The Gospel of Redemption (Gal. 3:10-14).

Galatians 3:10-14 (ESV)
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”- 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

One of the reasons I chose to study the Epistle to the Galatians is that the book clarifies what the gospel message is. It helps believers stay on target, because it explains how our faith in Christ should affect our daily lives.

Galatians introduces us to some theological terms which are very important because they help us to understand what God has done for us, and the difference it makes.

One of those terms is redemption

To live by law is to accept some human standard for your way of life, and then just keep plugging at it, and hope that God might accept your best effort.

There are three major flaws in this approach to life:
1) it is self-reliant, and therefore cursed according to Gal. 3:10;
2) it is ignorant of what God requires (the “all things” of vs. 10);
3) it is presumptuous. It presumes that God “grades on a curve.” when in fact God’s standard is his own holiness.

Paul quotes two scriptures in today’s text which lay out the two options everyone has. If we choose option A, we are saying “I can handle this.” It is the law option.

But if we choose option B, we are saying “there is no way I can do this.” We therefore are forced to trust in God’s mercy and put our faith in his works, not ours. That is what it means to live by faith.

What Paul is saying is that everyone – Jew and Gentile, actually choose option A at first. We all like sheep have gone astray. We all wander away from the fold and try to do things our way. even when we realize we are lost we just try harder and keep getting more and more lost.

The end result of our choice is the second death: destruction in Gehenna Hell.

Here again, Paul quotes two Old Testament scriptures to show that redemption frees us from the consequence of making the wrong choice.

Our self-reliance has put us under a curse. But God chose to offer us all a second chance. If we choose to put our faith in Christ’s sacrificial death we can be redeemed from the curse put on us as lawbreakers.

God made Jesus to be the sin offering, so that by putting our faith in Jesus we might be redeemed and become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

Now we come to the last verse of today’s text, verse 14.

Remember that Paul is dealing with the challenge of a false teaching in Galatians. The “troublers” from Jerusalem have convinced the Gentile Galatians that they need to add obedience to the Mosaic law (as defined by Jewish tradition) to their faith in Christ in order to have the blessing of Abraham.

But Paul’s point is that the blessing of Abraham comes by faith in Christ’s atonement on the cross of Calvary. So one of the consequences of the cross is that the Gentiles are now included in God’s promises to Abraham when they put their faith in Christ.

That blessing includes forgiveness of sins and adoption as sons of God.

Another consequence of the cross is that the Holy Spirit is now available to everyone (Jew and Gentile). Fellowship with the Holy spirit brings power into our lives (Spiritual Gifts) and transforms us so that we manifest the Fruit of the Spirit (sanctified lives).

The Galatians were being tricked into rejecting Christ and going back to the old choice (self reliance) which only leads to sin and destruction.

What about you? Are you trusting in the blood of Christ for your salvation, or are you trying to be good enough for God to save you?

LORD, we hereby renounce the old way of self-reliance, and cling to the cross of Christ. We accept the redemption bought by his blood. We accept your forgiveness and adoption into your family. We accept transformation by your Holy Spirit. Amen

__________________

Communion Meditation: “Redeemed”

Fanny Crosby wrote:
“Redeemed How I Love to proclaim it,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed through his infinite mercy
His Child and forever I am.”

I grew up singing that hymn in church, so it has a special place in my heart. Wherever I am, it brings me back to my home church – the church where I came to Christ, and learned to preach.

But we have to be careful with these old songs. They are packed with meaning. This one makes me stop and think: Do I really love to proclaim that I am redeemed?

It means that I have been set free. All around me are folks that are living in bondage: this one to alcohol, that one to hate, this one lust, that one to greed, this one to false gods, that one to legalism.

But I have been set free. I know this because my Saviour, who was never in bondage to anything – paid the price for my freedom by dying on the cross of Calvary.

Back in those days if a person committed a crime he would be sent to prison. Outside his cell they would post a document called a certificate of debt. The certificate of debt had his name on it, the crime he committed, and the number of years, months and days of his sentence. Once he had finished his sentence, they would take that document to a judge. The judge would write on that document “TETELESTHAI” which meant that his sentence was paid in full. Then the inmate could be set free. If anybody questioned him, he could present the certificate of debt as proof that the debt was now paid.

I’m telling you this because Jesus Christ came to the cross in order to cancel our certificates of debt. We owed God far more than we could ever repay with our own works, even if we had a thousand lifetimes.

There he was on the cross, and the onlookers, the soldiers and the Father himself looking down from heaven as he draws his final breaths. He said something. Did you hear it? He said “It is finished.” In Greek: TETELESTHAI. “Paid in Full.”

“Redeemed How I Love to proclaim it,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed through his infinite mercy
His Child and forever I am.”

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2 responses to “The Gospel of Redemption (Gal. 3:10-14).

  1. This message was preached on Sunday, July 18th, 2010 at Takanini Church of Christ, Auckland, New Zealand.

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  2. Dear Jefferson,

    WHAT IS FINISHED?

    I would like to start by asking you two questions. One: Can you give an accurate definition of the phrase: “Lamb of God”?

    We all know that this is one of the names used for Jesus, like Messiah, Savior, Son of Man, or Christ. But exactly what is the importance of the name “Lamb of God”?

    And why is it important to me as a Catholic? The second question I would like to ask you is: Why the Catholic Church would offer The Holy Eucharist every day at every Mass throughout the world in over 3000 languages.

    What knowledge do they have that would make them feel compelled to do this for thousands of years? In answering this question, we'll see why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.'” (CC 1324)

    Continue> > >

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