Free in Christ: Study of Galatians
Preserving our Spiritual Freedom in Christ
October 21, 2018
Spiritual unity is a gift from God. We humbly receive it when we put our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Yet, it is very easy to get sidetracked with peripheral issues that bring bondage and hinder our freedom. Spiritual unity brings tremendous power and discernment which sharpens our message and keeps us on mission. Thank God for our unity in Jesus.
Memory Verse: Galatians 2:10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Big Idea: Real unity is born by the Holy Spirit and brings freedom to discern the enemy, to share the gospel and stay on mission. The Holy Spirit brings freedom… responding to the Holy Spirit keeps us free!
I. Recognize spiritual unity comes from the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. (See Question 3)
“Nothing was threatening Paul’s certainty, but something was threatening his fruitfulness.” Timothy Keller (Galatians for You)
Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 1:1)
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Spiritual unity comes from the Holy Spirit. Spiritual unity is kept by the Spirit.
II. Discern the real enemies of spiritual unity.
Galatians 2:3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— (Galatians 2:14)
“Externalities are to do with our doing; internalities have to do with our being; Christianity is about who I am in Christ, not what I do for him.” Keller
Colossians 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (See Mark 7:14-19, John 10:10)
The enemy wants you to believe that power of our fallen nature is more powerful than the Holy Spirit. He wants to destroy us with old sin patterns.
Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 3:5)
Romans 6:18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (I Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:10)
Freedom and community are two great yearnings of the human heart. The “earn yourself salvation” message always leads people only into bondage. Keller
Galatians 2:5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. (Galatians 5:1)
Preserved- stay permanent with you
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Spiritual unity brings freedom from cultural additions.
III. Spiritual unity is powered by the Gospel message.
Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),
“It was not just a question of circumcision and uncircumcision, of Gentile and Jewish customs. It was a matter of fundamental importance regarding the truth of the gospel, namely of Christian freedom versus bondage. Acceptance before God depends entirely on God’s grace in the death of Jesus Christ received by faith.” John Stott
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Acts 1:8)
Where there is great unity, there will be great power!
IV. Spiritual unity partners together to fulfill God’s mission.
Galatians 2:9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. (Matthew 11:5) (See question 8)
Remember- keep caring for the poor.
True faith will inevitably show itself through deeds of mercy. Keller
Ephesians 4:3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:26 & 27, 4:12)(See question 10)
Ephesians 4:16b when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (John 13:35)
Going the extra mile to keep the unity will preserve fruitfulness. God will bring amazing fruit!