If you’re free, for God’s sake, stay that way.
DECEMBER 14, 2020
If you’re free, for God’s sake, stay that way. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering, that grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great weekend. I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we are studying the book of Galatians. If I was going to be exiled to an island somewhere and got the choice of one Bible book, it would be Romans, but if they gave me two, the other one would be Galatians. Well, now that I think about it, that’s like asking a father, which of his children he likes the best. I’d want to be sure, and take one of the gospel stories with me. And listen, how could I understand that without the Old Testament? Oh man, this’ll drive you nuts, but Galatians would, I would certainly want, to remind me over and over again of the gospel. And that’s what this book does. And we’re taking our time to go through it. If you have a Bible, we are up to the fourth chapter of Galatians and this week, and probably into the next week, we’re going to spend some time looking at the first few verses of that fourth chapter. Before we do that, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence and we’re reminded that you wrote it down. If you hadn’t written it down, we probably would have gotten it wrong. But you did, and you spoke through the prophets and the apostles, through your servants in their words, overseeing every word, so that we might grow, so that we might understand, so that we might see you and praise you and worship you. So we’re thankful for the Scriptures. We’re thankful you’re for your faithfulness in our lives. We’re thankful for your love, for your forgiveness, for your kindness, for your gentleness. You are God, and you are our father and you’re good and you’re good all the time. Father, people are listening to this broadcast right now, and they don’t feel very good. It’s a hard place, and I just lift them before you and ask that you would come as the comforter and remind them of your sufficiency and your presence and your promise. And there are others of us who are doing quite well, thank you. Remind us to be grateful and remind us that you’re the God of our laughter too. And then father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. This is what Paul writes in the first 11 verses of the fourth chapter of Galatians.
He just said that we are heirs in the last verse of the third chapter. And then he says,
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of the whole estate, but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us, when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons and daughters, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you were no longer a slave, you are a son and parenthetically a daughter, and if a son or a daughter, then an heir of all things. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits whose slaves you want,to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I’m afraid I have labored over you in vain.
Oh my. What we’re going to do most of the time as we go through this text is that we’re going to do some bragging, and we’re not going to brag about the church or I’m not gonna brag about me nor allow you to brag about you. We’re gonna brag on the Father, and that’s called worship and praise. And we’ll get into that, but I’m gonna, I’m going to go down some side roads before we do that kind of thing. And the first thing I want you to note in the words I just read to you, is the particular and peculiar proclivity of believers to return to their past slavery, look at Galatians 4:9.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elementary spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?
Or parenthetically, are you a fruit cake? Is there something wrong with you? Paul is pointing to something that all of us have experienced. I submit that is one of the most surprising statements in all of scripture. Do you see what Paul is saying about the Galatians? He’s saying that these good folks are masochists, that they like punishment, that they want to go back into the same slavery from which they have been freed. Listen, if you’re free, for God’s sake, and by God’s grace, heavens, stay free. Think I told you, but one time I was teaching for a conference in North Carolina, and I had been teaching on the anger of God, that most Christians think that God’s angry at them, because he knows their secrets, and he does. And, I’d said that he will never be angry at you again, God’s not angry at you, I said, and you’ve heard me say it a thousand times, he’s not. Because we have been, clothed, it’s called imputation, imputing of God’s righteousness of Christ’s righteousness to our account. Silver clothing, the righteousness of Christ whenever we come before God. And God won’t ever be angry at his only begotten son, and he won’t ever be angry at us because we’re clothed in his righteousness. It’s a wonderful and freeing statement that he don’t look angry at all. It really is. Now it applies to Christians. It doesn’t apply to the world. The wrath of God is poured out on unbelief. But if you’re a Christian, you’re good to go. If you’re a Christian, you’re forgiven. And you say, well, yeah, but what about no, no, no, no, that’s it. There are no kickers, you’re forgiven. You’re acceptable. You’re clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God will never be angry at you, again. His wrath was poured out on his son, because his son bore every sin you ever committed, every failure you ever did, every time you hurt somebody, every lust you’ve ever had, every, it goes on, it’s, you’re forgiven. There’s no, there’s no kicker. God is not angry at you. So that’s what I was saying. And, you know, that’s a major theme at Key Life, and a major theme in my own teaching at Key Life. A guy during the Q & A session raised his hand. And so I called on him, you know, I thought he was going to ask a question. He said, I just want you to know that I think God is angry and I’m glad he is. I said, what? I said, sir, there’s something wrong with you. You’re bent. Why do you say something like that? He said, well, let me explain. He said, if God weren’t angry at me, I’d do some really bad things. And the fact that he is angry at me, when I do keeps me from doing bad things. And I said, you know, I appreciate what you just said, but it’s not going to work. I mean, it really isn’t. If you think you’re going to get better by being afraid of God, eventually you’re going to get worse and worse and worse and, and, and it just doesn’t work. That’s true. The way to holiness is the recognition that God won’t be angry at you again. And it’s in the response to that, that we get better. It’s in response to that, that God’s spirit works in us. And more than anything we want to please God, I’ve said it a thousand times. I’m not, boy do I have a ways to go. Boy, when I talk about sinners, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about me, but listen to me. And this is absolutely true. And you can hang you’re hat on it. You never met a man, who wants to please God more than I do. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Steve Brown there, guiding us into Galatians 4 today, taking a look at verses one through 11, and Paul’s admonition to not return to the slavery that we once knew. We have barely scratched the surface on this text. So, be sure to join us again tomorrow and we will dive right back in. So, is it just me in the midst of the stress of the holidays? I find the time driving in the car can actually be a little bit of a sanctuary or it can be if you use the time correctly. Right? Well, with that in mind, I want to tell you about a gift we’d like to give you. It’s a CD with six audio devotions from Steve on the real meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ. Scripture and devotional questions, follow each of those six messages. Get your free copy of the CD by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org to ask for the CD. By mail, send your request to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re Canada mail us at
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for the Christmas meditation CD. Finally, if you are able, would you please give to support the mission of Key Life? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope, or if you prefer, you can now just text Key Life to 28950, in less time than it takes to write a check, you’ll be all set up, and after that giving is a snap. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.