Freedom the book of Galatians Part 1: Living in the Tree of Life
HISTORY OF GALATIANS
- Written by the Apostle Paul – He was a church planter.a
- His vision and mission was to bring the Gospel to the non Jewish (Gentile) community.
- Paul was through Galatia on all three missionary journeys.
- Went to the area that we know as modern day Turkey
- He would write letters – “Epistles” to the churches where he had been.
- Some books were written to a certain person – like Timothy. Others to the churches.
- This letter was not written to one specific church but to the “churches of Galatia.”
- The books he wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit were focused on solid doctrine and teaching on how to live the Christian life.
- The purpose of this letter was to tackle some challenges that had developed after Paul left and some of the (Jewish) Christians from Jerusalem had come to the region and had began to teach about the works of the law.
- They were attempting to get the gentiles (non Jews) to practice some of the Jewish traditions, and observing special days, months, seasons, and holidays,
- One of the main ones being circumcision.
Refer to (Galatians 1:1-5)
Refer to (Galatians 1:6-7)
- The Jewish Christians had been circumcised on the 8th day – they came to these new Christians in the region of Galatia and were attempting to convince them that in order to be “in this Christian club” – you have to be circumcised.
- Now remember – Jewish law had the baby’s circumcised on the 8th They were babies and don’t remember it! Now they are telling GROWN men – We need to do surgery on your man parts!!!
- In Acts 15 – They actually had a debate in Jerusalem on the subject!
- What was happening THEN – that happens still happens TODAY: People were finding FREEDOM and victory in the GRACE of God and this new found faith in Jesus.
- Then RELIGION attempts to creep back in and put people who have been set free from SIN and put them into a religious bondage of guilt and works.
Galatians 1:7b Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
- This is what we want to talk about today.
- It is easy to turn what Jesus has done for us but what WE can do for ourselves.
- Turns into dead religion.
- One is based on rules = RELIGION (Man’s attempt to get to God)
- One is based on a relationship. You have fallen in love with Jesus who has decided to “pay
- Someone has to pay for your sins – you? Or allow Jesus?
- It’s very easy to go back into this “other Gospel.”
- Paul then challenges their MOTIVES in verse 10
Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
How am I going to become godly?
What is going to be my approach to godliness?
Even in Christianity we can get messed up and pervert the Gospel.
This message is SO foundational it shows up in the first story of the Bible!
NOTE: This question is foundational. The devil appealed how to be “Godly” to Eve.
Refer to (Genesis Chapter 2)
(Genesis 2:8-9) Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- There were two trees
- 2nd one was the choice to eat from the knowledge of good”
- Look at Verse 16 & 17
(Genesis 2:16-17) And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
(Genesis 3:1-7) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Watch what the devil says next. You heard it wrong! It’s not true! Attempting to pull her from the TRUTH of God’s Word.
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be LIKE God, knowing good and evil.”
- The devil did not appeal to her desire to be rebellious or SINFUL!
- He appealed to her desire to be GODLY. To be like God!!
- “My way is better.”
- “You’ll know good from evil” “And you can control your own godliness.”
- Eve buys into the LIE…
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
- What was the result? Loss of innocence and shame!
Let me explain it three different ways to bring some clarity on this subject!
One focuses on what you do.
Example: Not thinking about what you read in the Bible, but how many chapters you read. Or how long you have been going to church. “I pray every morning”.
The goal is what YOU do
One focuses on what Jesus has done.
When I read my Bible I’m not focused on HOW MUCH I have read, but how much of Jesus I can find!“
Lord I’m looking for you and how to get closer to you!”
(John 5:39-40) You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
Example: Not to read the Bible, but to EXPERIENCE the Bible
OUR GOAL is to get close to Jesus!
One focuses on getting God’s approval.
Gallup Pole did a study – Found that America has different views of God based upon geographically.
In the south – They believe God is mad at you and hard to please.
You don’t need to GET God’s approval, He loves you.
One focuses on receiving God’s love.
God already knows your sin life, and He still loves you. Don’t confuse the fact that He does not like your sin, but He LOVES you.
Your view of God, will determine your relationship with God.
How you SEE Him will determine how you interact with Him!
EX: Some of you came into service today and during our time of worship you held back. You didn’t sing, clap, or lift your hands because you sinned this week or even this morning and YOU THINK God is MAD at you . . . “So I better keep my distance!”
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He didn’t wait for you to change to start loving you! He started loving you so you could change!!
You don’t have to get your act together to get God, you get to God to get your act together.
See the difference???
He wants you to come as close as you can.
1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.
You have to decide which TREE you are going to eat from?? Tree of Life? Tree of religion and works?
One focuses on external duty.
One focuses on internal desire.
It’s a delight to serve God
We don’t do it because we WANT to not because we HAVE to.
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
Oh yes they are —-if you’re not in love with God!!!!
That Bible will be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life!
If you’re in love with God —- it’s the greatest JOY of your life to do what is written there.
Everything changes because of LOVE.
We all have to ask ourselves — are we serving out of duty or out of DELIGHT?
1 Jon 5: 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
His commands are not burdensome, when you are IN LOVE with God.
How do I eat form the “right” tree?? How to eat from the tree of life everyday.
Our goal is to live and eat from the living Tree of Life!
LIVING IN THE TREE OF LIFE
- Fall in love with Jesus
- How do I fall in love?
- Two things make me fall in love with Jesus.
- 1) Who He is (love). . .
- 2) What He has done!
- How do I fall in love?
- Nobody else has ever volunteered to pay for my sin!
I am grateful for the gift of life and FREEDOM Jesus has given to me.
We don’t need you being religious in here, we need you in love.
John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
- For years I read this from the wrong tree. Here is how I read it: “If you love me you’ll prove to me that you love me by being a good person and doing what I told you to do.”
- FROM THE TREE OF LIFE: “If you love me . . . YOU WILL.”
- You’ll want to!!
- This verse dose not mean you wake up every morning and slap your wrist that you need to be good and don’t sin.
QUESTION – Which side of the comma are you living on?? The LOVE side or the OBEY side?
Too many people start on the command side – thinking that will cause God to love them.
WAKE UP- The devil’s goal is to separate you from God!!!
- Don’t allow condemnation.
- The devil works overtime to condemn you
- The temptation will be to go back into performance based religion.
- And what you need to do is come back into a deep relationship with Jesus.
Best way to identify which TREE you are living in??? Is based upon how you view other people’s sin.
Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Here is the KEY . . .
- Make the choice every day.
- I’m going to seek you God every day!
Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.