Galatians 3:15-18 (sermon text)

Posted on February 12, 2012

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I delivered this message at Hillcrest Baptist Church on Sunday, Feb 12, 2012. I forgot to bring my recorder, so I have posted the sermon text (minus the ad-libbed parts, of course).

GALATIANS 3:15-18

v.15:
Paul, here, is defending the unchanging nature of God and His promises

“Speaking as a man,” Paul uses the example of a contractual agreement or covenant between men.

Even between men, once a contract is confirmed, it is not to be changed. How much more can we count on the promise of an unchanging God?

Malachi 3:6

“For I am the Lord, I do not change;

Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob”

James 1:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning

 

A covenant is a binding agreement, and God is ever faithful.

All too often though, we try to change God’s promise. That’s what had happened here, at the church in Antioch. That is what Paul was addressing.

We add to it (works based salvation), delete from it (universalism), or otherwise twist it to serve our purpose instead of God’s.

However, such is not in our power or authority to do. We are in a position only to accept or reject the covenant, not change it.

No matter what we believe or how sincere we are about it, it does not change what God has decreed!

 

v.16:
Paul makes a very clear statement that God’s promise includes only one means of salvation, Jesus Christ.

The promise was made to Abraham of his “seed” not “seeds.” It is singular, not plural.

Paul states, in so many words, that the promise which God made to Abraham was of Christ.

People may tell you that there are many ways, but God said there is only one!

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”

 

Following Mohammed will not lead to God.

Following Buddah will not lead to God.

Following a false Jesus (Mormons/Jehovah’s witnesses) will not lead to God.

Following the traditions of the church (Catholics) will not lead to God.

Following new age religions will not lead to God.

Following man made philosophies will not lead to God.

Following your heart won’t lead to God.

All of these are a one way ticket to hell!

Even “following” Jesus won’t lead to God – “no one comes to the Father except ‘through’ me” – through Him, not following him.

Following Jesus is the obedience, which is an expression of your faith.

“Through” Him is much more than following Him. If following Jesus were the means of salvation, then it would be based on works and not faith.

“Through” Him can be likened to John’s exhortation to “abide in Him” 1 John 2:28

This literally means to dwell in Him, it means existing in Him. It is a complete intertwining of yourself and Jesus Christ.

You must first be lead to Jesus, before you can abide in Him. None of those aforementioned routes will lead you to Jesus, because even if some of them teach about someone named Jesus, it is not the Jesus who is revealed in the Bible.

There is only ONE way to lead someone to Jesus, and that is only by the Word of God!!!

Romans 10:17

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”

Galatians 3:2

“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith”

Galatians 3:5

“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith”

 

v.17:

This unchangeable promise to Abraham was based on God’s grace and our faith in the coming Messiah.

The law, which was given 430 years later, does not change God’s promise.

Many people mistakenly believe that the law came first, and that Jesus nullified the law. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Grace has always been at work, ever since the Garden of Eden, long before the law was ever given.

The law came, not to replace grace. Not to bring righteousness, but to instruct in righteousness.

The law is a tutor, and our obedience to it is simply the work of faith.

The law does not, and cannot change God’s promise of grace.

v.18:
The law was not given as a promise, but as instruction, that we might recognize the promise.

That promise is Jesus Christ!

Jesus is the one and only means of salvation!

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Posted in: Sermons