So it is in the Christian life. I don’t pretend to have found THE KEYS to living the victorious Christian life, but God’s Word deals with this massive issue directly. And so should we.
Let’s focus this morning (and in subsequent posts) on several keys to living out the Christian life. I don’t pretend that these are exhaustive, just practical and helpful! The first key I see in this text is that I must have a proper relationship to the law (v. 19). Paul writes, “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.”
Here we learn that the law brings death, not life! Paul “died to the law” in the sense that he died to the law as a way of salvation by obedience. The law was never given for that purpose and we can never perfectly obey the law.
Notice also that this death must occur before life can become real! Paul writes, “through the law I died to the law.” A knowledge of the law brings conviction of sin and the reality that one cannot buy salvation by one’s own goodness.
Today’s challenge: Are you trying to live out the Christian life by keeping the law? Christians should be obedient, but the law was never given to make us righteous. It was given to make us aware of our need of grace. (to be continued)
It was my joy to preach two sermons at the recent Biblical Eldership Resources’ conference in Rochester, NY. This organization’s website if found at biblicaleldership.com.
I gave this sermon recently at the Biblical Eldership Resources conference in Rochester, NY. This excellent organization’s website is found at biblicaleldership.com.
This is our last post on the topic “What does it really mean to be saved?” We are looking at the first few verses of Galatians 1 where Paul writes: “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
We’ve seen four of the five truths which jump out at me that speak to this issue of being saved. The first truth is we are at peace with God! (v. 3). The second truth in this text about being saved is we have been paid for (v. 4)! Jesus paid that debt for us. The third truth in this text about being saved is — we have been rescued! Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age. The fourth truth about being saved which I see in this text is that we are wanted by God! Verse 4 says that Jesus’ giving of Himself was “according to the will of our God and Father.” It was the Father’s will to save us, to redeem us, to rescue us! This is what HE wants! We have been wanted!
The fifth and final truth I see in this text about being saved is: We have an eternal purpose! (v. 5). There we read, “to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Let’s not gloss over those words. We have been invited into a relationship with the God of the universe and our highest goal is to praise Him!
“But, wait a minute!”, some might say! “Isn’t it awfully conceited and self-serving for God to want us to worship Him — eternally? That sounds like the pagan gods who demanded the kind of worship that sometimes included the sacrificing of their own children on the worship altar!”
Here I believe J.I. Packer helps us when he writes: “If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, can it be wrong for God to aim at the same goal? If man can have no higher end and motive than God’s glory, how can God? And if it is wrong for man to seek a lesser end than this, then it would be wrong for God too. The reason why it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is simply the fact that he is not God; and the reason why it cannot be wrong for God to seek His own glory is simply the fact that He is God. Those who would not have God seek His glory in all things are really asking that He should cease to be God. And there is no greater blasphemy than to will God out of existence.” (The Plan of God)
To give us that eternal purpose required the Father to sacrifice HIS Son! May I boldly suggest that you read over that profound quote from Packer again? Slowly. And then thank the true God of the universe that you have been made exactly for this!