Today’s sermon is based on Galatians 5:16-18.
St Paul is coming in for a landing relative to his arguments against those trying to convince the Galatian believers they needed to perform certain acts, duties, works, in order to be certain their status with God was secure. It is in Chapters 5 and 6 that St Paul brings in “the cross”. What exactly is “the offense of the cross”? Pastor Taylor addresses that question in this sermon.
In Galatians chapter 5, St Paul is ‘coming in for a landing’ with his arguments about the covenant of grace vs earning God’s favor by performance or merit. Pastor Taylor points out that verse one of this chapter begins with the word “Freedom”! And then Paul explains what that freedom Christ as actually bestowed on his followers.
St Paul turns several events of Genesis to make his case that the gospel of Jesus Christ is actually the fulfillment of the covenant of grace; that promised to Abraham; as opposed to the covenant of the law under which the Israelites lived for millennial.
In Galatians chapter 4 St Paul expresses some of his personal heart, his pastoral heart. And his focus is on the seeming inclination of the Galatians reverting to Jewish traditions, rules and laws. The gospel which Paul has preached is one of “freedom” to live in obedience to God; this opposed to being a slave to certain rules, practices and holy days. All, which St Paul says, are unable to make us right with God.
St Paul uses the analogy of adoption from a Roman perspective; not Jewish perspective, in Galatians 4. Why does he talk about adoption? What is it? How can we know we are adopted? Makes for a very packed-full sermon!
Pastor Taylor suggests in his sermon that Galatians 3:23-29 can be understood by asking and answering three questions: 1) When is the promised salvation of the Lord coming? 2) Where is this salvation to be found? And 3) Who is this salvation for? Is it for anyone?
St Paul, in Galatians 3 now asks the obvious question: If keeping “the Law” doesn’t make people right with God, why did God give the Law? It doesn’t seem as if it is really necessary, so why did God go to the trouble- and humanity have to deal with it -give the Law to his people? This is the subject of Pastor Taylor’s sermon.