This is my sermon on Galatians 3:26-29. This message was delivered on Feb 26, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This is a verse by verse exposition which deals with our unity in Christ, and our uniqueness in the specific gender roles which God created for us. You will find the text of the sermon, the audio, and a downloadable study outline. Please note that the sermon text is NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.
STUDY OUTLINE FOR THIS MESSAGE:
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26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise
We will look at three things that faith does for us.
1) Faith makes us children of God
2) Faith makes us one
3) Faith makes us heirs to the promise
All of these contribute to our unity, but they do not eliminate our uniqueness.
FAITH MAKES US CHILDREN OF GOD:
“All Sons of God. . .” this phrase sets the context as salvation. In fact, the whole book of Galatians has focused on this issue.
Paul reaffirms that this is obtained through faith in Christ Jesus.
Though you may hear people say that we are all children of God, that is not true.
Though God is the creator of all, the Bible makes it clear that there are two spiritual families – God’s and satan’s.
42 Jesus said to them, “ If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it
1 John 3:10
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
If you haven’t been adopted into God’s family you are, by default, children of the devil. The good news is that adoption is open to anyone.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is not referring to water baptism, as baptism cannot save.
The reference is to being “baptized INTO Christ” NOT baptized into the fellowship of the church.
This is a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which happens at the time of salvation. It s the filling of the Holy Spirit.
5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Seals us to God, He is our guarantee of God’s promise.
FAITH MAKES US ONE:
The divisions that used to divide us no longer exist once you are adopted into God’s family.
If we are one with Jesus, then we are one with each other. There is a spiritual equality among all believers.
This verse does not deny that God has created racial, social, and gender differences, but those in no way denote any spiritual inequality.
Remember, first and foremost, the context is salvation, any stretch beyond that would be in error.
This verse does nothing to change the gender roles which God has created and demanded.
Just as in any family, everyone has different jobs and responsibilities. Its no different in God’s family. This doesn’t make any person more important than another.
Many people wrongfully teach that this verse erases all distinctions, that there should be no difference in the way that a man and a woman can serve God.
They would use this Scripture to justify placing women into positions of authority in the church (i.e. Pastor or Deacon). That is simply wrong.
Nothing in Scripture justifies that, and the church that does it will not be pleasing to God. In fact, Scripture is clear on the headship of man, both at home and in the church.
1 Timothy 3:1-12
Qualifications of Overseers
1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober- minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Qualifications of Deacons
8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double- tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self- willed, not quick- tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober- minded, just, holy, self- controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
“husband of one wife” sets the context.
Although the word “man” doesn’t actually appear in the Greek manuscripts, it must be inferred because the “husband of one wife” phrase necessitates that a man is being referred to.
Modern translations that attempt to remove those male references are purposely in error.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
We can see in this passage that the hierarchy of the church is the same as in the home, in which man is the [earthly] appointed head (v.23).
The headship of man goes all the way back to the beginning, when God gave Adam dominion, and gave Eve as his helper.
As the man, Adam was responsible (Adam was the first one that God approached after the fall. God looked to Adam for answers) and Adam bore the ultimate responsibility, not Eve. Romans 5:12
We have no right or authority to circumvent God’s order and God’s plan in favor of our own way, or the world’s way.
When we do, we are no longer in God’s will.
It doesn’t matter what we think the world expects of us, it’s God who matters.
Many churches have gone this route and ignored gender distinctions, and many even APPEAR to be successful.
However, you have to understand that if you are acting outside of God’s will, then you are not successful in His eyes.
If you are not successful to God, then you are not truly successful.
These churches may have lots of members, lots of money, and a fancy building.
But, if they are not doing things God’s way, can we really consider those attributes to be blessings from God, or the result of the acceptance of the world?
If you are not doing things God’s way, than you are on shaky, fragile ground, and all of your work is in vain (regardless of your intentions).
God has established a clear and necessary hierarchy, and we must not try to stretch this verse into a context which is beyond its intended meaning. To do so does nothing but cause problems.
Regardless of differing roles which are assigned by God, the promise still remains. All who are in Christ are Abraham’s seed, and heirs to the promise.
There is the natural seed of Abraham (the twelve tribes of Israel) of which there is a believing remnant, and there is the spiritual seed (the gentile believers – us).
Just as the differing roles which were just discussed, the natural and spiritual seeds are distinct from one another and serve a different purpose. However, we are both heirs to the promise, and spiritually equal.
God’s promise is as good as His word, and His word is inerrant and infallible!