Gospel Freedom – Part 4 From Law to Faith, From Slave to Heir Galatians 3:23-4:7 July 30th, 2017
I. The Law: A TIME and a PURPOSE. (3:23-25)
A. PROTECTION during the WAITING. (3:23,25)
B. To LEAD us to CHRIST. (3:24)
The whole issue underlying the writing of Galatians is the complicated relationship between faith, grace, and law. Everyone is struggling to understand where the law fits now that the grace of Christ has opened the doorway to the Father. Paul helps in our text today, showing the good the law has done and the purpose for its existence.
1. In Christianity we want to avoid legalism, but as you reflect on your life what impact has the “keeping of the law” had on you personally?
2. What has the law taught you about God?
3. What has the law taught you about you?
II. What HAPPENED when FAITH arrived. (3:26-4:7)
A. We were GIVEN a new IDENTITY. (3:26-27; 4:4-7)
B. Linked to CHRIST and one ANOTHER. (3:26-29)
C. Understanding “IN CHRIST”. (2 Cor 5:17; Rom. 8:1; Col. 2:9-10)
The turning point for everything was when, as Paul wrote to Titus, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11) Jesus showed up. He lived, died, and rose again to bring forgiveness and transformation to those who will trust by faith. Now we can be “in Christ”, but what exactly does that mean?
4. We are children of God through faith. (3:26) What does that mean to our day to day lives? How is that lived out?
5. How connected are you to the other parts of the body “in Christ”? How connected do you feel? Is there a difference and if so, why?
6. What do you think it means to be “in Christ” and why does Paul use that phrase so often?
III. Living in CHRIST in the WORLD. (3:28; Col. 2:9-23)
A. Living INTO what is already TRUE. (3:26; 4:6-7; Col. 2:9-15)
B. From old PRINCIPLES to new REALITY,. (4:3; Col. 2:16-23)
C. Faith is WHERE we STAND… (3:26; Eph. 2:8-9)
D. … and HOW we WALK. (2:19-20; 3:11)
There is so much to see about what it means to be “in Christ”. Paul uses the phrase over and over in His letters to try to get the point across. Something fundamental has changed about everything. We are not who we used to be, and the way we live is radically new and different. It’s all by faith. And it’s important to make sure that we not only understand this, but that we can live it. We are in Christ…and nothing will ever be the same.
7. How many past tense verbs are used in this text? What does that mean from what “has been done” to us and for us?
8. Paul talks about the “basic principles of this world”. What are those? How would you describe them? How is the Kingdom different?
9. Do you see faith and grace as something that gives you “standing” or something that helps you to live? What is the difference?
10.What does is mean “to live by faith”? What does it look like?