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Threats To Christian Freedom: Legalism, Part 7

Threats To Christian Freedom: Legalism

Part 7

 

Text: Galatians 5:2-12

 

Introduction/Review:

 

What is a Christian?

 

I.       Paul warns against the destructive consequences of Legalistic doctrine (vv. 2-6).

 

A.       Christ will be of no benefit in the final judgment. v. 2

 

B.       Become a debtor to God’s Law. v. 3

 

C.       Severed from Christ, v. 4

 

Lesson:

 

1. A true Christian lives by the Spirit. v. 5a

 

2. A true Christian lives by faith. v. 5b

 

What is faith?

 

“A firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence (goodwill-J.F.) towards us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (John Calvin, Institutes, 3.2.7.).

 

3. A true Christian lives with hope. v. 5c

 

What is hope?

 

“…received the first fruits of the Spirit; and the mortification of our flesh has begun. But we are not yet perfectly righteous. Our being justified perfectly still remains to be seen, and this is what we hope for. Thus our righteousness does not yet exist in fact, but it still exists in hope” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 27, p. 21).

 

Reflection:

 

A Christian is:

One who lives through the Spirit (rather than the flesh) by faith (rather than works) with hope (rather than fear and uncertainty).

 

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God… 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience” (Roman 8:18-25).

 

© John Fonville

Permissions: Permission is happily granted to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not revise the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on Paramount's website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by John Fonville.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Fonville.

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