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Living By The Gospel     Gal. 3:26-29; 4:8-20     June 21, 2009


       We do not see enough examples of people throughout society Living By The Gospel. I really believe positive examples will make a difference.


1.   Live By The Gospel; Because Of Your . . Inheritance. 3:26-29

       A.   An Inheritance . . Demonstrated At Baptism. 3:26-27

            26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


       B.   An Inheritance . . Declared By Faith Before Baptism. 3:28-29

              28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise.

       What do you do for an inheritance? An inheritance is not earned but comes as the result of a relationship.

Grace is not earned or a result of works, it is the gift of God. As a child many of us have or will receive an inheritance from our parents because we are children. Christians demonstrate they have an inheritance by following the Lord in believer’s baptism. We were baptized to demonstrate we are the children of God not to become a child of God. Jesus came to seek and to save! Do you realize Jesus never baptized anyone? If baptism saves a person and He came to seek and save; why didn’t He baptize? The obvious conclusion supported by the bulk of scripture is that baptism does not save, but faith in Christ does. Our inheritance is declared before baptism because faith in Jesus places you in His family. Baptism declares to all you are a child of God.


2.   Live By The Gospel; Because of Your . . Independence. 4:8-11

       A.   An Independence From . . False Gods. 4:8-9

              8 But in the past, when you didn't know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods.   9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you
        turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?


       B.   An Independence From . . Fearful Thoughts. 4:10-11

              10 You observe special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.

       More mature believers know the Lord gives an independence from false god. Some come to Christ out of a pagan or Satanic background; receiving Christ gives them an independence and freedom. This independence frees one from fearful thoughts. Someone emphasized all kinds of rules and regulations on these new believers and Paul was fearful for them because this did not emphasize the grace of God but the works of man.


3.   Live By The Gospel; In Order To . . Imitate Paul. 4:12-16

       A.   An Imitation Of Paul’s . . Example. 4:12-14

              12 I beg you, brothers: become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me;   13 you know that previously I preached the gospel to you in physical weakness,
        14 and though my physical condition was a trial for you, you did not despise or reject me. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.


       B.   An Imitation Of Paul’s . . Earlier Fellowship. 4:15-16

              15 What happened to this blessedness of yours? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling
        you the truth?

       Would you asked new Christians to become like you? Is that wrong for Paul? No! He imitated Christ!

Paul gave a good example and any who followed him became more like Christ. I have told churches if they witnessed as much as I do, and if they gave as faithfully as I do our church would be more affective in our example. Now some of the membership challenges me with their faithfulness and I am very pleased with their example. Is the example we set forth worthy of imitation? The earlier fellowship between Paul and the Galatians was certainly worthy of the Christian name.


4.   Live By The Gospel In Order To Form An . . Image Of Christ. 4:17-20 

       A.   The . . Sincere Image Of Christ. 4:17-18

              17 They are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them. 18 Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good
        —and not just when I am with you.


       B.   The . . Suitable Image Of Christ. 4:19-20

              19 My children, again I am in the pains of childbirth for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I'd like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don't know what to do about you.



       Paul accused the Judaizers in Galatia of selfish interest. Paul wanted them to be more like Christ. He said he was in the process of child birth with them so Christ would be completely formed in them. The process of Christian growth is somewhat different for every believer but the opposition in Galatia certainly increased the effort Paul needed to expend. For them to really be Living By The Gospel Paul needed to invest more correct teaching into all the information they were giving. Amen? Amen!