The Road to Faith

The Road to Faith

Scripture: Galatians 3:22, Galatians 3:21-25, Romans 3:9-19
Date: 08/12/2017  Lesson: 7
"The law was given to point sinners to their need of Christ. As a custodian, it provides instruction about God and protection from evil."

Faith and Works by Ellen White

Faith and Works by Ellen White
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Hello friends, and welcome to Sabbath school study hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church near Sacramento, California. We'd like to welcome our online members and also those watching on the various television networks and online and, also, of course, the members and the visitors right here at the Granite Bay church. Good to see you here this morning. Well, our lesson study for this quarter is on the book of Galatians. Our lesson quarterly is called the Gospel in Galatians.

Today we find ourselves about halfway through our study - lesson #7 - and the title for our study today is the road to faith. Now, for those of you who are watching, if you don't have a copy of our study for today, you can download lesson #7 just by going to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.org and you can study along with us. We also have a free offer that goes along with our study for today. It is an Amazing Facts study guide that you can receive for free simply by calling our resource phone number. It's written in stone - is the name of the study guide - the number to call is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #111.

That number, again, is 866-788-3966. Ask for the study guide #111 or ask by name - written in stone - we'll be happy to send this to anybody who calls and asks. Well, before we get to our study, as we normally do, we like to lift our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to join me on stage. (Light piano music) thank you, Pastor Ross.

We're glad to be here to sing songs with you, those of you here and those of you around the world. We're going to start with #602 - o brother be faithful - #602 and we're going to do the first, second, and fourth stanzas. Thank you so much for singing along with us and, at this time, Pastor Ross will have our opening prayer. Let us bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father, once again, thank you for the privilege of being able to gather in your presence on this, the Sabbath, to open up Your Word and study together.

And today, as we talk about the importance of faith and how we can exercise faith in our day-by-day life, we ask for the Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. Thank you, Pastor Ross, and welcome, friends, to granite bay. I want to welcome those who joined us for our Sabbath School Study Hour. We know that we've got people all over the world - we meet them everywhere - many are in other english-speaking countries - you know, we can look at a map and see, from the responses that we get, where people are watching.

And, of course, number one is North America and then we have, I think, great britain, Canada - these aren't in exact sequence, but not too far off - south africa, india, a lot in jamaica - it's amazing - and, you know, you go to just about every other english-speaking place but, then, it's the middle east, the Philippines - of course english is a second language there - south America and just all over the world we get responses. So we want to welcome our friends. It's always humbling to think how many people are able to join us in our little study here. Again, as Pastor Ross said, 'we're continuing in our study on Galatians and today we're in Galatians chapter - we're in chapter 3, but we're in lesson #7 - the road to faith. Maybe I should just get a little preface here: we do thirteen weeks of Sabbath school study.

There are sixteen chapters in Galatians. That means there is some overlap as we go from week to week and so, you know, you can understand that. Our memory verse today is from Galatians 2 - I'm sorry, Galatians 3, verse 22 - this is from the new king James version - you can read it right out of your quarterly. I invite you to say it with me - Galatians 3, verse 22 - you ready? "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promises by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." Of course, the Scripture tells us all have sinned - we're all consigned under sin - so anybody's saved. Jew - gentile - we're all saved by faith.

Amen. And so, he's emphasizing that here. Now, in the beginning of the lesson it tells an interesting story. Homing pigeons have the ability to, of course, find home. I think I told you an illustration a few weeks ago that the arabs, years ago, before they had gps and even a compass, when they would be in the desert, sometimes there would be days of sandstorm where they could not tell which direction was the way home.

And the sun was blocked out and all they could see was this brown haze in every direction and they didn't know which way to go. There was no paths, it's trackless desert, and they would often keep a dove or homing pigeon with them - you know, doves and pigeons - pretty much the same bird - and they would release it with a string tied to it and it would circle a minute and then it would begin to fly in the direction of home and they could almost always trust it. But in the lesson they said that even homing pigeons can sometimes get their wires crossed and it talks about one time in england that, for some reason they used to, you know, breed and keep all these homing pigeons there - 20,000 birds were released and never came back. They got lost. They were wondering if it had something to do with solar flares that affect the magnetic fields around the earth during that time.

And so, sometimes we can get mixed up about finding our way home. And so, here he's talking about the road to faith and if you can't trust a compass and you can't trust the dove, you can always trust the Bible, amen? Amen. The law and the promise - now, one of the reasons that people get mixed up is there are some verses in the Bible that, read out of context or by themselves could lead a person to believe that somehow we work our way to the Kingdom. I've got a few examples of those here. Oh, you know what I want to do first before I get to that? I want to just read through our assignment.

Go with me to Galatians chapter - let me tell you the verses we're going to try and cover today. I think the lessons have verses through 26, but I'm going to go ahead and read all the way to the end of the chapter, just for continuity. So, if you start with Galatians chapter 3 and I'll start with verse 19. So here's what we're going to try to tackle today - these verses, "what purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." That, of course, is one of the most important parts there - right there at the end. If you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed.

So just to review - we always have people tuning in that maybe didn't hear it before and then there are people who maybe haven't been part of this study. Paul, in writing to the Galatians is dealing with a specific problem. You've got Jewish believers in Jesus who were telling the gentiles who had turned to Jesus that they now needed to keep all the mosaic laws to be forgiven. They needed to keep the law of circumcision. They needed to keep the laws of - regarding the feasts.

Circumcision is the principal law. Many have used the things that Paul says in Galatians to try to say we are not under the law now and so that means we don't need to keep the Sabbath. The Ten Commandments are really never the issue. There was no debate between the jews and the gentiles - whether or not they needed to keep the Ten Commandments, the big debate was talking about, specifically, the ceremonial laws. There was no debate dealing with the moral law.

There was no debate dealing with the civil law. There was no debate dealing with the health laws. It had to do with the laws that principally dealt with the sacrifice of lambs, circumcision - like once you have Jesus, do you need to kill a lamb for the passover? But Paul continued to go the passovers because it says he became a jew that he might reach the jews. He became all things to all men that, by some means, he might reach some for Christ. And don't we all do that? When you visit people, don't you try to find common ground so you can talk to them? Whenever I start a conversation with somebody I try and find out - they use this acronym when they teach evangelism - fort - f-o-r-t - some guidelines for conversation - f - family; o - occupation; r - religion; t - testimony.

When you're sitting in a person's house and you're looking for common ground to talk to them, ask them about their family. Say, 'oh, those pictures on the wall, are those your family?' Or, you know - and people are always happy to talk about their family, that usually draws them out. 'And what do you do?' I'm on a airplane, sometimes you're flying along and 'where are you going? What do you do?' And the you - I - if - I tell you, no matter what a person says, I try to find some way to identify. They say, 'well, I'm a brain surgeon.' I said, 'oh, I've got a brain.' (Laughter) try and find some common ground, you know, that you can talk to them about. And so, then - and then you have - f-o-r - religion - and that's a little more delicate - 'do you go to church somewhere?' 'What do you believe?' And then testimony - you show your personal testimony.

And that usually opens the door into spiritual things. Or they just may lift the paper up and say, 'I'm done talking.' And so you do what you can. But Paul would try to become all things to all men that he might reach some for Christ. Now, why did they misunderstand? A couple of verses - and these are in your lesson - someone's going to read for me, in a moment, Deuteronomy 6:25. You'll have that, hafdis? Okay, before you get to that, I'm going to read Leviticus 18:5 - notice this - it says in Leviticus 18:5, "you shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.

" Oh, there you have it. Keep the law and you live. Salvation by works. Could you see how some people, on an elementary basis, might read that and get the idea 'keep my statutes and you'll live'? Here's another one: Ezekiel 20:11, "and I gave them my statutes and showed them my judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.'" There you have it again - do the law and live. And so they would read some of these and they'd say, 'oh, yeah, obedience is the means of salvation.

' Well, does God want us to obey? Yes. If we truly obey, will we be saved? I gave you a very important qualifying word - 'if we truly obey' - yeah. Will truly obeying include faith? Okay. So, of course, if you truly obey - if you're obeying the truth you will be saved. But are we saved because we principally keep the law? No.

Did the people who crucified Jesus run home and keep the Sabbath? Well they tried, but can you really keep the Sabbath after you crucify the Savior? You're obviously not keeping the Spirit of the law, right? And so, they were trying to keep the law outwardly and Paul says it's not through outward obedience, it's through faith we're saved. Alright, hafdis, you have another example. Go ahead and read yours. "Then it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God as he has commanded us." Well, now, that seems pretty plain. How do we get righteousness? By keeping the commandments.

Well, if we're keeping the commandments, if you're truly keeping the commandments, it will be done by the power of faith because you cannot really keep the law unless you love. You cannot really keep the law unless you trust. And so it will always go back to starting with faith, but they're making a basic statement. When you're teaching children why they're not supposed to stick the paper clip inside the outlet, can they understand all the ramifications of electrons and electricity? No. They can understand 'don't do that and you will live.

' And so, sometimes when you're talking to children you speak on an elementary basis. Well, God made some pretty basic statements in here. Here's another one - Deuteronomy :13, "you shall in any case return the pledge to him again when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his own garment and bless you; and it shall be righteousness to you before the Lord your God." God said, 'look, if you do the right thing it's righteousness.' It doesn't mean we are saved by our works, he's just saying it's the right thing. Back then, just to give you the context, when someone made a pledge to you, they would maybe give you their coat or their mantle - some outer garment or something - and it was security. A lot of people, back then, had one garment.

Matter of fact, some bills were paid in garments. How many of you remember, in the story of Samson, that he made a bet with the philistines and he said, 'if I win you've got to give me so many garments.' And when he lost, he had to go pay them in garments. And he actually killed some philistines and took their garments and paid them. But - so a garment was like a pledge, but it said, 'if this poor person gives you their garment as a pledge, give it back to them before the sun goes down, lest they shiver all night long and it will be righteousness for you.' It's the right thing to do. You see what he's saying here? He's not saying you're saved because you've done that, it means your heart's in the right place if you've done that.

But, as Paul was going through asia and teaching - we're studying the book of galatia - including galatia in the book of Galatians, notice what the common accusation was that was made against Paul. Look, for instance, in acts 21, verse 20, "and when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, 'you see, brother, how many myriads of jews there are who have believed,'" - all the many, many jews have believed in Jesus - "'and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed'" - they've heard - "'about you that you teach all the jews who are among the gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.'" Alright, what was the rumor that was circulating about Paul? That he was teaching the gentiles not to obey the law? Did you catch that? See, you didn't turn - look it up - that you're teaching the jews - did Paul teach the gentiles not to obey the laws? He did teach them you don't have to be circumcised. Did he teach the jews that? No. And see, this was the rumor that was going around.

He says, 'you're teaching all the jews, among the gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying they ought not circumcise their children or walk according to the customs.' Another example: when Paul was in the temple and they finally arrested him, they nearly tore him limb from limb. This mob found him in the temple. Someone cried out, 'help! Men of Israel! This is the one who is perverting our religion all through asia!' And there was a big mob and they got all excited and listen to what they said - acts 21, verse 28, "crying out, 'men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere'" - jew and gentile - "'against the people,'" - meaning the Jewish people - "'the law, and this place;'" - the temple - "'and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.'" - Which Paul says, 'I had not done.' They saw him walking through the city earlier with a Greek and they thought that he had smuggled him in. You know, I understand that the ancient city of petra - any of you been to Israel? Any of you been to petra? Bonnie and ed - I've been there - I went with bonnie and ed. It's a city that was hidden.

It's the capital for the edomites - the nabateans - for many years, and they - it was occupied by muslims after the edomites died out - and no muslim was allowed - I'm sorry, no non-muslim was allowed in. It's like mecca - not too many non-muslims have managed to sneak into mecca when they have their great hajj and they do their pilgrimage, but a few have and they've taken pictures of when they all go rotating around that stone in the middle. But this one man, he was a european but he spoke perfect arabic. He did go into petra and he found the city that had been lost to the western world for ages. Well, gentiles were not supposed to go in - non-believers were not supposed to go into the temple.

And so they accused Paul of this. But you can see Paul had gotten a reputation that he had been teaching jews not to believe the customs and not to circumcise, and he was trying to abolish the law. What did Jesus say? 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets. I'm not come to destroy, but fulfill.' So the only laws that Paul was teaching against - it was not the health law, it was not the civil law, it was not the social law. Let me give you an example: Moses said, 'if you spot your neighbor's donkey has escaped from the barn, he's wandering down the road, you will take your neighbor's donkey and bring it back to him - even if he's your enemy.

' Now, when Jesus died on the cross, we're no longer obligated to follow that. Your neighbor's dog gets out of their yard and he's running down the street with his leash on, you know he doesn't bite but you're still not going to take your neighbor's dog back because you're no longer under the law, you're under grace. And that was written by Moses. Do we still keep that law? Yeah, that's just good common sense, right? So those laws were not issues. Once Jesus died on the cross it doesn't matter whether or not you eat skunk or cockroaches - 'you can eat anything you want now, just pray over it.

Matter of fact, you can eat banana splits three times a day because God'll bless it, right? It doesn't matter what goes in the mouth.' You all know that's foolishness to say it doesn't matter what you eat - sure it does. So Jesus didn't die to abolish that law. The laws were the ceremonial laws that pointed to Christ. They were - and I'm getting ahead of myself - the school masters that brought us to him. Amen.

Now, one reason we know that it was really God that gives life - life does not come from the law - let me just give you a few verses on that. Kings 5:7 - you remember when naaman sent a messenger to the King of Israel and the King of Israel read the letter - 2 Kings 5:7 - he tore his clothes - he said, "am I God, to kill and make alive...?" See, even in the old testament, did they believe that God could make alive? Had Elijah resurrected a boy? Yeah. And, during the time of Elisha, he made alive. And, even when Elisha died, they buried someone on his bones and he came alive. Look in psalm 32 - where did forgiveness come from? From obedience? Psalm 32:1 and 2, "blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." They knew that salvation came by the grace of God through faith - through his blessing. Alright, so I think we've established that. Now go to the next section here where we just talked about the law - the promise. Under the law - kept under the law - what does that mean? Alright, take a deep breath. Something very important I want you to notice: as you're reading through Galatians you're going to find the words 'we' and 'you'.

What does Paul mean when he says 'we'? And what does Paul mean when he says 'you'? Let me read you a few verses here. Galatians 3:23, "but before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed." Who does he mean by 'we'? Talking about the jews. And then you go to Galatians :15 he says, "we who are jews by nature, and not sinners of the gentiles," - so when he says 'we', he's talking about the jews. Is that clear? But now look in Galatians chapter 3, verse 26, "for you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ." He's writing to the gentiles now. And so, he realizes that there's a distinction between the jew and the gentile but he's saying, through Christ, we all have equal access.

Now, with this as a background, I'm going to read through a Scripture - there are people who have been studying this lesson on Galatians and they've been waiting for the moment when we get to Galatians 3:28, because this is a verse that - it's a very important verse, full of wonderful promises - often misunderstood - often abused. But let's read it now. Galatians - I'm going to read verses 26 through the rest of the chapter - Galatians 3:26, "for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." - He's talking about the gentiles who have been baptized - who have accepted Christ - you "have put on Christ. There is neither jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." So the emphasis of what Paul is saying here is that, through Christ, we are brought together. Let me give you another example of what he's saying. Go to Ephesians - we'll back up and look at that verse again. Go to Ephesians chapter 2, verse 14. Paul had the same issue with the Ephesians; he's trying to make it clear - Ephesians 2:14, "for he himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down" - both of what? The jew and the gentile - "and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances," - what laws were done away with? The commandments contained in ordinances.

Is that clear? Say 'amen'. Amen. "So as to create in himself one new man from the two, thus making peace," - and he's even talking about oneness and our being joined to God - "...thus making peace, that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And he came and preached peace to you" - the gentiles - "who were afar off and to those who were near. For through him we both have access by one spirit to the father.

" So the message of Galatians chapter 3, verse 28, is that it doesn't matter whether you are a jew or a Greek, a slave or free, a male or a female, we all have equal access to God through Christ. We all have equal value to God through Christ. Okay? "For through him we both have access by one spirit to The Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners," - these gentiles who were called strangers and foreigners - "but fellow citizens with the saints" - meaning with the jews - "and members of the household of God," - and so that's pretty clear. Now I'm going to go back again; I want to read Galatians chapter , verses 26 through, well, mostly 28.

It says, "there is neither jew nor Greek...neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Alright, now, did Paul mean - let's look at this - when Paul said, 'there is neither jew nor Greek, did he mean, from that point on, there was no longer any distinction - there was no identity, no way to tell if a person was a jew or a Greek? No. I don't think so, because listen to what else Paul says - let the Scripture compare the Scripture - Paul says, "for I am not ashamed of the Gospel" - Romans 1:16 - "...for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the jew first and also for the Greek." The jew first? That sounds a little bit discriminatory. When Paul said - did Paul identify there's a distinction between the jew? How? He tells you. Go to Romans chapter 3, verse , "what advantage then has the jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?" - 'None, there isn't any' - that's not what he says. I misquoted.

Hopefully you know that. He says, "what advantage has the jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way!" - Now was Paul saying there's no difference between jew and gentile? He says 'much in every way' and then he tells you why - "chiefly" - primarily - "because to them were committed the oracles of God." - God chose the Jewish nation. He committed the oracles of God to them that they should be the ones to announce the Messiah and to present the Gospel, which they did at pentecost and the first three and a half years after Christ. So when Paul says, in Galatians chapter 3, verse 28, 'there is neither jew nor Greek', did he mean that those distinctions dissolved? No, he meant jew and Greek now have equal access to salvation through Christ. Amen.

Then he goes to the next part. He says, 'there is neither slave nor free'. Did Paul now mean, when he said that, slaves should all gather around spartacus and revolt against the Romans? Of course spartacus was already dead at this point, but is that what he's saying? Let the Bible explain itself - Ephesians 6, verses 5 and 6, "bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters" - now how - and that word 'servant' there, it's talking about slaves - be obedient to your masters. Wouldn't Christianity tell the slaves to all rise up and run? Paul knew that the Gospel would never spread in the roman world if that was the message that was noted. And so, they needed to say, 'look, if you're going to be a servant, be a good one.

What did Joseph do when he was sold as a slave? Did he submit to potiphar and was he a good slave? Yes. And did God bless him for that? Colo - it doesn't mean slavery is good; I'm just telling you what the Bible says. Don't interpret this verse to mean that he was telling slaves to rise up and rebel against the Romans. Colossians 3:22, "bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God." Peter says, 'servants, obey your masters, not just the good ones, but even the cranky ones.' That's doug's translation. So all through the new testament they were pretty clear that there were still obvious distinctions between the slave and the free in the roman empire.

But was the free person - did he have more access to Jesus than the slave? No. Matter of fact, have you read the book Philemon? And the whole message in the book of Philemon is runaway slave, onesimus, he's told to submit to Philemon, but now he's not just a servant, he's a brother through Christ. And Paul converted this runaway slave and told him to go back to your master. And so, when he says there's neither slave nor free, he's not saying 'slaves, all run away' and that there's no distinction anymore. Which leads us to the next part: there's neither male nor female.

Was Paul from California? (Laughter) was Paul advocating we all share the same restroom? Is that what he meant by that statement, there's neither male nor female? Does his statement suggest that all the other biblical distinctions that are made between men and women have all now evaporated because of Jesus? Who is the most outspoken advocate for the distinctions between men and women in the new testament? Paul. If you want to find a difficult statement - and there's some I don't understand - about women submit, women keep silent - the statements that are the most powerful about distinctions, whether you agree or disagree, right or wrong, the one who is the loudest about there being distinctions is Paul. So to take this statement - whatever it does mean, it does not mean - it's dishonest to make it say there's now no difference between men and women - there are no biblical distinctions, there's no role distinctions between men and women in the Bible any more than the other two that were mentioned. What he is saying - let's find out, what does he say? Someone's going to read, for me, Romans 3:22 - okay? And before you do that, I'm going to read Romans 10:12. Obviously, these are not in sequence.

"For there is no distinction between jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon him." He is saying, 'jew or Greek, the same Lord is going to be rich towards all.' Alright, go ahead, read Romans 3:22. "Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;" - alright, there you have it. This section is about faith. All who believe - it doesn't matter if you are free or bond; it doesn't matter if you are the employee or the employer; it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman or a child or a Greek - jew or gentile - everybody is on equal ground when it comes to salvation by faith in Jesus.

This is so important and, you know, I meet people still today - some of my charismatic dispensational friends who believe that God had one dispensation of salvation for the jews - they were saved by keeping the law - then he's got a dispensation of salvation for the gentiles. And they basically say that God had, really, two different models of salvation. That is patently false. Nobody in the old testament was saved by works. Sometimes they pled their good works.

I showed you in an earlier study where hezekiah prayed and said, 'look at all the good works I've done.' Nehemiah pointed back to 'all the good works I've done.' It doesn't mean God saved any of them by their works. Doesn't God say, about Abraham - now you help me - Abraham saved by faith or by obedience? Faith. By faith. But, you know, God says, 'Abraham kept my commandments, my laws, and my statutes.' He highlights that about Abraham, but did that save him, or was Abraham declared righteous by faith? New and old testament are very clear on this. And that's all that Paul is saying there in those verses there in Galatians chapter 3.

Alright, let's go ahead to verse 20. We're going to go back and - I told you we'd go forward and we'd back up a little bit - Galatians 3:23 - what does it mean when it says 'under the law'? How many of you have heard it said before, 'oh, I don't need to keep the Sabbath anymore because I'm not under the law now, I'm under grace.' Have you heard that? Do they ever say that about the commandment of stealing? Why not? Do they ever say, 'it's okay, now, for me to commit adultery because I'm not under the law, I'm under grace'? Do you know of any spouse, male or female, would accept that argument for infidelity? No, so it's absurd to say, 'well, I don't need to keep the Sabbath anymore. We're not under the law, we're under grace.' So, what does Paul mean by 'not under law'? You find the phrase 'not under law' eight times in the Bible. It's in the new testament. And we're not going to look at them all, but we'll look at a few examples of that.

For example - and someone, I think, here is going to read, for me, in 1 Corinthians 9:20. You'll have that in just a moment, John? Let me read, for you, Galatians :23, "but before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed." Now, to be honest, I think the phrase 'under law' can be used a couple of different ways. Just because you find a phrase in the Bible, doesn't mean it always means the same thing. You have to look at the context of how it's being used. And so, when Paul is saying here, 'before faith came, we were kept under the law,' he's really talking about the law as, sort of, something of a guardrail that would guide.

It's good to do the right thing even if it's for the wrong reason. And God gave the law - why does it say the commandment came because of disobedience? And so, God gives the law because it's important for us to be law abiding. You know, sometimes a person might do the right thing, and not understand why they're doing the right thing until later. Do we teach our children, sometimes, you know, to pray on a regular basis and read their Bibles every day, and to always clean their room, and - there's a lot of things that you teach them and sometimes it's years before they finally say, 'you know, now I see why they taught me that.' And so, we keep them under law - we have rules for their good. You want them to finally get it and do it because it is the right thing.

And so, God did that with his people - with his children. Romans 3:19 - "now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." God gave the law also so people would know what was right or wrong. Romans 6:13, "and do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

" Now what is the greater power to obey, fear of punishment or grace? If the reason we're obeying God is because of fear of the consequences of law breaking, then when that penalty is removed, we won't want to obey anymore. In heaven will we need to be afraid of judgment? So if we're not obeying God for love, when we get to heaven, we won't have the right reason to obey him. We need to learn to obey him for the right reason now so that motive stays pure through eternity. Did that make sense? Alright, "for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace." Now when he says you're not under the law, it doesn't mean you can now sin. He says sin will not have dominion over you.

And you read the prior verse - I'm still in Romans 6, he says now, "present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members" - your body - your life - "as instruments of righteousness to God." Because you are under grace. Because you have been forgiven, you are so grateful you've been forgiven, because you are under grace, you don't want to do anything that will hurt the Lord. That's what he's saying. Galatians 4:21, "tell me" - and now I'm jumping ahead - this is for another study, but just using the term 'under the law' - "tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?" He said, 'there's some people who desire to be under the law'. You know, I was listening to an old sermon yesterday, I was doing a little maintenance around the house and popped in the old cd of joe crews reading his classic book creeping compromise.

Have you ever read that book? If you've not read that book, you should at least get the cd and listen to it. I think you could probably get it on jump drive. And I know there's a few things that are dated because the book was written many years ago, but it's amazing how relevant it is. And, anyway, he was talking about marriage. And joe was illustrating - he said when people start complaining about the law and the rules of being a Christian, you'd always make some kind of chuckle because he said, 'I performed a lot of weddings and when I've got the bride and the groom before - he said it's one of the most restrictive covenants that you can make.

He said, 'but they're not unhappy, they're happy' - at least, normally, they're happy. If they're not happy on their wedding day, you've got problems coming later, right? Like a shotgun wedding or something. He said, 'but that guy sitting there, he's smiling' - and he says, 'do you take this woman?' And when he says, 'I do,' he just gave her fifty percent of his property (laughter) and he's still smiling. And he now can no longer date any other girls.' Talk about the restrictions, why is he smiling? And when she says, 'I do,' they're the same restrictions. And, you know, you're promising in sickness and health and love through all these trials and - and the covenant of marriage is very restrictive, but why are they smiling? Because when you love, you're happy to obey.

People who are chafing under obedience are trying to obey because they see it as a law instead of love and grace. When they know that God has loved them and forgiven them and that they are saved by grace, they want to obey because they love God. The law as our guard - this is the next section - or the law as our guardrail - Galatians 3:19, "what purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator." And you read in Romans chapter :15, "because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression." Let me see if I can illustrate this way: parents just had their carpet cleaned and they're also having some landscaping done in the backyard. Instead of grass in the backyard, there's a lot of mud until the landscaping's done. There's a little bit of time where the kids get home before the parents get home from work and the parents come home and they see black tracks all over the carpet.

And the kids were out playing in the backyard and they didn't thoroughly wipe their feet and there's black tracks. And so the parents say, 'look, guys, we just shampooed the carpet. We're having landscaping done. You've got to stay out of the backyard. You're getting mud all over your feet.

Stay out of the backyard until we get the landscaping done.' And they bring over the carpet cleaner, they clean the carpet again, they say, 'alright, guys, stay out of the backyard.' They come back home from work. The kids have gone out in the backyard and they see black tracks all over the carpet again. Now the first time, kids maybe were being kids - they weren't using common sense - they didn't realize, you know, there's going to be consequences for the sod being gone, you're trampling all over the backyard, and you're going to get it all on the floor, and so you let it slide. But then you made a law and you said, 'do not go in the backyard until the work is done.' They didn't listen. Are they, now, responsible in a different way, because you warned them? Yes.

See? And so, sin is knowing to do good and not doing it. Where there's no law there's no sin. Now there was a law - don't go in the backyard - now they've broken the law - the consequences are going to be more severe because you straightly told them, 'don't do it.' That's what God is saying, is he needed to make a law because they kept getting tracks everywhere. See what I'm saying? They kept tracking mud everywhere so God said the law was because of transgression. It's a guardrail.

It shouldn't bother us. When you drive down the road on a winding road and there's a cliff and you see a guardrail, do you feel like your freedom is being inhibited? I saw a funny cartoon. It had a car - showed a mini van driving down this winding road where there's a cliff and the mini van drives off the cliff, through the guardrail, and you can see it's falling through mid-air and a little sound caption comes from the mini van and it says, 'recalculating'. (Laughter) alright. You know, I was reading the commentary of John gill on Galatians chapter 3:19 and John gill was an old baptist theologian - a very conservative, brilliant Bible commentator - here's what he wrote about that passage - that one verse in Galatians 3:19, "the law was added, because of transgressions, 430 years after the covenant.

" - So after God made a covenant and Abraham believed and he was declared righteous by faith, years after that, God made the other laws there at mount sinai. - "It did not succeed it nor take the place of it, and so, make it null and void, but it was over and above and added to it for the sake of restraining transgressions, which, had there been no law, men could not have been accountable for them and they would have gone into them without fear and with impunity." - They would have continued disobeying without fear and impunity - "but the law was given to lay restraint on men by forbidding such and such a things on pain of death." And so God had to make the law and where there is much transgression there is much law. That's why we've got so many laws on our books. Okay, the law as our schoolmaster - and I'm running out of time. It's okay, I'm running out of lesson too.

Someone's going to read, for me, Galatians 3:24 - manjeet, get ready because you're next. A schoolmaster comes from the word paidagogos. You know, when you've got someone who takes care of children and they're a doctor, what do you call them? Pediatrician. Pedia-trician. And a paidagogos - that word is similar and it means 'a child trainer'.

Now, with that in mind, read, please, Galatians 3:24. Galatians 3:24, "therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." It was very common in the ancient world - it still happens today - they didn't have public schools but the educated people often had someone that would serve as an instructor sometimes for one family with many children, sometimes several families would work together - they would kind of hire their teachers. If you were alexander the great and you had a wealthy father like king Phillip, you were lucky because your tutor - your paidagogos - was aristotle. Alexander the great had aristotle as his teacher. You know, I see a couple of examples - and I'm stretching it a little but, you know, the Bible makes an interesting statement.

It talks about, in Genesis 35:8, it says, "now deborah," - this is the first time the name appears in the Bible - "now deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried below bethel under the terebinth tree. So the name of it was called allon bachuth." It means 'tree of weeping'. It's an interesting footnote. Did you ever notice that out of the blue it mentions the death of Rebekah's maidservant who, I believe, outlived Rebekah, because she had been nurse - she had been the teacher and the trainer of the twin boys, Jacob and esau. And so, the Bible writers noted her death because she had had such a big influence on their lives.

It doesn't note that about zipporah or some of the other wives of - not zipporah - no, it doesn't note that about zipporah either, actually, though other wives of - bilhah and zilpa - is what I was going to say. Read, in 2 Samuel 12:25, David had a lot of sons. Do you think David took time to homeschool them every day? Who do you think taught Solomon? I've got a theory: 2 Samuel :25, "and he sent word by the hand of nathan" - David called him Solomon - nathan the prophet called him "...jedidiah, because of the Lord." It says the Lord loved him. Nathan the prophet was probably the paidagogos for Solomon and it kept him very close to the Lord. Those teachers, back then, not only taught them, they watched over them, the might have cooked their meals, they could discipline them.

Does anyone here remember the days when your teachers had the full support of parents to spank you or rap your knuckles in school and you survived? How many of you now live during a time when that is illegal? I went to military school and they'd just lean you over the desk and whip you with a field belt and you had to - they'd say, 'assume the position'. And some of you went to - when I was in catholic school the nuns would come by and they'd rap your knuckles. Then - and, you know, I'm sure there were occasions of abuse, but I think, in the big picture, it probably did most of us more good than harm. Amen. But that's something that they did.

So the schoolmaster was not only to lead, to guide, to teach, but to discipline. It says the law was a tutor - it would also discipline us. And then, finally, the law and the believer. Galatians 3:25, "but after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." The children would eventually reach maturity and they launched on their own. You know, Paul says, 'when I was a child I thought like a child, I acted like a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.

' At some point, when you mature as a Christian, you may start out as a child saying, 'don't do this. You're going to get spanked.' But when you mature, you say, 'don't do this because it's not good. Because it displeases the Lord. Because I trust God.' You get the mature motives. Paul was not saying that once we have faith we no longer need the law.

Is the law still there to show us sin? Yes. Doesn't Paul say, 'let every one of us examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith'? And that law needs to be, then, written in our heart. Jesus said whoever sins breaks the law and he is a transgressor. You're not free if you're in sin. We are out of time for this study today, but I want to remind everybody we do have a free study.

If you have not received this lesson before, it is our brand-new study guide dealing with the commandments of God and the relationship between law and grace, and it's called written in stone. It also talks about it being written in the heart. If you call 866-788-3966 they'll send that to you for free. Please read it and then give it to a friend. That's 866-study-more - and ask for offer #111 when you do.

Well, we're out of time for today's study and thank you very much for joining us, friends. We will study His Word with you again together next week. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, 'Biblehistory.com' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word.

Go deeper. Visit 'Biblehistory.com'. You've probably heard the expression before, 'if you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait; it'll change.' And you've also heard, 'everything is bigger in Texas - the ranches, the belt buckles, the cowboy hats...' But the most famous slogan about Texas is 'remember the alamo!' The violent battles and bravery of iconic heroes, have been the stuff of legends, throughout which entire cultures often draw their identity and pride, even long after centuries are past. And in Texas, the story of the alamo has been a rallying cry of Texas independence for 200 years. One reason that texans love to brag that everything is bigger in Texas is, of course, because Texas is the largest of the lower 48 u.

s. States. It's hard to believe that this massive state got its beginning in a very small Christian mission during the battle of the alamo. Every year this famous mission museum receives over two and a half million visitors from all parts of the planet, that are eager to get a good look at this legendary site. The alamo played a critical role in the Texas revolution.

In December 1835, texans and tejano volunteers battled mexican troops quartered in the city, forcing general martin perfecto de cos to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the alamo and strengthened its defenses. Famous Americans like davy crockett, jim bowie, and colonel william travis made this location - this ancient mission - the beachhead - the last stand in an epic battle to win independence of Texas from Mexico. On February 23, 1836, the arrival of general antonio lopez santa ana nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the texans and tejanos prepared to defend the alamo.

For this small rag-tag group of rebels, the youngest of whom was about sixteen and the oldest seventy-five, was against the well-trained and organized mexican army of six thousand-plus soldiers. It was a fierce and lopsided battle, yet the small force of rebels was able to repel the troops for thirteen days. Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, colonel travis drew a line in the ground with a sword and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over the line. All except one crossed over. The final asSault came before daybreak.

On the morning of March 6, 1836, the thirteenth day of the siege, canon and small arms fire from inside the alamo beat back several mexican attacks. Regrouping, santa ana's soldiers scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and the garrison was slain. You know, historians may debate some of the details regarding the battle of the alamo, but none of them question the incredible sacrifice that was made and the courage that was displayed during that intense conflict.

They made the ultimate sacrifice - giving their lives - and this is why the story of the alamo is so inspiring and so encouraging, you know? And that's why the Bible is so inspiring, friends, because someone was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and give his life so you could have freedom and eternal life. Don't you think you could trust your life to a friend like that, that would give everything? The story of the Gospel is a story of courage and hope. It's the story of God who will never leave you without defense and support. Jesus is the good news and the Gospel is a story worth remembering. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before.

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