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Feb 11, 2018

Freedom From Within the Fog

Freedom From Within the Fog

Passage: Galatians 3:15-25

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Free, a study in the book of Galatians

Our lives are full of both promises to us and expectations of us. We hope in the former while we try to live up to the latter. How often, though, does life feel like a profound imbalance in the direction of the expectations--or, worse, with the absence of promises that sustain us in hope? Paul will take pains in this passage to make a distinction between God’s promise--in particular the one to Abraham--and God’s Law--His expectations, if you will, of our response to Him. Paul clarifies their relationship to one another and the role each plays in how we relate to God. Why should we care? Because only by a sense of His promise can we ever understand, much less live into, His expectations.

Order of Worship

Call To Worship: Psalm 119:33-38
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 119:162-168
New Testament Reading: Romans 7:21-25
Sermon Title: Freedom From Within the Fog
Central Text: Galatians 3:15-25
Benediction: Hebrews 10:23

02.11.18 Song Lyrics

02.11.18 Song Lyrics

Illustration

This is Us

Readings/Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery

Call To Worship: Psalm 119:33-38
LEADER: Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

PEOPLE: 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

LEADER: 37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

ALL: 38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 119:162-168
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. 165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. 166 I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments. 167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. 168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

New Testament Reading: Romans 7:21-25
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Central Text: Galatians 3:15-25
To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,

Benediction: Hebrews 10:23
LEADER: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
PEOPLE: for he who promised is faithful.

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. What’s good about promises? About expectations? What’s terrible about promises unkept or expectations unfulfilled?
  2. What is the promise made to Abraham? What implications did it have for those after him? For what purpose might Paul be invoking the memory of that promise here in the passage?
  3. How do you understand Paul’s sense of the purposes of the Law of Moses? How has the Law needed to be understood differently in light of the coming of Jesus?
  4. How have you in the past kept hope in a promise? How concretely do you keep hope in the promises we have in the gospel? What’s difficult about keeping hope in that promise?           

Quotes:

  • We know exactly how and where we can be hurt, and why. That is as good a definition as any of self-consciousness. We are aware of our own defencelessness, finitude and mortality. We can feel pain, and self-disgust, and shame, and horror, and we know it. We know what makes us suffer. We know how dread and pain can be inflicted on us - and that means we know exactly how to inflict it on others. We know we are naked, and how that nakedness can be exploited - and that means we know how others are naked, and how they can be exploited.  - Jordan B. Peterson
  • "’Are the gods not just?'  
    'Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?’"
    -
    C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
  • The law orders, that we, after attempting to do what is ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the law, may learn to implore the help of grace.  - Augustine
  • ...man seems to mistrust everything that is effortless; he can only enjoy, with a good conscience, what he has acquired with toil and trouble; he refused to have anything as a gift.
    -Josef Pieper
  • A healthier faith seeks a reference point outside of all human experience, the Polestar which marks the course of all human events, not forgetting that impenetrable mystery of the interplay of God's will and man's … We are sinners. And we are buffoons … It is not the level of our spirituality that we can depend on. It is God and nothing less than God, for the work is God's and the call is God's and everything is summoned by him and to his purposes.  - Elisabeth Eliot

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