Or has it ALWAYS been a gift given by grace to those who believe

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1 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 1 Gal 3:6-9 (NASB) Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in you." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. 1. Paul s been presenting a powerful case against legalism and the teachers promoting it A. He s proven his call and his message came from God NOT man B. He s shown man did confirm this Apostolic leadership in Jerusalem 1). He stood before them they confirmed his calling Apostle like they were And added nothing to his message same message they were preaching C. He has pointed to Titus an uncircumcised gentile believer 1). Who also traveled with him to Jerusalem stood before the Apostles They did not compel him to be circumcised at all he was fine as he was D. He showed how his Apostolic authority was on equal footing with those in Jerusalem E. Last week he went back to the Galatians conversion Point: How did you start the Christian life by works or faith? 1). Answer was obvious by faith The point Then why are you starting to switch over to works? He has constructed a powerful case against these false teachers Who are preaching a heretical message of faith PLUS works A. He has been carefully countering every argument these legalist have Now in vs. 6-9 he counters another 1). He takes them way back in the history of mankind to Abraham 2). To answer the question from beginning did man earn a right standing through work Or has it ALWAYS been a gift given by grace to those who believe 2. Why Paul feels necessity to go all the way back to Abraham A. The Judaizers (those teaching this legalistic message to the Galatians) Highly esteemed Abraham he was the father of their nation a spiritual giant in Israel B. They saw the great promises given to him TURN: Ge 12:2 (NASB) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." 1). They would jump to chap 17 - say here is the condition to be included in that blessing Ge 17:10 (NASB) "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. It was based on the Works = Circumcision THE JEWISH THINKING

2 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 2 A. To equated belonging to God meant being a child of Abraham 1). See this in John 8 they re trying to convince Jesus they were God s children Jn 8:33 (NASB) They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants Jn 8:39 (NASB) They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." 2). To them that settled the issue This is what John the Baptist accused them of Mat 3:7-9 (NIV) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (8) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (9) And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' 1 We don t have to worry about repentance were Abraham s descendants 2 AND what proves were children of Abraham we have same works he has circumcision B. They were pushing this same principle on the Galatian Gentiles 1). If you want to be right with God you need to become a child of Abraham So you will be a part of those God will bless 2). If you re not linked to Abraham won t enjoy this blessing And this linking (that makes you right with God) comes through circumcision Thought: Paul says fine you want to bring Abraham into the argument Let s look at Abraham and see if you ve got your facts straight A. So to counter this performance based version of Christianity Paul goes back to the OT 1). To answer the question How did Abraham become righteous? Works or faith? I. ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6 Gal 3:6 (NASB) Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 1. Paul s choices of Genesis 15 is brilliant A. Judaizers had conveniently skipped over chapter 15 and jumped straight to chapter 17 To link the blessings of God to circumcision B. Paul says No! We need to go back further to find out if Abraham was made right through circumcision or was he already right with God and a recipient of the promises 2. The promise of Genesis 15 (13 years before circumcision) A. I n Gen 12 - God calls Abraham to leave famil y, country to go to place He would show him 1). God also gives him the promise that he would bless him make his name great make him a great nation and bless the families of earth through him 2). Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed God and by FAITH obeyed

3 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 3 Heb 11:8 (NASB) By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. B. Years later Genesis 15 God comes to Abraham reiterates promise given in Genesis 12 Gen 15:5 (NASB) And He (God) took him (Abraham) outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Here is our verse: Ge 15:6 (NASB) Then he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He (God) reckoned (credited) it to him as righteousness. 3. The process of Genesis 15 (important to see) A. God made Abraham an incredible promise 1). A promise that was far beyond anything Abraham could have done on his own B. Abraham believed God 1). Believed He would do what He had promised He would do 2). Notice the object of faith is God the one beyond the promise C. Abraham s faith was reckoned as righteousness 1). He was given the gift of a righteous standing before God NOT because of anything he had done 2). This happened 13 years before he was circumcised 4. Paul s point And 430 years before the law was given by Moses Let s work out what we have so far Gal 3:7 (NASB) Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. A. Judaizers are saying to inherit these blessings of promised to Abraham You must be a son of Abraham 1). And to be a son of Abraham you must be circumcised B. Paul counters in vs. 7 probably would have infuriated the Judaizers Since Abraham was reckoned to be righteous by faith and not by anything he did. Therefore you can be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham and will inherit the blessings given to Abraham? Now in v. 8 Paul goes back to that initial promise from Genesis 12 to Abraham Where God promises that all the nations will be blessed in him A. Paul shows defines what that blessing is what God was promising there Gal 3:8 (NASB) The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in you." A. That God would justify the Gentiles by FAITH 1). The blessing is Justification 2). The way to receive that blessing is FAITH not works Abraham proves its always been that way

4 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 4 C. So Paul answers the legalist Don t start this whole thing out in Genesis 17 with circumcision. You have to go back to chapter 15 (13 years earlier) and see that Abraham was already considered to be righteous long before he was circumcised. What do we have so far A. Abraham believed and was reckoned righteous v. 6 B. That means we are linked to Abraham by faith not works v. 7 C. Main blessing that happened to Abraham and happens to us is Justification v. 8 1). We have to see something about this declaration of righteousness = Justification That Abraham and the Galatian believers and WE enjoy 2). We have to see that being declared to be righteous = Justification Is not the same as actually living out righteousness b). We must see that there is a difference in our legal status = Justification And our daily walking with God in a growing holiness = Sanctification If we don t understand this we will never have peace II. DIFFERENCE IN JUSTIFICATION AND SANCTIFICATION 1. Justification defined (a reminder) A. A LEGAL term meaning to declare one righteous or NOT GUILTY B. At the very moment a sinner trusts in Christ Point: 1). God takes the righteousness of Christ and places it in their account 2). That person In Christ is now considered to have met every requirement to get into heaven b). Why? Because they have done something such as circumcision Because they joined a church cleaned up their act a bit Because they were baptized None of that is good enough nothing you do is good enough But I m President of the OC Club of sincere folk. I mean we re really sincere. 1 Sorry God doesn t recognize the work your club does! Isa 64:6 (NASB) For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment 3). God recognizes the work of one person His Son His perfect obedience to the law b). And God gives you THAT when you believe Because we stand in Christ s righteousness we are as acceptable to God as He is Justification is a ONE-TIME legal declaration that this sinner who has placed their faith in Christ is NOT GUILTY of breaking the law BECAUSE Christ perfect obedience has been given to them. A. God now chooses to look on that person In Christ as righteous B. This is something that happens one time and will never change

5 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 5 1). Once God has declared you to be righteous like this it will never be revoked It is final and it is irreversible therefore the Justified believer is secure At the same time we enter into a process 2. Sanctification = a process of growth in holiness A. This is as unstable as can be changes ALL the time B. To get maximum benefit out of this we need to see this difference HOW IT WORKS Instant a sinner embraces Christ by faith a couple things happen A. God declares that person to be not guilty righteous = Justification 1). Again a one time legal declaration that will never change as secure as can be B. At same time that person enters into process that is changing all the time = Sanctification Point: 1). Changes minute by minute doing great somebody cuts me off I can go from growing to the flesh very quickly You must keep these two separate if you re going to have any peace of mind A. You must see that your day-to-day failures in practical righteousness Does not effect your legal and eternal standing with God 1). In the same way the Abraham s failures after being declared righteous Didn t effect that fact that he was still accepted by God saved and secure God declared him righteous when he believed Even though He knew many of his actions would be unrighteous B. So if we have a chart Justification would be flat-lined never changing 1). We are perfect in Christ s righteousness Sanctification the line would look like a roller coaster up and down 1). But the up and downs of sanctification Does not affect the stability of justification 2). All at different places some more growth than others Some peaking much growth at that time Others a dip going through a rough period 3). Does God care about this line of course If it dips to long He may discipline to get us climbing again 4). But what He looks at for salvation is that stable line b). The line that represents Christ s perfection given to us All believer s are righteous in Christ in His perfection That doesn t change at all when we fail To prove the stability of Justification go to Romans 8:29-30 I want you to see this and be thrilled by God s work for you 3. The stability of Justification (Rom 8:29-30)

6 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 6 TURN: Ro 8:29-30 (NASB) For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. A. Notice: ALL Past tense Point: 1). God looks at those who are Justified (would be every believer) As if they are already Glorified (Past tense) 2). SO settled in God s mind to such a degree He can speak as if it has already happened Every person who is Justified (every believer) will make it to heaven A. BUT along the way we are all still in that Sanctification process And there will be many personal failures Thought: Now if you re out there saying Good I can sin then A. That is not the way a Christian thinks this is not a green light for sin 1). We are called to a radical obedience in the Scriptures 2). We are called to obey the commands of God with a full out effort B. This truth is to comfort the genuine believer when they fail in their obedience 1). It is not meant to bring comfort to those who don t care about living for God 2). That failure doesn t change the fact that we are still justified What do we have so far R E C A P A. Jewish teachers saying you needed to be sons of Abraham to inherit the promises 1). To become a son of Abraham and be right with God you had to be circumcised B. Paul shows that Abraham was made right with God 13 years before he was circumcised 1). God blesses a person with those promises through faith not works C. V. 7 He shows who the real sons of Abraham are IN GOD S EYES 1). They are not those who are born Jews Or those who try to earn God s favor by keeping the Jewish law Thinking He will blessing them with His favor as a reward 2). God considers true sons of Abraham NOT to be those who have the works of Abraham But those who have the same kind of FAITH as Abraham D. Vs 8 is interesting - we see a couple of things Gal 3:8 (NASB) The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, s a y i n g, "All the nations will be blessed in you." 1). We see the main promise that is given by faith = Justification Paul says this teaching shouldn t surprise anybody The Scriptures foresaw that God would save the Gentiles by faith 2). Notice it says the Gospel was actually announced to Abraham in the first promise THE ANNOUNCING OF THE GOSPEL IN THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM

7 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 7 Gal 3:8 (NASB) The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in you." A. It s not crystal clear to Abraham yet progressive revelation 1). But Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says In this promise to Abraham God was actually proclaiming the Gospel Question: How was the Gospel proclaimed (I think it s this we ll keep it simple for time sake) A. All the nations (Jew and Gentiles) will be blessed IN YOU (in Abraham) 1). Means = Along with Abraham in the same way as Abraham B. The blessing is = Justification = Saved (saw that in v. 8) 1). There will be people out of every nation every language saved C. How will the nations be saved? = By faith 1). This is the point they will be counted righteous in the same way Abraham was 2). They will be saved as Gentiles they will not have to become Jews D. The blessing to all nations will come through Abraham s descendant - Jesus 1). Part of the worship in heaven will be because God has done this Rev 5:9 (NIV) And they sang a new song: "You (Jesus) are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Thought: It is a very interesting study to see how Abraham believed in the Gospel A. Though he didn t know the name of Jesus 1). He believed in the atoning sacrifice that God would provide 2). He believed in the resurrection from the dead Isaac would live though dead B. Paul says in 1 Cor 15 these are the elements of the Gospel 1 Cor 15:3-4 (NIV) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1). Paul says the Gospel is about the sacrifice God provided and the resurrection 2). Seems Abraham had the basics and believed in that C. Don t have time to get into all that but look in Genesis 22 see if you can find it there 1). We ll be content to simply say he believed and was justified = counted righteous And we are counted righteous in the same way Now Paul sums it all up nicely in v. 9 Gal 3:9 (NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. 1. Want to be blessed with Abraham here is the way = Faith A. I like the little dig there at the end Abraham THE BELIEVER Not Abraham the law keeper Abraham the circumcised the worker 1). Very simple Abraham the believer that is the way into God s blessing

8 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 8 CONCLUSION 1. Paul destroys another weapon of these legalists A. They were using Scripture to make their point 1). Way the devil works isn t it Jesus in temptation B. To stand we must understand Scripture well enough to correct the distortions 1). Paul says You kind of skipped a chapter here that is important you went right to circumcision to show how Paul was made right by God But the truth is he was already right with God long before he was circumcised. C. What Paul shows is Go all the way back to the beginning and what do you find SALVATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY FAITH ALONE 1). It has never been by works 2. Looked at difference between justification & sanctification A. One is a one time declaration made at the moment we are saved = RIGHTEOUS 1). It is as stable as can be will never be reversed 2). It will never dip because it is Christ s righteousness given to us B. The other is a process we begin when we are saved that dips all over the place 1). But the failures in sanctification will not alter the status of justification That is truth we can rest in saw that in Romans 8:29-30 Let s close with one more passage showing the security of justification These are truths we need to know and exalt in TURN: Rom 5:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. A. V. 1 First great benefit of being justified by faith we have PEACE WITH GOD 1). Through the miracle of grace our relationship with God has been changed From one characterized by enmity to one characterized by love friendship B. V. 2 Through faith in Christ We have also gained access into an incredible position of favor with God = We stand in GRACE 1). We are accepted in Christ not through our own tarnished works 2). God sees us in His righteousness - that God loves and honors Because of this we are as near and dear to God as His own beloved Son The Father welcomes us into His presence as Sons and daughters NOT strangers C. This grace embraces every aspect of our position before God 1). Our status before God is as perfect and permanent before God as Christ s is 2). Why? Because we are in Him and stand in the same righteousness For me to go to hell Christ would have to go to hell because I m one with Him! That is what we see it the end of vs. 2 D. We also rejoice in the hope of the glory of God

9 Galatians 3:6-9 The Example of Abraham 9 1). Hope = Greek confident expectation Not I hope I m going to be with God in glory I m confident I anticipate it 2). We have all this blessing here on earth But justification tells me one who fails so much I can look forward to the future with joy excitement - anticipation 1 Where I will be in glory with my Father and My Savior 3). This allows me to be able to say with John in Revelation Rev 22:20 (NASB) He (Jesus) who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." (John s response) Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. If you weren t sure justification is secure how can you completely rejoice Always wondering if you re going to make it Have I done enough what is enough? Was I good enough today? 1 Listen Christ did enough trust Him this brings Him glory And lets you look forward to that glorious future that is not to far away with ex citement Hopefully we ll be with Him SOON!

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