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God's Not Mad at You
The prison door is unlocked.

The prison door is unlocked.

JANUARY 11, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / The prison door is unlocked.

Steve Brown:
The prison door is unlocked. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
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.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great weekend. Hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as mine. And the worship was as much fun as our worship was. We’re looking at the fourth chapter and we’re studying and Galatians and we’ve been doing and in a long time and we’re going to do it for a long time yet. We’re up to fourth chapter of Galatians in the first 11 verses. Let me read it to you one more time and then, we’ll pray and then we’ll get down. Paul writes,

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the 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 daughters. And because you are sons, parenthetically and daughters, god has sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God, you are no longer a slave, you’re a son or a daughter, and if a son or a daughter, then you’re an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by their nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather 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? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I’m afraid I’ve labored over you in vain.

I felt that way sometimes as a pastor. You know, people would get grace and rejoice and start getting better. And all of a sudden they turned sour. They start beating people up with Bibles. They start condemning God’s people. God’s gone, God will still love you, but just barely. He’ll break your legs, if you get out of line and then I’d see them slip into the dark. And I wanted to say, and on occasion I did. Are you crazy? You’re going to go back. What, do you think Jesus died for you in vain? Sometimes I think I labored over you in vain, but we’ll get, we’ll get to what Paul was saying, but first let’s pray. Father, we do praise you and we worship you, not only because you’re God and you’re worthy. If you had never done anything for us. You’re still God, but, Oh, we are overwhelmed sometimes with your kindness and your gentleness and your forgiveness and your mercy and your grace and your generosity and your provision and your protection and your correction. And we do praise you. It’s hard for some of us, because this is not a good time. And it’s easier for others of us because it is a good time, but in the good time or the bad time, you’re God. And we praise you for your kindness. And then as always Father, we pray for the one who teaches, forgive him his sins, because there are many, we want to see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright, this is what we’ve been doing. We did it all last week and we’re going to continue most of this week. In this passage that I read to you, the apostle Paul is talking about some really, really good news. And he is suggesting in suggesting what he is suggesting, that these are the things that ought to make you want to dance and sing and laugh and praise God before the throne. And so we’re spending, or spent all last week and a good day deal of this week, just bragging on the Father, using as a guide, the first 11 verses of the fourth chapter of Galatians. And if you were listening last week, we took note that before creation, God made up his mind about you. That ought to make you sing a praise song a little bit louder. And then secondly, we saw that the Father had bent history, created in fact history for you and for me, Galatians 4:2b, Galatians 4:4-5 and as an ancillary check we checked I Corinthians 3:21-23. It’s all about what he’s done for his own, the terrible meek. And then thirdly, we saw that God put legs on his love. Legs on his love smells like Jesus, Galatians 4:4-5.

But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his son, to redeem those who were under the law.

The world is a dark place and his son has come for you, yeah, for me. He knew our name before we were ever born and he created the world, he made up his mind about us. And, I have a friend who wrote a book on the Fall, and she said,

When Adam and Eve bit into the apple and the juices were running down their chin, Jesus prepared to go to Bethlehem.

Oh, if that doesn’t make you, if that doesn’t make you want to praise, then you just aren’t listening. Now, let me show you something else that’s new. I want you to note how the Father unlocked the prison doors for his own, Galatians 4:3.

So with us, when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.

Galatians 4:9b

How can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?

My mother was one of the finest Christians I’ve ever known. Now, when I say that, I know what you’re thinking. That she was like Aunt Bee and always sweet. No she wasn’t, she’d break your face. She was not manipulative or subtle. She would say, son, stop it or I’ll break your face. She also taught me how to cuss, but you know what else she did, she read Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening everyday. And she stayed in the Scriptures and she did stuff, dirt under your fingernails stuff that others didn’t before it was popular. In our today, we all know about the homeless and, you know, we do stuff and we have met, my mother did that before anybody even knew they were there. And one time, one time, she went to a hospital for people that had emotional problems and she decided they weren’t crazy and they were in the wrong place. And so she decided to get them out and I, and they were crazy. I just want you to know that, she, I can remember coming home one day and there’d be somebody sitting on our back stoop, eating a meal, my mother had fixed for them. But she went to this hospital and she literally got a lawyer and got them out, and they all showed up at our house, really weird people and there was one lady that she couldn’t get out. And so my mother went through all kinds of stuff, talking to lawyers and working to get this lady out. And she finally did. And you know what that lady did? She worshiped at my mother, she thought my mother was the most wonderful woman on the face of the earth, until the day my mother died, that woman praise my mother and would do anything for her, would do anything, because she had been set free. And my mother had been the instrument by which she had been set free. Now that’s a good illustration, and if I have to apply it, you haven’t been listening. That’s what Jesus has done. He’s opened the prison door. He didn’t have to get a lawyer, he, was our lawyer, or our advocate. We are now free, but we still live in the prisons. I told you last week that Zach and I have been recording some material from a Born Free Seminar that we taught for years around the country. And it starts with a list of 12 prisons, like the prison of sin and guilt and shame and debasement and fear and gurus and all of that. The point is, you don’t have to stay there, go try the door. The door is unlocked. So it has not just to do with your salvation, but your freedom. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, resuming his exploration of Galatians. And of course, we’re now up to chapter four, but if you missed any of Steve’s prior teachings, remember you can visit us anytime at the all-new keylife.org to catch those episodes. Well, we are now headed toward the middle of January and all those awesome Christmas gifts, man, they are way back in the rear view mirror. But you know what? There are other gifts you can look forward to receiving, seriously. It’s something we call the Key Life CD Family. Basically, it’s just a group of folks who get two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. These CDs are from talks at various events where Steve speaks throughout the year. Usually this is audio that hasn’t been heard anywhere else previously. So get in on this right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You could also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CDs. By mail, send your request to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, mail us at

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Just ask for the free CDs from Steve. Well, as you know, our mission here at Key Life is to share the message of God’s radical grace to sinners and suffers. And you can help us with that mission through your giving. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or now you can simply text Key Life to 28950 on your smartphone. Just text Key Life, one word, two words, doesn’t matter to 28950. 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.

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