Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People

Freedom



Freedom

Perry Duggar |

Our relationship to God is by faith, so we have been set free from the law of Moses with its ceremonial rituals, regulations and commandments through the sacrifice of Christ. We must not forsake our freedom to love and serve others by faith.









Introduction: We continue our survey of Galatians called Living Free.

  1. Today’s message is entitled “Freedom.”
  2. The opening verse of the passage we will focus on is Galatians 5:1.
  3. Galatians 5:1 (NLT)[P940]—So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
  4. By faith, we have been set free from the Law of Moses with its ceremonial rituals, regulations and commandments through the sacrifice of Christ.
  5. Under the influence of false teachers, called Judaizers, these Gentile Galatians were attempting to obey the law of Moses to be, or to stay, right with God (righteous).
  6. Paul warned and encouraged these people not to forsake their freedom.

 Spiritual Freedom is… (Galatians 5:2-15):

 

  1. #1 - Found in God’s grace. (Galatians 5:2-4; C/R; Acts 15:10-11; Romans 3:20,28; 6:14; James 2:10)
  2. Galatians 5:2-3 (NLT)—2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole Law of Moses.
  3. The Galatians may have been deceived to think circumcision would show motivation to become rightly related to God, since they were not Jews, God’s chosen people.
  4. Paul knew that if they required obedience to any part of the Mosaic law for justification, they would be committed to obeying all of it perfectly for their salvation.
  5. You can’t decide to obey certain selected laws for salvation, such as circumcision, the sabbath or Passover, without being responsible for keeping all of the law.
  6. Galatians 5:4 (NLT)—For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! [You don’t benefit from Christ’s sacrifice.] You have fallen away from God’s grace.
  7. You are declaring God’s work of grace through Jesus’ sacrifice is insufficient for salvation, so you must rely on your behavior, obeying the law, to be acceptable to God.
  8. Paul was not suggesting that a genuine, born again, believer could lose his salvation.
  9. He was saying that people who are seeking to be justified by the law in any measure have rejected the offer of salvation by grace.
  10. If a truly born-again person was deceived by a persuasive teacher into believing that obeying the law would make them more righteous, more spiritual, that person would miss out on the peaceful experience of living under grace, in freedom.
  11. Modern-day Judaizers will tell you that you need “something more,” that you are “missing something” that would make you more spiritual, would draw you closer to God, such as practicing certain disciplines, like fasting, observing the Sabbath, experiencing a second baptism or speaking in tongues.
  12. These are all external experiences that add nothing to God’s grace—or Jesus’ sacrifice!
  13. Christians who are apprehensive about grace seek a church fellowship or Bible study that is rule-oriented, so someone will tell them how to be spiritual, but it doesn’t work!
  14. External rules won’t keep us close to God; we have a personal relationship with Him through the Spirit who leads us into ever greater intimacy with God through time in God’s Presence learning His Word and His ways, expressing our love through worship.
  15. APP.: Is your relationship with God growing? If not, what steps will you take?

 

  1. #2 - Faith expressed through love. (Galatians 5:5-10; C/R: Acts 20:23; 2 Corinthians 3:17; James 2:14-20; 1 John 3:23)
  2. Galatians 5:5 (NLT)—But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteous God has promised us. [Acts 20:32; 2 Corinthians 3:17]
  3. When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit, who lives within us enabling us to experience a relationship with God that becomes more and more intimate, continually shaping our lives to conform us into the image and likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:29), but we do not experience complete righteousness on earth.
  4. Galatians 5:6a (NLT)—For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. …
  5. Paul is not opposed to circumcision unless it is required for salvation; in fact, he arranged the circumcision of Timothy, who had a Jewish mother and a Greek father, to facilitate his ministry to Jews. (Acts16:1-3)
  6. The point is that Jesus fulfilled all of the demands of the law for us! (Matthew 5:17)
  7. Christians do not produce perfect righteousness in their lives by their own efforts (as the Judaizers were suggesting)—that requires focusing on self, which produces pride and a critical spirit or if you fail at obeying the guidelines, guilt and shame.
  8. Galatians 5:6b (NLT)— What is important is faith expressing itself in love. [1 John 3:23]
  9. True faith always produces love—love for God, the Giver of grace and spiritual life, and also love for others, who are also made in God’s image.
  10. When you experience being fully and unconditionally loved, it always causes you to become loving.
  11. The experience of God’s love removes the fear and anger, the envy and resentment, that has controlled your life.
  12. [Screen; P986] 1 John 4:16–19 (NLT)—16 We know how much God loves us [Do you?], and we have put our trust in His love. [Have you?]

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. 19 We love each other because He loved us first.

  1. Faith expressed in love will be evident in your actions…in kindness, goodness, generosity, good works, and efforts to know God and His Word.
  2. [Screen; P975] James 2:14,17 (NLT)—14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? …

[P976] 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

  1. APP.: Is your faith lovingly expressed? How? To whom?
  2. Galatians 5:7-8 (NLT)—7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for He is the one who called you to freedom.
  3. These Judaizers were saying that God required more than mere belief in Jesus, that He still wanted these people to obey the holy law that He gave to Israel—but these false teachers were wrong—and they were confusing and enslaving these Galatians!
  4. Galatians 5:9 (NLT)—This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! [Yeast illustrates presence of sin or in this instance, false teaching that grows and takes over!]
  5. Beware the charismatic, apparently knowledgeable, even likable, person who speaks so persuasively, but is actually misteaching the Scripture.
  6. You must know what you believe! Doctrine must never be built from one or two verses; rather, your beliefs must be developed by comparing Scripture with Scripture and synthesizing all verses so that they are consistent, not contradicting each other.
  7. Galatians 5:10 (NLT)—I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.
  8. We shouldn’t engage in arguments over the meaning of Bible verses; we must know what we believe and speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15), then pray for God’s Spirit to intervene.
  9. APP.: Is the Spirit stirring you about some teaching that you know is wrong? Will you respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading?

 

  1. #3 - Freedom to serve others. (Galatians 5:11-15; C/R: Matthew 22:37–40; Romans 13:10; Titus 1:10–11; 1 Peter 2:16)
  2. Galatians 5:11 (NLT)—Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted [by the Jews] If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.
  3. These Judaizers were attempting to further their influence by saying that Paul agreed with what they were teaching (may have used Timothy’s circumcision as evidence), but he argued that, if he were, the Jewish leaders wouldn’t be persecuting him.
  4. Then Paul expresses his frustration and anger toward these false teachers.
  5. Galatians 5:12 (NLT)—I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate [lit., cut off, amputate] themselves. [Titus 1:10-11]
  6. Paul then offers a stern warning about the nature of freedom in Christ.
  7. Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT)—13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” [Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 13:10;
    1 Peter 2:16]
  8. A Christian who lives by faith, led by the Spirit, will not view freedom as permission to sin without consequences, but rather, as freedom from domination by sinful desires and self-centered drives. [APP.: When we sin, does Jesus still love us? Do we love Him?]
  9. The person whose life is controlled by rules and prohibitions (the legalist) will ultimately fail, backslide, relapse, rebel, because he/she is living in bondage, depending on human effort, but when he/she becomes exhausted or discouraged, he will fall.
  10. Laws, rules and regulations, cannot change the old nature to make it obey God, only the Spirit can regenerate you, giving you a new nature that desires to please God—a desire to seek comfort in Christ, not in sin.
  11. Spiritual freedom enables you to escape domination by your self-centered desires and passions and instead, enables you to deny yourself, obey God, to serve others.
  12. Galatians 5:15 (NLT)—But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
  13. Rules and laws cannot force people to get along, much less to love; rather, they produce selfishness and competition because the focus is always on outward behavior and which causes comparisons, not love, which results in harmony. (Colossians 3:12-15)

 

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