Studies in Galatians – Wayne Barber/Part 16
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2004|
|Now in Christ Jesus we are made sons of God by faith. And that’s what we are going to look at today. It is through Christ that we are set free from the bondage to the law. We’re completely set free. So when a person chooses to go back and be religious again he has just simply chosen his flesh over choosing Jesus to be Jesus in his life. When we trust Christ as our Savior, we enter the family of God.|
Sons of God
Galatians 3:26-29. Paul says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”
I’m so grateful that the Scripture has made this turn. The last time we were together we looked at what the law was all about. We saw that it does have a purpose. We learned from Galatians 3 in studying these verse by verse that it could not produce the Holy Spirit, verses 1-5. It cannot do that; only Christ can. It could not produce salvation in verse 6-9. It puts people under a curse in verse 10-12. And in 15-18 it could not in any way alter the Abrahamic covenant that was given to Abraham. But it had its purpose, and it is so interesting to me. God used it for a specific reason.
We found out that that purpose was only temporary, in verses 19-25, until the seed came. And that seed, of course, as we have seen in verse 16 of chapter 3 is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in Christ, not in the law that we find salvation. The law sets a standard. It was usable to God because it provoked sin. It exposes sin. It sets a standard that no man can live up to. He is speaking here of the Ten Commandments, that particular moral law of God. The Lord Jesus came as a man. He that gave the law came as a man and fulfilled that very law and then He took its penalty, which was death. All of us were born under the penalty of spiritual death, and yet He took that penalty for us, went to the cross, paid a debt He did not owe. We owed a debt we could not pay, resurrected the third day, ascended and now sends His Spirit to live in us. And every time we say yes to Him the law is consistently being met by the love that He produces.
And as Romans so beautifully puts it in Romans 8:3, it says, “For what the law could not do”—and I love the beautiful way this is put—“weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Now in Christ Jesus we are made sons of God by faith. And that’s what we are going to look at today. It is through Christ that we are set free from the bondage to the law. We’re completely set free. So when a person chooses to go back and be religious again he has just simply chosen his flesh over choosing Jesus to be Jesus in his life. When we trust Christ as our Savior, we enter the family of God. We are now the children of Abraham, but much more than that. We are the sons of God by faith. What does it mean to be a son of God? Do you realize that if you are a believer you are a son of God? And he puts it exactly that way. That’s the phrase used to characterize believers.
Well, we’re going to talk about sonship today. The law can’t provide it, but in Jesus we have sonship in the family of God. First of all, as sons we have an eternal destiny. Oh, and this is so exciting. It says in verse 26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Now, when he says “for you are all,” the word he uses there is a little word pas. Pas means each and every one of you and all of you when put together.
You say, “We know that.” Now wait a minute, wait a minute. I’m saying that for a reason. He says, “you are all,” both Jewish believer and Gentile believer, you are all sons of God. Now, that statement would have been very acceptable to the Gentiles. Actually, overwhelming. But I would imagine it would have been a hard pill to swallow if you were a Jewish believer. They never saw the Gentiles as being included in their covenants. Remember verses 7 and 8, Paul has already addressed this, in chapter 3. He says, “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” Then he said, “The Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All nations [and Israel was not a nation at that time] will be blessed in you,’” Jew and Gentile. So, everyone that has put their faith into Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, are all sons of God.
He says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” And that term, “sons of God” tells us volumes. You say, how do you get so much out of a word? You know, it’s just the way the Greek is so specific. The word “sons of God” there, the word “sons” is the key word. It’s equivalent to the sons of Abraham in verse 7, but it’s much higher than that. We are sons of God. The meaning is a bit hidden, but it’s very clear when it’s understood. The word “sons” is the plural form of the word huios. To help you understand this word we must look at some other words, because in the Greek language there are several words to denote a child in the family.
The first one we want to look at is the word teknon. Teknon means a birth child. In other words, it bears the image of the father. The second word is the word nepious, which means a baby that is unable to walk and unable to talk. And then thirdly, the word is paidion which refers to a child that is growing but certainly needs a lot of instruction. Our word however is huios. It stresses the maturity of a child. It’s a child who is absolutely in sync with his father. Everything the child does is a reflection of the will of his father. It refers to a mature child.
Now Jesus is always in Scripture huetos. He is never called anything else when it comes to His title. He is the Son of God. He is eternally the Son of God. He c
He cameHe came to earth as the Son of Man. He has never called the teknon of God. He is never called the huios of God. He is never called the paidion of God. It is always huetos of God. He is only called the teknon of Mary once, because you see He was the birth child of the virgin Mary, but He is always called the huetos of God, the mature Son of God. Hebrews says that everything He did was a reflection of the Father. He and the Father were one.
Now with this in mind isn’t it interesting that Paul chooses under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God to call all of us that have become believers as huios of God, the mature sons of God? Think about it for a second. Did you live that way this past week? Was everything that you do this past week a reflection of the Father? Every word that came out of your mouth was a reflection of the heart of God? Did your conversation and speech, was it wrapped in the love that when Jesus spoke always had that there? You see, but yet we are called huios. None of us have arrived to the place of maturity to where we move and we act as a reflection of the Father.
Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior are not called nepios in Galatians 3 as they are, some of them in 1 Corinthians 3:1. Paul tells them you are little babies and will not come out of the nursery. That is not what Paul refers to us as Galatians 3. Not only that, paidion is not our terminology that he uses there or his terminology. And in Hebrews 2:13 he uses that word to describe those believers. He is not calling us teknon as in Galatians 4:28. He calls us huios.
Now there’s a reason it’s used right there and for this purpose. By using the word huios there’s a wonderful truth that when we got saved there’s a process that began the moment Christ came to live in our heart. We are destined one day to be in total oneness with Him. Even though that’s the title given to us, positionally now, one day, experientially, we will walk that way with God. So what he has given us here is a preview of what we will be one day.
In Ephesians 1:5 it says “He predestined us [that’s a good word] to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will.” The word for adoption is the word huiothesia. It’s the word that takes that word huios, which is our word, mature sons, and adds with it thesami, which means to place, to place in a position of sonship. We are predestined to sonship. Now take this to Romans 8:19 and you begin to learn a little bit about this. It says this: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” Now one of these days we are going to be revealed as to who we really are. We are masked with a body of human flesh right now, and inside of us is the Spirit of God. And one day it is going to be revealed that we are the mature sons of God.
However, look at Romans 8:23. It says “And not only this, but also we ourselves having the firstfruits of the Spirit [that’s believers], even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons,” then look what he equates it with, “the redemption of our body.” We see that our adoption is a process. Even though we are given the title as mature sons now, we in no way have arrived there. But there’s going to come a day at the redemption of our body, when we get a glorified body, that we are going to arrive there, and then experientially we will be like Him. We will never be God. There are two absolutes: One, is there is a God; and two, you are not Him. You write that down. You will never be Him and I will never be Him. We are not going to become little gods. But we will be like Him. It says, “we eagerly await the adoption as sons.”
Now, there’s a day coming. The apostle Paul talked about it in Philippians when he says “I look forward to the upward call of God.” He was called from heaven on the Damascus road. He will be called to heaven one day, and he was already hearing that beckoning call. He knows where he is headed, on that day He’s going to transform, He says, our body, out of our humble estate. We will on that day be glorified. On that day our will and His will will be one.
I want you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. I want you to see this as it is worked out. It’s a beautiful hope that each of us have, a beautiful hope. Paul has been talking to a church that knows nothing about Christianity. They are babies. They are immature. Everything they do they just want to be appeased. They want their flesh to be satisfied, and Paul deals with them all through Corinthians about this. In verses 1-7 many people call this, this whole chapter a chapter on love. No, sir, it’s not. It’s an indictment to a church that knows nothing about it. And what he’s trying to show them is what you’re doing has nothing to do with the Christianity you profess.
He says in verse 8, “Love never fails.” He breaks his chain of thought. He’s not talking now in relationships one to one. Now he’s talking about God’s love for them. Even though Corinth was upside down, God’s love would not fail them. He says “God’s love never fails: but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For now we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes;” now some great scholars much smarter than I am say that that means the Word of God, and I want to challenge that. I don’t think it means the Word of God. I don’t think that at all, and I’ll show you why.
It says, “When the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.” Now, in verse 11, “When I was a child I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man I did away with childish things,” he’s talking about his salvation. There was that time of coming of spiritual age and you put away religion; you put away the ABC’s and you walk in a wonderful relationship with Christ. And that’s what salvation is, putting away childish things. But then in verse 12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly; but then.” Now, you see, now look at the time words there. “Now” and then “then”. When is the then? When the perfect comes. He has already told you. “When the perfect comes we will see [how?] face to face.” Oh man, can you ever get excited about that?
There’s going to come a day we’re going to stand and we’re going to see the Lord Jesus face to face in all of His glory. I love that song, “I Can Only Imagine.” We don’t know what we’ll do at that time. We have no idea. Somebody says I will sing, I will praise, who knows? It’s just going to be a wonderful time.
But when we see Him face to face, it says, “Now” right now, “I know in part.” That’s all I know. I’m so glad Paul said that. He included himself. He said, “I know.” As a matter of fact he said “I know in part.” I love it when people walk up to me and say, “What about this” and “what about that?” And all I can say is, “Man, I don’t know, I just know in part.” That just makes me feel better anyway. “Now I know in part.” We don’t have all the answers. My goodness, we don’t have all the answers; we have just enough to get us through this life and just enough of what God wanted to tell us.
But you just wait. What’s coming after that? “Now I know in part. But then,” when? When the perfect comes, when I see Him face to face, “I shall know fully just as I have also have been fully known.” Do you realize what he’s saying? The Lord Jesus has fully known us and fully loved us since before the foundation of the world. Why? Because to know is to love. He has fully loved me since before the foundation of this world. Do you think I can commit a sin today that catches Him off guard? He knew about it long before I was ever created. He knew you. He knew me. He loved us in spite of us. Can you believe that? He loved us and He fully loved us and fully knew us.
But there’s going to come a day when we see Him, and in that moment when we see Him, we are going to know Him as He has already known us. We don’t know Him that way now. You know how I know? Because we don’t love Him fully right. Just by the looks on your faces when I asked how many of you were a reflection of the Father in everything you did this past week, tells me you have not arrived either, just like the apostle Paul said. You see, we haven’t gotten to that point yet. We don’t fully know Him. If we fully knew Him we would fully love Him. And in that moment when we see Him face to face we’re going to know Him as He has always fully known us. I don’t know how that’s going to happen, but in that very second of knowing Him we’re going to love Him as He has fully loved us. And in that moment when we see Him face to face, that upward call of God, that glorification of our body, the redemption of our body, in that moment my will and your will and His will will become one will and we will walk together forever and ever as the mature sons of God, a reflection of the Father.
Now that is what he is talking about. Now do you realize, do you understand what’s coming? But do you also realize we already have that position? We haven’t experienced it yet, but it’s our position. It means that right now when it’s no longer me, but Christ in me, I get to experience the full privileges of being an adult son of the living God. I get to walk in the joy that Jesus said “I want you to have My joy.” I get to walk in His peace. I get to experience what He experienced as the true Son of God, the reflection of the Father. If I choose to go back under religion, if I choose to go back after the flesh I forfeit that privilege. My privileges are only in the Lord Jesus Christ. But one day, one day when I see Him face to face in that moment I am going to become like Him.
I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be so glad to shed this old presence of flesh. Won’t you? I’ve been delivered from its penalty, and daily He is seeking to deliver me from its power. But one day we are going to be delivered from the presence of sin. We aren’t going to have to deal with all the garbage that the flesh has to put up with. It will not be “churches,” it will be one Church, one body of Christ, standing before God who is holy, and we will be a reflection of the Father forever and ever and ever. It will never happen down here, but it will happen one day.
But what he’s saying here to these believers, do you want to go back up under law? You think the law produces anything like this? You want to walk in the full adult privileges of sonship with the Lord Jesus Christ? You can’t do that and go back up under the law. All you have is religion that denies the power thereof. If you want to walk in that sonship, if you want to walk in the privileges of that sonship, then you have to come to that place of abandonment to Him and say, “yes, Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord” and live that way, and then He manifests Himself in you.
That’s when we walk in the full adult privileges of being a son in the family of God. Positionally we are there; experientially we are not there yet. But when our bodies are redeemed one day we will be like Him forever and ever and ever. He says we are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Believers are sons of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in the law.
Well, are you walking in the privileges of sonship? Are you living in the privileges of sonship? Boy, there’s a lot of people that can quote scripture and tell you about freedom, but they live in bondage everyday because they’re not willing to say yes to the very One who can help them enjoy the privileges of sonship. Well, that is the first thing. We have an eternal destiny. A process began. One day we will arrive at the position He has already given to us.
Secondly, as sons we have a clear identity. We have a clear identity. You want to know what the common denominator of Christianity is? He’s going to tell you right here. Verse 27: “For all of you who are baptized into Christ,” look at this, “have clothed yourselves with Christ.” That’s interesting and powerful. We need to understand that phrase. There are two meanings of the word “baptism” in Scripture. The first meaning is water baptism. A believer being immersed into water is something he does as a public testimony. This comes after the fact of what happened inwardly. He does it now outwardly. This is the first act of Christian witness that a person has amongst his friends.
And if you go back to the book of Acts, the first church there was the Jewish believers. And when they would be baptized wherever, mostly the Jordan River, when they would be baptized and came up out of that water, the people wrote them off. They were signed as if they were dead. They were disinherited from the family and it was a separation from that which was behind and it was an entering into that which has been totally new. Many have made the mistake of thinking that water baptism has anything to do with salvation. It does not. They fail to explain what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:17, when he says, “For Christ did not send me to baptize”—that to me, anybody, it is a no-brainer; if you just read the scripture—“but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech that the cross of Christ should not be made void.”
Water baptism is not a part of the gospel. He said “I came to preach the gospel.” As a matter of fact, he goes on to say, “I do not know if I baptized any of you.” In other words, it’s not a big deal to him. It’s somebody else, that’s their act of public witness. What he came to do was to preach the gospel. If water baptism is a part of the gospel then all of Galatians needs to be thrown out of your Bible, because Galatians has already shown us that there isn’t any work of human flesh that can in any way add to what Christ has done for us on the cross. Only faith alone in Christ alone is our salvation.
But the other meaning of baptism is what he has here. The other meaning is our spiritual baptism that takes place at salvation. At the very moment you receive Jesus you are immersed into Him. You are immersed into His death, His burial, His resurrection, into His presence, into His power. You are immersed into oneness with Him. By Paul using the phrase, “baptized into Christ” not baptized into water, but baptized into Christ, then you know immediately what he is talking about. It is a spiritual baptism. It says in verse 27 again, “For all of you who were baptized in Christ”—and then look what it does; he says—“have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Now this equates the baptism he talks about, this spiritual baptism with being clothed with Christ.
He’s speaking of our spiritual immersion into Christ and having become identified with who He is as He now lives in us. This is what he’s talking about in Romans 6. I have told you, you know that Galatians is just Paul writing Romans mad. And in Galatians it is bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, but in Romans it is bump and then he stops and explains; and then it bump and he stops and explains; and bump. I mean, the doctrine is all over here in Romans.
In Romans 6:3 it says, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death so that as Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
And the beautiful picture of this is, if I had a bowl of red dye I could explain it to you. A clear bowl of red dye, and I took a white cloth and I am going to put that white cloth down into that red dye. I immerse it into it, completely submerge it into the red dye. Now, the cloth is in the dye, but the moment it gets inside the dye, something else happens, doesn’t it? The dye gets inside the cloth, and the cloth is no longer a white cloth. There has been a change. Something has been identified with it. The red dye has entered into the cloth and now you have a red cloth. That’s exactly what he’s talking about here. That is spiritual immersion into Christ and Him into us. The spiritual baptism that he speaks of here is what he refers to in Ephesians 4:4. “There is one body and one Spirit just as also you were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” He’s not talking about water baptism. He’s talking about the spiritual immersion into Christ.
Now this phrase that he equates this with, “you have been clothed,” you have clothed yourselves with Christ, is a graphic illustration of what happens at salvation. His presence, His power, all of who He is comes to live in us. It envelops the believer. You say, “I remember when I got saved. I had a lot of joy in my heart, but I didn’t know this took place.” And by the way, I didn’t write this. I mean, this is what God says took place. At the moment we were saved whether we felt it or didn’t feel it, God came to live in us and His presence now saturates our very being.
Now, I want to share something with you. There’s no such thing as a believer who is not clothed with Christ. Can I say that again? There is no such thing as a believer who is not clothed with Christ. You say, “Wait a minute wait a minute. I know believers and I have been one myself, and if you are telling me I am clothed with Christ? I haven’t lived that way all the time.” And that’s exactly the point in Galatians 3. Inwardly we are clothed with Christ. You don’t ever get any more of God than you are going to get at the moment of salvation. But is He seen outwardly? Remember, Paul says in Philippians “work out your salvation.” Let the Jesus who is on the inside be seen on the outside. And the same way that you are clothed with Christ, by faith, is the same the way He’s manifest that clothing in your life. He manifests His character in your life.
I will tell you what. As long as I pastor churches, and it will be that way till Jesus comes back, you wonder sometimes if people know Christ from a hole in the ground. We sing the hymns. We sing the choruses. We walk right out and act as if we don’t even know Him. And yet we are clothed with Christ. You see, this is the whole point. If it’s going to be Christ living in you, then all that’s within you begins to be manifested through your life. Paul says this to believers in Romans. He tells them in Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” You already have put Him on. I know inwardly. What he’s saying is, put Him on as your behavior. Make sure He is manifested in your life. And he goes on and tells you how. “And make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
You see, they have put Him on, but now put Him off. It is two different things here. At salvation He came to live in you and the clothing is there. The garment is there. Now wear the garment; and you wear the garment by saying yes to Him. He says the same thing in Ephesians 4:22. And he is really on these folks. He says, “That in reference to your former manner of life [your former behavior, before you became a believer], you lay aside the old self.” You know, he isn’t contradicting himself. What he’s saying is, quit living as if you have never been clothed with Christ. Here in our text Paul is referring to the clothing that took place when we were baptized into Christ. And that’s a beautiful part here. Everything I need for life and for godliness, Peter says, I already have. He’s given me the ability to partake of the divine nature.
You say, “Well, brother Wayne, I talked to a church during the last week and they didn’t act like they were filled with the divine nature.” That’s exactly right and isn’t that sad? Isn’t it sad when people that are clothed with the very presence of Christ live as if that they’re the pagan that is next door? You see, when you are walking in His garments, when you’re clothed in His garments, the flesh has no way and no will whatsoever. It’s the Spirit controlling our lives. But the very moment we choose to resurrect that old flesh it seems like it crawls off the altar every day, doesn’t it? And when we choose to say yes to it, then it shuts the whole process down, even though we have been given everything that we need, everything in Christ.
Well, the word “clothed” here is the word enduo, which means to be dressed a certain way. When I got to military school the first thing they did was cut my hair off. Then they took my regular clothes, put them in a box and sent them home, and I was to wear a uniform every day. Why? Because we were identified with that school. And if you are going to be identified with that school, there’s a certain garment that you have to wear. That’s exactly what Paul is saying. Why is he? He’s not talking about uniformity—we are all different—but he is talking about unity of the brethren when we live surrendered to Him. Why is it, you say? Well, we have chapter 5 to deal with, and he’ll tell you why, how the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. When everybody wears the same uniform they all have the same identity.
Now what’s his point here in the passage? Jew and Gentile alike are dressed in the same garment. The person who has received Christ by faith, then he has put Christ on as a garment, His nature, His presence, His power, that all wraps themselves around and envelops them. Now, his point is that if you go back up under the law, you have just chosen to deny your total identity in the Lord Jesus Christ. What does it mean to go back up under the law? When I choose my flesh over choosing Him, I have just myself under some kind of law because I’m going to either measure up it or rebel against it. And what he’s saying here is if you do that you have denied your identity. Your identity is in Christ. He adds in verse 28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Now, his point here is not his point in other places. His point here is, when it comes to the privileges, when it comes to the power and the presence of God, everybody is equal when they come in and receive Him, the Lord Jesus Christ. This garment of Christ that’s in us is our identity as believers. And when we say yes to Him, they see that garment on the outside. Race does not matter. It says in verse 28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek,” which is interesting because a lot of people still want to keep those distinctions. Once you become a believer you lose them. Position in society doesn’t matter. “There is neither slave nor free man.” Gender does not matter. “There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” That’s the common denominator. It doesn’t matter where you go. You are one with other believers, and all of us are in the garments of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to me, some people use the term fulfilled Gentile, or maybe, completed Jew. To me they are erroneous terms. Let me show you why. In 1 Corinthians 10:32 it says, “Give no offense, either to Jews or to Greeks [or Gentiles] or,” he says, and he puts a third category, “the church of God.” You see, we become one brand new creature when we come into Christ. We lose the distinction of being Gentile or Jew. That’s what he’s trying to say. We are now identified in Christ. We are not identified with race or sex or anything else. We are identified in Christ. Sons of God have a clear identity. And the purpose now that we have in this meantime living is to see Christians come to where they manifest that character in their life. We have a brand new garment we were given at salvation.
Here is my question to you this morning: are you wearing that garment? Are you wearing that garment? When people hear you, when people are around you, do they see that garment? Are they affected by that garment? I believe all heaven rejoices when we start wearing the garment God has already given to us. A believer has an eternal destiny, but I want to make sure we understand something clear. We as a church have a clear identity. We have an eternal destiny, but we have a clear identity. And the key is, and the challenge is, wear the garment. Wear the garment. Wear the garment.
When I preached out of Ephesians I began to ask them that question: what garment are you wearing? As a matter of fact, the next time somebody walks up to you and says something just a little bit different, ask them “What garment are you wearing?” Why can’t we get gut honest about this thing? We’re either wearing it or we are not wearing it. Oh yeah, we have it, but are we wearing it? When I was preaching out of Ephesians I had some parents come to me and say, “Would you quit preaching out of Ephesians?” I said why? They said, “We were coming to church today and we were arguing about something and our little children in the back leaned up and said ‘Momma, Daddy, what garment are you wearing?’” What garment are you wearing? Is your speech seasoned with grace so it edifies and lifts up your brother? Is your character walking in the garment of Jesus Christ? Or is it just another flesh game that many of us are playing until Jesus comes back, embracing a religion, but denying the power thereof?
Well, thirdly, the sons of God have an awesome relativity. You’re wondering where they came from. Whoa, hang on. We are more relative to history. We are more related to humanity than any person that lives on the face of this earth. You say, how do you know that? Well, I didn’t write this. Look at verse 29: “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring. You are an heir according to promise.” The literal here is “If you are of Christ then you are seed of Abraham’s, heirs according to promise.”
Now being of Christ, we have become recipients of a promise that was given to Abraham 4,000 years ago. You think we don’t relate to history? The God of all history, we’re related to Him. We’re sons in His family. As a believer we have a significance in history. Isn’t it interesting how the world looks at us? I was watching a news program yesterday. And they were talking about this man who loves the camera and loves to be the center of attention. I have forgotten now who he was and what he was doing. But everything they had said was negative about him. But they said, by the way, this man is a born-again Christian.
And I thought to myself, does anybody on the news media even know what one is? And I will tell you why they don’t. Because we haven’t lived before them what they need to see. It’s not a problem with them, folks. It’s a problem with the fact that Christians are playing games with God. They’re not walking in the garment God has given to them. They don’t talk like they even know Christ. They don’t act like they even know Christ. But yet we’re related to all of history. We are tied into a promise of a covenant with Abraham.
But not only that, we’re related to all of humanity. You can go anywhere in this world and be related to somebody, no matter what race and what creed if they are a believer. Whether they are Asian, or whether they are whatever they are, we are related to them. Isn’t it awesome! Black, white, rich, poor, it doesn’t matter. If they receive Jesus we are all identified with the same uniform, Christ lives in us. We have a relativity to history that goes back 4,000 years to Abraham, and even before the foundations of the world, because He knew us before the foundations of this world. But we are also relative and related to humanity.
Back in verse 13 we will see again the cost. It says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” See, what Paul is doing, he’s contrasting grace and law and he’s trying to show you, yes, law has its purpose, but let me just show you what Christ does. He makes you a son of God. And you can’t be a son of God just because you are under the law. In fact, it doesn’t do anything but put you under a curse.
Let me ask you a question this morning. I wonder if you were here today and you joined the church years ago, but you have never bowed before the Lord Jesus and been dressed in the garment of the Lord Jesus Christ? I wonder if you have truly placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is abandonment to Him. “Lord Jesus, I can’t save myself. Lord Jesus, I abandon myself to You.” That’s how you come in, that’s how you’re clothed. And that’s how you live every day of your life, every day of your life. Lord, I cannot. You never said I could. You can, You always said You would. Isn’t it great to be a son of God? Are we walking in the garment? Or do you even have it to wear? Where are you this morning?
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Dr. Wayne Barber
Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.