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Fundamentals of the Faith

Galatians 3

Outline

I.       Personal: Paul is called by God to be a Preacher of Justification.

                II.      Doctrinal: Paul provides the Principles of Justification.

                III.     Practical: Paul outlines the Privileges of Justification

 

How does one obtain righteousness before God?
 

  1. The rebuke
    1. Galatians 1:6-7
      1. There is only one true Gospel.
    2. Galatians 3:1-5
      1. The Gospel was preached so clearly to them that it might have been as if they actually beheld Christ’s crucifixion.
        1. The true Gospel is Christ crucified.
          1. I Corinthians 1:22-24 -   22For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;   23but we preach  £Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,   24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
          2. I Corinthians 15:3-4 - 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,   4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
      2. “Bewitched” – to malign, fascinate (captured attention)
      3. He draws upon their experience.
        1. If you are aware of the Spirit of Christ in your heart, how do you remember Him getting there? Did you obey a series of laws to receive Him? (We can assume as they look back that their answer would be “Well….by faith I guess…”)
        2. So if you received the Holy Spirit by faith, are you now perfected by works? What sense does that make?
        3. Does the Him who provides the Spirit and works miracles among you do it as you work for it?
          1. Matt. 9:22 - 22But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
          2. Matt. 9:29 - Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”   
          3. Matt. 15:28 - Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
  2. The case for justification by faith
    1. Again, the experience of the Galatians (3:1-5)
    2. He gives the example of Abraham (3:6-9)
      1. Judaizers thought they had the Old Testament on their side, i.e. the Law of Moses. However, Paul took them centuries before Moses to the Father of their nation. (6) - Abraham’s faith in God’s ability to perform what He promised was accepted by God as righteousness and so the patriarch was justified—before he was circumcised (cf. Gen. 17:24). How then could the Judaizers insist that circumcision was essential to being accepted by God? (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
      2. If Abraham was justified before God because of his faith then all who are believers are children of Abraham. (7-8)
        1. The Gospel is that “All nations shall be blessed in you (by faith)”
    3. He shows them the effect of the Law (3:10-11)
      1. The Law is a standard that demands perfection or else condemnation. (11)
      2. Even under dispensation of the Law, justification was not meant to be attained by it. (11b, Habakkuk 2:4)
      3. Law and faith are mutually exclusive. Follow the Law perfectly or throw yourself at God’s mercy by faith.
    4. He re-introduces the work of Christ. (3:13-14)
      1. Christ bore the curse of the Law in our place, for He took our sin upon Himself.
        1. Lawbreakers were stoned to death and hung on a tree as an example of the curse.
      2. As a result of Christ’s work believers have the assurance of justification and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    5. He establishes that faith is a permanent means of justification. (3:15-18)
      1. The promise was made to Abraham and to His “seed”. The “seed” refers to Christ. So the promise of Abraham was not fully realized until Christ. Therefore, the only way any man can be experience the promise is through faith in Christ.          
    6. He reveals the real purpose for the Law. (3:19-25)
      1. Ultimately, the Law was an “in yer face” way to show the people of God that they stand condemned before God in need of a Savior.
    7. He shows them their position in Christ. (3:26-29)
      1. All who believe in Christ become sons of God.       (26-27)
      2. Believers are all one in Christ Jesus. (28)
      3. Believers in Christ are Abraham’s seed. (29)
  3. Application
    1. The Christian living by faith does three things.
      1. He prays according to the new nature (desires, impulses) brought to him by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
      2. He carefully begins to work through the word of God seeking an understanding of its truth while praying the truth as it is revealed.
      3. By faith he accepts the truth that is revealed.
      4. By faith (throwing himself upon the mercy of God) he pursues his new desires.
      5. He reminds himself that whatever is accomplished is accomplished by the grace and power of Christ in him.