GRACE TO GROW
Once Free Don’t Become Enslaved Again
Jerry A Collins
v What is the difference between a son and an heir?
v What are the worthless elemental things to avoid?
v What is the meaning of calling God ‘Abba’?
are two reasons for keeping legal laws. (1) They are good for people. Don’t
drink and drive, pay your taxes, build according to codes are good for
everyone. (2) I am afraid of the consequences of getting caught. This is where
legal law-keeping breaks down. If I do not think it’s a good law for me or
think I won’t get caught I may break it. Yet, there are moral laws too like
don’t cheat, love your enemy and only reason for keeping these is the fear of
God. Anyone may have awe or reverence for higher, stronger power than self. For
xian it is fear of God of Bible. A reason why xians violate God’s standards is because they see them
legally instead of morally. (1) Think they are better off violating it-looking
out for their best interest (2) don’t believe will be punished for violation.
But if we saw God’s standards morally instead of legally then we would be
asking ‘will I offend God’s righteousness’ or ‘what is really closest to the
heart of God?’ and then do that! Problem is like Pharisees in Jesus’ day, Judaizers in Paul’s day and legalists in our day—making up
more & more laws and with so many of them we are trained to respond legally
to God’s moral laws. So loving my enemy, gossip, divorce, cheating and adultery
treated legally, pragmatically rather than what God plainly says we do. These Galatian law-keeping Jews believed that gentiles
xians should follow mosaic law, Jewish customs and
traditions. These came from within the church and believed that
1. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS THE LIFE OF A SON NOT SLAVES 1-7
Illustrating spiritual immaturity of those living under law, is the picture of a young child contrasted with that of a mature son.
Child too young for responsibility 1 Here is a small child an heir of the whole estate but still under survelliance and submission like a slave who enjoys no freedom and no decision making. This child is too young to take any responsibility for the management of the assets. Even tho wealthy he is no better off than a slave.
No access to inheritance 2 Guardians, managers and trustees watch over and protect his estate for him until appropriate time when he comes of age.
We were children 3 So too we were spiritually in bondage. In our case it was enslavement to elementary stages of religious experiences and systems the world offers.
Christ redeemed us from this 4-5 At the
appropriate time—just like there would be for the child who became an heir—God
sent out His Son. When was that? 1. When Roman civilization brot
peace to realm. 2. When
An intimate relationship 6 God not only sent His Son, He also sent the HS. This is because we enter into a different relationship with God than anyone has before. HS’s presence gives us intimacy with the Father ‘abba’ means daddy replacing formalism of legalism. We are now part of the family circle. So many advantages we have now that noone else has ever had. If these kind of distinctions exist now making it possible to be more intimate with God and know His heart much better than believers before or after—then these distinctions remain forever. So Jesus elevated us to level of sons so we can inherit all we have in Christ. So, too, the Spirit empowers us to exercise our freedom in Christ. Sonship to hiership 7 The conclusion is that in God’s family sonship carries with it heir to an inheritance. ..and if children also heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ Rom . Think about this.
2. HEIRS OF PROMISE ARE NOT TO RETURN TO LAW-KEEPING
Don’t return to past 8-11 Before salvation—when you did not know God—your ignorance misled and deceived you into slavery of false worship. So much of that still going on today. Now knowing God (salvation from our perspective) or known by God (salvation from God’s perspective) vs 8 what is the attraction of a system that could not redeem or justify you before God or one that was powerless for godly living? Its both weak and worthless in either case! That is problem with legalism in nutshell. You become enslaved all over again. Here they were doing it by observing Mosaic calendar. Special days like weekly Sabbaths, months like new moons, seasons like seasonal festivals Passover, Pentecost and years like sabbatical and jubilee years. Paul spent so much time and energy and nearly the loss of his life for these people vs 11 now it seems in vain if they stay attached to these legalistic practices believing they earn God’s favor this way. We are prone to return to the past. 1 Pt continually straying like sheep. To return to the past is like turning away from potential growth and maturity. Newness is pathway to maturity.
not backward 12-15 So a personal
appeal vs 12. I have come to you without the Law—only
the gospel and freedom—so you too. So far so good between
them. In spite of repulsive illness of some kind he had made his way to
1. The privilege of liberty always leads to responsibility. Given a new start, like a newly released prisoner, take the opportunity to move forward. To make something of yourself in Christ.
2. Do that not by performing the law but by applying it. What do the directives of the law tell you about the heart of God. Pursue God’s heart then revealed in the law. Today that is Christ’s commands.
3. The law is only for bad guys not good guys. The deeds of the flesh need laws. But the fruit of the Spirit never comes about by law-keeping. Fruit comes when living by faith applying Christ’s commands to our lives.