Become As I Am!, Part 1
Become As I Am!
Text: Galatians 4:12-20
March 20, 2011
Properly understanding and distinguishing the relationship of the Bible’s imperatives (i.e., the things we are commanded to be/do, 4:12; 5:1, 13, 16) to the Bible’s indicatives (i.e., the things that are already a fact; we are justified through faith in Christ, 2:16; we are sons of Abraham, 3:7; we are redeemed from the curse of the law, 3:13; 4:4; we are no longer under the Law as covenant of life, 3:25; we are adopted sons, 4:5; we are recipients of the Spirit, 3:5, 14; 4:6) is critical.
“The life and ministry of the local church needs to be self-consciously gospel-centered if it is to maintain any kind of effectiveness for the kingdom of God” (Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 129).
As we come to v. 12, how are we to understand and obey Paul’s imperative (call to action), “Become as I am?”
“We need the assurance that he accepts us as his children and supports us so compassionately that he approves of what we do, though it is worthless, because of the fatherly love he bears us. If we do not have this assurance, the thought of serving God will make us grind our teeth. If, however, we are persuaded that God looks upon us favourably; if, though we are weak and can do nothing worthy of his approval, he accepts us in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we will surely be filled with courage. We will be like a ship’s sail that has been stretched and filled by the breeze! Thus, our hearts will run to obey him, like a ship driven along by its sail, when we know that God delights in us and accepts our works, not wanting us to be compelled into servitude. He is happy for us to be his children, and that we desire to obey him. Knowing this, we can serve our God with all the more zeal. With his grace as our foundation, we are so filled with his joy that we can offer the sacrifice of praise. Likewise, having sought him in prayer, we can know that he will answer us and, in return, we can thank him for the priceless gifts that he communicates to us every day,” (John Calvin, "Absolved Only Through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ").
© John Fonville
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