1. Hello listening friends.
2. Welcome back to this broadcast.
3. In our last broadcast, we started looking at the stern warning that Paul gives to the Galatians about turning to legalism.
4. We saw that in the Epistle to the Galatians,
5. when the Apostle Paul uses the term “fallen from grace”.
6. He means that we are turning to legalism and its rules instead of to Christ.
7. Let’s look again at Galatians chapter 5.
8. And specifically verses 4 and 5.
9. Can you find those in your Bible.
10. Paul is saying to the Galatians that to fall from grace is to fall into legalism.
11. And since choosing legalism is to abandon grace which relates us to God.
12. That means we have turned away from the all-sufficient saving work of Christ.
13. In fact, this is what the Epistle to the Galatians is all about.
14. Next to the Epistle to the Romans, Galatians is the most significant document in Christian history.
15. Galatians is the centerpiece of the Protestant Reformation.
16. In fact, Martin Luther called this Epistle “Catherine VanBuren”,
17. that was the name of his wife.
18. Because he said, “I am wedded to it.”
19. I would like to give you a little background to this Epistle.
20. Paul preached the gospel of grace in Asia Minor.
21. People received salvation by grace,
22. and the church was established.
23. Then came a bunch of “Judaizers”.
24. Who are the “Judaizers?”
25. These Judaizers like all of their modern day successors are very deceptive.
26. First – they undermined Paul’s credibility.
27. Then they undermined the Gospel that Paul preached.
28. When people don’t like the truth, they first undermine the preacher of the truth.
29. Then they attack the truth that they don’t like.
30. Here in the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul becomes the most indignant that we have ever seen him.
32. Because he knew that when you teach that salvation is through grace, PLUS [whatever that plus is],
33. you are repudiating of the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ.
34. When you teach that salvation is through faith PLUS something else,
35. you empty the cross of Christ of its value and power.
36. And that is why Paul is so emphatic in Galatians 5:2-4:
37. If a person is trying to be saved by works,
38. that person has fallen from grace into legalism and therefore cannot be saved,
39. because no one can be saved by legalism.
40. 2000 years, after the New Testament spelled this out so clearly:
41. that salvation is through grace alone.
42. Some people are still preaching salvation through legalism and rituals.
43. This of course misleads millions of poor misguided souls.
44. Let me give you an illustration.
45. I read a story recently that some years ago a missionary in Africa was trying to explain the Christian life to an old, tribal chief.
46. After many hours the aged tribal chief said:
47. “I don’t understand.”
48. “You told me that I must not take my neighbors wife.”
49. “Or his ivory.”
50. “Or his oxen.”
51. “You also said that I must not dance the war dance.”
52. “Nor ambush my enemy on the trail and kill him.”
53. “That is right,” was the enthusiastic response from the missionary.
54. The worn out, old warrior said:
55. “But I can’t do any of these things anymore. I am too old for that.”
56. “Being too old and being a Christian must be the same thing.”
57. Do you see why this poor tribal chief was confused?
58. And that is why we should thank God everyday, for preserving His Word for us today.
59. We have the Word so that we can know the errors and the wrong and the false teaching.
60. The Word of God teaches us the difference between man’s way and God’s way.
61. Make no mistake about it, legalism is man’s way and not God’s.
62. It is historical fact by the 4th Century, many monks lived on a diet of bread and salt water.
63. Some wore only a loincloth of thorns.
64. One by the name of Simon Stylets prostrated himself 1224 times a day.
66. All of these things were done to try to earn the favor of God.
67. And yet, the Bible says that God’s grace is unmerited and undeserved favor.
68. And that is why Jesus Christ lambasted the Pharisees and called them the following:
69. He called them hypocrites, he called them snakes, he called them brood of vipers, he called them fools, he called them blind leading the blind, he called them white-washed-tombs.
70. Why did He use such harsh language?
71. Because the Pharisees loaded their people with so many rules and regulations that were not in the Bible.
72. The question that always follows “saved by grace alone” is this:
73. “Now that we are saved by grace, can we just go on and break everyone of the commandments?”
74. Again, let me repeat what I said in the last broadcast.
75. Anyone who believes that they can continue to live a sinful life has never experienced the grace of God.
76. In other words, that person is not saved at all.
77. The Bible tells us that: those who are saved by grace keep the commandments.
78. Those who are saved by faith alone are not habitual lawbreakers.
79. Those who have experienced the love and grace of God,
80. not only keep the letter of the law but the spirit of the law.
81. So that they not only refrain from killing,
82. but also they don’t even hate.
83. They not only do not covet,
84. but also they love sacrificially.
85. They not only do not take revenge,
86. but also they forgive and love their enemies.
87. The Bible tells us that there are people who can keep the externals of the law,
88. but deep down they are haters.
89. Deep down they are prideful.
90. Deep down they are angry.
91. Deep down they are covetous.
92. Deep down they are idolaters.
93. Deep down they are adulterers.
94. Then how is a Christian, who is saved by grace alone able to keep not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of it?
95. That is a good question!
96. Because when we are saved by grace alone,
97. the Holy Spirit of God comes in and lives on the inside of you.
98. The Holy Spirit of God empowers you to do the impossible.
99. The Holy Spirit of God strengthens us to do what is not humanly possible.
100. The Holy Spirit of God guides us to do what is humanly undoable.
101. Legalism imposes an outward code but it can never change the person’s inner nature.
102. Legalism enforces an outward appearance but it can never enable you to please God.
103. Grace on the other hand, provides the inner desire and gives us the power to obey God.
104. Grace empowers us to be all which God intends for us to be.
105. Grace makes us is free to serve.
106. Grace gives us freedom to love.
107. Grace gives us freedom to give.
108. Grace gives us freedom to sacrifice.
109. Grace gives us freedom to obey.
110. So my listening friends, listen very carefully as we come to the end.
111. To fall from grace is to refuse to accept that it is grace alone and only grace can make you acceptable to the Father.
112. There are some people who think that legalism is hard.
113. On the contrary!
114. Legalism is easy!
115. It is relatively easy not to murder.
116. It is hard to reach out and love someone who despises you.
117. It is relatively easy not to commit adultery.
118. It is hard to keep on loving your spouse more than you love yourself.
119. It is relatively easy to pay taxes.
120. It is much harder to give sacrificially.
121. Living in the Spirit is to be in constant openness to the Holy Spirit’s guidance even if I don’t like where He takes me.
122. Living in the Spirit makes me more conscious of what I have left undone than brag about what I have done.
123. Living in the Spirit forbids me from putting on a social mask.
124. Living in the Spirit convicts me to avoid false comparisons with other Christians.
125. Someone once said:
126. “The ultimate effect of legalism is to lower our views of God.”
127. What often overwhelms me is not how much I have done,
128. but how much God’s grace is lavished upon me,
129. especially when I know that I am not deserving of it.
130. Do you want to live in victory and power?
131. Get to really know Jesus.
132. Get to know the overwhelming love of Jesus.
133. Put yourself in the place of receiving the grace of Jesus.
134. And you can do that right now.
135. Say to Him,
136. I come to you,
137. unworthy and undeserving.
138. But I want to receive your grace.
139. Thank you that you never turn me away,
140. in Jesus name,
142. Until we see you next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.