I trust that we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.
Father, we thank You for the Word, for this tremendous blessing that is ours by the promise. Lord, we thank You that You have kept Your Word, that You sent Your Son, Your only begotten Son, that He took upon Himself our sins and has redeemed us from the curse of the law, as He was made a curse when He hung on the tree. Oh, Father, how blessed we are to inherit all of the blessings that You have promised to Abraham and that they are ours now through Jesus. Lord, bring us into a fuller comprehension and appreciation of what You have done. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8166, (KJ Version)