Baptized Into Christ
Topic: Galatians - Keep in Step With the Spirit Passage: Galatians 3:15–3:28
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Guest Preacher, Sam Garrison
Preaching Text: Galatians 3:15-28
Since followers of Jesus are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, what is our relationship to God's law (given to Israel by God through Moses)? This question is as relevant for us today as it was for the Galatian church nearly 2000 years ago.
The Apostle Paul answers in three parts. First, he reminds us the law does not replace God's earlier promise to Abraham, who received it by faith. Second, he accurately describes all people as "imprisoned" by the law ... that is, "until Christ came." Third, he exhorts us to throw off the law's shackles and "put on Christ" instead. In so doing, God's law is fulfilled and we are "all one in Christ Jesus," just as we were created to be!
We are still tempted to ask the question, does this mean I don't have to obey the law? Paul says this is a silly question ... you never could obey it in the first place! (Not sure? See what Jesus has to say in Matthew 5.) It exposes our inability as broken people to admit how searching and demanding the law really is. By trying to obey the law, we inevitably end up deceiving ourselves, limiting its scope to make our efforts more manageable.
Rather, Paul's answer is no, you don't have to obey if you "put on Christ" instead. When we do this Jesus becomes our primary identity, our closest relationship, our source of imitation and the one who declares us acceptable to God. When we contrast this incredible freedom with the law's imprisonment, we are moved to honor God (and by extension, his law!) as a way saying thank you for saving us. We aren't worried about obeying the rules anymore. Rather, we desperately desire to honor God with our whole lives as a way of saying "Thank You!" for saving us.