From Slaves to Heirs

From Slaves to Heirs

Scripture: Galatians 4:7, Romans 6:1-11
Date: 11/19/2011  Lesson: 8
Jesus Christ offers us freedom in the gospel, so Paul says turning back to a system of obedience to empty religious customs is returning to slavery.

Is It a Sin to Be Tempted? (PB) by Joe Crews

Is It a Sin to Be Tempted? (PB) by Joe Crews
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Welcome as you're joining us to worship - to study God's Word together. What a privilege it is to be able to join from across the country, around the world, and study God's Word together. One truth, one baptism, one faith, one Jesus to worship. Welcome. This morning we are going to sing hymn# 294 - power in the blood.

This comes as a request from robert in ArKansas, clinton in australia, Timothy in California, jason in Canada, kiarah in cayman islands, jane and Joshua in england, lamberto in Georgia, bob, Paula, and jonathan in Idaho, javae in jamaica, luce in New York, victoria, sandie, and vern in North Carolina, pastor charles, sharon, loliluna, gina, cherry, and levie in the Philippines, elsie in Texas, nicholas in trinidad and tobago, Christa in Virginia, wanda in west Virginia, and kitso in zimbabwe. Hymn # 294 there's power in the blood and we're going to sing all three verses. I have an auntie wilma and that is her favorite hymn, so I hope that she picks up on this program and watches and sings along. If you have a special hymn that you would like to sing with us as we study together, I invite you to go to our website at saccentral.org and there you can click on the 'contact us' link. You can request any hymn in the hymnal that we would be willing to learn and sing along with you and we will do that on a coming air of this broadcast.

Hymn #300 - rock of ages. This comes as a request from edith in Canada, alma and maricel in hong kong, Ruth in india, dave in Indiana, Esther in Michigan, evan, sarinah, Samuel, and lydia in new zealand, are in norway, aimee in rwanda, freddy and sandy in the Solomon islands, tom in Texas, omboi Moses in trinidad and tobago, and kazemba Matthews in zambia. Hymn #300 - rock of ages - and we'll sing all three verses. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you so much.

That we can come here and worship you. That we can learn from you and Your Word of what you have done for us. How you are our rock. And only in you can we find strength. And only in you can we find salvation - not through ourselves, but through the grace of God and we are so grateful this morning and that's why we're here.

So be with us as we study Your Word. Help us take the words to heart that we can share them with others - the good news that you are coming soon and that you have redeemed us. And Lord, we just thank you for the promise and that you are faithful to your promises and that we will live with you forever. We can hardly wait. We pray these things in your name Jesus, amen.

Our study this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you to our song leaders and musicians. We appreciate it. Again, singing a couple of my favorites. Welcome to our friends who are here in Sacramento central.

I want to welcome our friends who may be studying with us through the television or right now some are streaming live on the internet. Others are listening on the radio and it's always exciting for me to hear The Song requests coming in from literally every part of the globe. Now, we have never had a request from the north pole, but we did have a request once from antarctica - someone was watching on the internet there and so it's always exciting to hear that. I also want to welcome those who may be central members that are scattered around the planet. Again, we have some friends who are isolated because there's no local church they can attend.

There are some folks who are missionaries, or they're in some remote part of the country but they've got a satellite dish or they've got internet connection and they are some of our online members of central. We want to welcome you or if you're in that category and you'd like to know 'how can I be connected with a church family way out where I'm at?' Just go to our website - it's saccentral.org. And there's more there about that. Now, sometimes we do free offers that go along with our lesson. This book that we're studying now of Galatians is very broad and comprehensive in some of the themes.

I thought it might be a good idea just to recommend, for additional study, you could go to the Bible prophecy truth website, probably - you know, Amazing Facts actually has about active websites. We launched a new one last week. We might have 21, because at the time of this recording we're just before halloween so we have a new website. A lot of people are confused about death and everybody is sort of into the supernatural this time of year. We have a new website now called ghosttruth.

com. Ghosttruth.com. We launched that one last week - but that's not the one I meant to announce. I was going to say probably the three most top websites are the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.org, and then we have our third most popular website is this one: Bibleprophecytruth.com. Our second most popular website I can't pronounce because it's in chinese.

Did you know that? Our second most popular website is our chinese website and it's probably going to pass up our regular website soon. Anyway, but Bibleprophecytruth has a lot of good study material there and you'll find some additional resources that will help you in studying even today's lesson, because we're going to talk about law and grace and we have some studies there on that. Turn to your lesson - #8 in our study on Galatians. Lesson #8. And maybe what I should have done before I direct your attention there - if you look in lesson 8, you'll see that our assignment for today is a big one.

We're going to try to read - we're going to try and study Galatians chapter 3, verses 26 through Galatians 4, verse 20. Now, because our church does this once every five years - the theory is, after five years we cover the panorama of the Bible, I'm afraid I won't get through this and you'll have to wait another five years to at least hear the verses. So, I'm going to read the best that I can. I'm going to read through these verses today. So, if you've got your Bibles you can look along with me.

I'll read out loud, because if we all read all that much together and you're reading from a spectrum of different versions, it always sounds a little bit like Babylon after the tower. So, just let me read this and follow along with me. Galatians 3, I'll start with verse 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.

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. Chapter 4, verse 1. Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by The Father. Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying out 'abba father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those by nature which are not Gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Brethren, I urge you to become as I am, for I am as you are. You have not injured me at all." - I'll explain that later if I get to it. Verse 13. "For you know that because of physical infirmity I preached the Gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? They zealously court you for no good; yes, they want to exclude you that you may be zealous for them. But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you." Okay. Whew.

Now, no matter how far we get, I can say I read it all. So that's the assignment. You can say, 'we made it through Galatians.' All right. Go to chapter 3 and we're going to start with verse 26 and go through the lesson - oh, by the way, we have a memory verse. The memory verse - I'd like you to say that with me - is Galatians 4, verse 7.

Galatians 4:7 - I'm doing it from the new king James version. Are you ready? "Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." And so, in our lesson today, we're talking about from slaves to heirs. We are adopted through Christ and he treats us as his own son. You know, I may have shared this before, but I heard a story one time about a Sabbath school teacher that was registering new children in her class and there were two boys there and she said, 'your birthdays?' And one boy said my birthday is April 16, 1976.' And then the brother said, 'my birthday is April 21, 1976.' And she looked at them and she said, 'well, you're not twins and if you were twins you weren't born four days apart. What's up?' And they smiled and they said, 'well, one of us is adopted.

' And she said, 'which one?' And they said, 'we don't know. We asked dad once but he said it's been so long he can't remember.' It's kind of like a story I heard one time about a child of some english aristocracy that went out playing - the parents would let them go out and play - and they managed to find some of the orphan street urchins, you know, there used to just be these gangs of orphans roaming the streets of london. That's why george - oh, who was the man who started - mueller, george mueller yeah started the orphanages for the kids, because they were just swarming the streets unattended. So, one of these children who had rich parents went out and befriended one of the orphans and they got to where they played together and were inseparable and finally the parents said, 'look, our child enjoys you so much - you're well-mannered - why don't you just come and live with us?' And they adopted the child and that one child, who by blood belonged to the parents, recruited the one who was really an orphan and poor and through that child they came into the family. Now, in this story it was a girl who had been playing with a girlfriend on the street, but it makes us think of Christ who was sent from The Father, and through our relationship with Christ, we are adopted into the mansion of God.

So really, this is the theme of the lesson. Just to give you the background again, Paul is talking to the galatian Christians, many of whom were gentiles. They were being badgered by the Jewish converts to Christianity that now that they've accepted Christ, they should keep the Jewish feast days and they should be keeping the different rituals, and they should be still observing the ceremonial laws, and Paul is saying, why are you turning back to those things? And they had many things like that even in the Greek and the pagan religions. And so, this is the theme he's grappling with when he talks to them there. All right.

Our condition in Christ. Galatians chapter 3, verses 24 - 26. Let me read that real quick. "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 Jesus Christ. Any of you need like a little extra tutoring when you went through school? I was telling someone just this week that fifth grade was the best three years of my life. I struggled in school. I made that up - I didn't go through fifth grade three times - but I think I did take first grade twice. But some of us needed a little extra help.

But God, knowing the nature of man, he gave to man, through the Jewish nation, a number of rules and laws and shadows and types to help them recognize Jesus when he came. I like the way John gill put this in his commentary. "The purpose of the law was to direct us to him by rites and ceremonies, by shadows and sacrifices. It taught them, by diverse washings, the pollution of their nature - their need of the blood of Christ to cleanse them from all sin. By circumcision they learn the necessity of regeneration and the internal circumcision of the heart.

By passover they learned the daily sacrifice, and other offerings the doctrine of redemption, satisfaction, and atonement, and by the brazen serpent, the necessity of looking in faith to Christ for life and salvation." So all these types and shadows they had back there were to point them to the actual substance in Christ. You know, periodically - I'll be very honest with you - and I know I'm going to get letters on this, but I'm accosted every now and then by some dear Christians and often the men have beards - nothing against the beards in our midst, I have a beard periodically - usually by 5:00 I have a beard. But they say, 'Pastor Doug, you're missing out. The special message for the last days before Jesus comes is that we return to the feast days and we need to literally keep the feast days again.' And they want us to keep many of the ceremonial laws. And I say, 'brother or sister' I say, 'I don't believe that.

I read there in 2 Corinthians where it says, 'Christ is our passover' and it tells us that he really is the fulfillment of that service." Now, I've got no problem if a church wants to do something special during the time of year when there's passover and celebrate it and enjoy it. And that's where Paul says, 'one man regards the day unto the Lord, another man doesn't regard it.' If you're going to regard it, do it to the Lord. But, to then go and impose that on everybody - let me illustrate what that's like. You've got a son or a daughter, they're overseas, they're in the service, military. You've got their picture on your mantle because you miss them.

You might even skype them on the computer every now and then - we all know what skype means? You can talk to them on the internet and you can even see their picture. It's really great when I was in indonesia and the different places - I call Karen and I'm able to skype her and talk to her and I'll see nathan walking around the kitchen and it's really nice to be able to connect - at least to get the visual element. But, finally you hear a knock on the door after they are discharged and you look through the peephole and you see there's your son or your daughter that you've been separated from for months or years and instead of opening the door and giving them a big hug, you walk over to the picture and you embrace the picture. Why would you turn back to the photograph if you've got the substance? And when I come home from a long trip and I say, 'oh Karen, I'm so glad to be home! I'm going to run to my office - you go to your computer and we'll skype each other.' You know it really is pathetic in this day and age - I'll admit, Karen and I have computers that are about 30 feet away from each other - I've e-mailed her. Usually I'm forwarding something, but it just tells you how bad it is these days.

But, you know what I'm talking about? Or sometimes I'm talking to her on my cell phone and I actually pull into the garage and the garage door shuts and I say, 'well dear, we're having this conversation and I'm out here in the garage. How about I hang up and come in and we'll continue this conversation?' But for me, that's kind of what it's like when a person accepts Christ. Why would you sacrifice a lamb anymore? Why would you be preoccupied with the ceremonial significance of circumcision when Jesus is offering us circumcision of the heart? The new birth - where he writes the law on the heart, the Bible tells us. Why would we be preoccupied with, you know, the ceremonial and annual Sabbaths when we have the rest in Jesus and the fulfillment of all those things? Whether it's the feast of trumpets or the day of atonement - we know what the significance of those - they all pointed to Christ. And so, if a person personally, or they want to get together and have a picnic and Mark one of those days, bless you.

I think that, you know, that's wonderful. But to then tell people that you're supposed to make that the priority - keep hugging the photograph when you've got the real thing there is, I think, unfortunate. And so, this is what was happening to these gentile Christians. Paul is saying, 'look, I am a jew. I have set these things aside.

I was a jew of the jews. I was a pharisee. I set these things aside. Why are you turning back to these things?' And he was just very worried that they were missing the whole principle of what it was about. All right, let's go to verse 28.

Somebody look up for me Romans , verses 1 and 2 - I think we gave out some verses. If you've got that on a piece of paper - Romans 3, verses 1 and 2? "What advantage then has the jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God." All right, now look at that. For one thing, I'm not even sure I read verse 28, where he says, 'there is neither jew nor Greek.' I'm going to stop - I'm breaking this verse down. 'There is neither jew nor Greek.' Now, what does Paul mean by saying there is neither jew nor Greek? That after Jesus came the jews stopped being Jewish? And the word Greek there means gentile, it doesn't mean Greeks in particular. Keep in mind, alexander the great had conquered the world and so Greek was also a generic term for gentile, it was the same thing.

He's saying 'neither nor gentile' there. There are a few famous misapplied verses in the Bible. Who would like to guess what is the most frequently quoted misapplied verse in the Bible? Matthew 7:1. "Judge not that you be not judged." Now, how many of you - let me see your hands - how many of you have heard somebody quote that verse before? Honestly. And sometimes they may appropriately quote it, but I'd say nine times out of ten, when I hear that verse quoted, it is misapplied.

Is Paul saying - I'm going to talk about misapplied verses because the verse we're getting ready to read is one of the most misapplied verses I've ever heard. Is Paul saying when he says - I mean is Jesus saying when he says, 'judge not that you be not judged' that you're never to use any judgment or that we're never to evaluate a person's state with the Lord? Let's look at another verse. Someone look up John 7:24. Did anybody get that? We've got a hand right back here. Hold your hand up so that he can get that to you.

John 7:24. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." Now that is in red letter - who spoke those words? Jesus. Is Jesus saying never judge? Or is he saying, when you judge do it righteously. Use a righteous judgment. Corinthians 6, verses 2 and 3.

I think I may have given that to somebody too. Let's see if we can get a hand. Corinthians 6, verses 2 and 3. We've got somebody over here. "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?" That's right.

So, it's telling us that if we're going to even be judging angels - Paul was talking to the church members there and they couldn't even judge or differentiate on small matters with each other and so it was bringing in a lot of problems. You know, it just occurred to me - if you won't lose track - looking at my notes, I realized I just missed verse 27. I jumped right by it. Will you pardon me? Can you park where we were? I want to go back and read this. It says, "for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

" Now this is a very important point and I wanted to make sure and cover it. Put on Christ. What does that mean? When the prodigal son came home, he was living as a slave in a foreign land, right? He said, 'I will arise and go to my Father's house and I'll say, 'father, I'm no longer worthy to be called your son, let me be as your slave.' ' And when he came home and he applied if he could be a slave, did The Father accept him as a slave? Or he said, 'no, I'm taking you back as a son.' What did he do to show that he was taking him back as a son? Did he put a good robe on him? Yeah. It says he put the best robe on him. In the book of Esther, what was the status of Esther when she was in persia, in Babylon? She was a captive.

She was also an orphan who had been adopted. She was a captive from the jews in a foreign land and to top that thing off, she's an orphan captive living with her uncle mordecai, right? But then she's brought into the palace, and through marriage, she becomes part of the King's family. And when she needed to go and appeal to the King for her people, to make a very big request, it says, 'it came to pass the third day that Esther put on her royal apparel' - she had been fasting. She probably washed herself and put on her royal apparel and she went into the inner court. She had to put on this new status when she went before the King.

Do we need to have something new that we put on before we go to the King? We're to put on Christ. Now that's like putting on Christ's robes. Matthew 22, verses 11 and 12. Matthew 22:11, 12. "And when the King came in to see the guests, he saw there a man that had on a wedding garment: and he said unto him" - I'm sorry - "he had not on a wedding garment:" - that was the problem.

"And he said unto him, 'friend, how did you come into here not having a wedding garment?' And he was speechless." And what happens to him? He is put in outer darkness and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. If we're going to be able to abide the presence of God, we need to put on that righteousness of Christ that he's provided. That's that wedding garment. When we're baptized, we put on Christ. We put on that righteousness.

And so, through that, we're then like the prodigal son - adopted into the family. Do you think before Joseph went before the pharaoh - it says he shaved himself. He washed and put on new robes, didn't he? He had to get rid of the prison garments or the slave garments and he had to put on new garments. And so, this is what it's like when we put on Christ. All right, back to - I was talking about a misunderstood passage in the Bible.

You've probably also heard the passage used before where, someone says - Romans 10:13. "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Now how many of you have heard that verse before? I have many, many times heard that verse used in our church, in other churches, to sometimes sound like - you know, when you want to open a program you sometimes have to enter a password? That there's this password spelled j-e-s-u-s and if you just shout out that password when you see the Lord coming you'll be saved. It's not what that means. Now, it is true, we need to call on God, but what Paul is talking about here is those that live a life of calling on God. They've got a prayer life.

It's an ongoing verb. Those that call upon the Lord. They've got a relationship with God. All that turn to him with their lives. It's not one time shouting, 'hey I'm in trouble, save me!' And then living your own way.

You've probably heard it that way, kind of a once saved, always saved slogan. No, it's more than that. Doesn't Jesus say there's a lot of people that think they've been calling on the Lord? You can read in the Bible where Jesus said, 'not everyone that says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom, but they that do the will of my father.' So a couple of misapplied verses. This verse that we're looking at in Galatians chapter 3, verse , is one of those misapplied verses. "There is neither jew nor Greek.

" Now, is there still a distinction, according to Paul, between jews and gentiles or Greeks? We just read in Romans 3, "what advantage then has the jew?" I would expect Paul to say, 'none.' Because there is neither jew nor Greek anymore. Wouldn't that be what you'd expect? 'There's neither jew nor Greek, what advantage does the jew have? No advantage.' Is that what Paul says? No, he says, 'much in every way.' Chiefly - I can't list them all but primarily because unto them were given the oracles of God. The sacred writings - the Bible was committed to them. And again, Romans 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, whosoever, the jew first, also to the Greek - the gentile.

" So, does Paul - why the jew first? Well, the reason the jew first is because they had all the background in the God of the Bible. They obviously would be the ones that had the shortest learning curve to be a Christian. Does that make sense? Having all the background? When I do evangelism, if I do evangelism in a buddhist country, I need more time and more meetings to make my point than I do if I'm in a Christian country. If I'm in a catholic country, it's a lot easier for me if people have some faith in the Bible and understand some basics about Jesus, to do an evangelistic meeting, than if I'm in maybe a muslim country or a hindu country. See what I'm saying? And so, when Paul says, 'the jew first.

' What did Christ say? 'Go not in the way of the gentiles but go first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' So, yeah, God still made a distinction between the jew and the gentile - not in their value for salvation, but just in the way they think and how they would learn. See what he's saying? Now, with that, he then goes on to say, - I'm still in Galatians chapter 3, verse 28 - "there is neither slave nor free." So once a person accepts Jesus, the masters were expected to release all their slaves and the slaves were expected to rally with spartacus and join up in rebellion, because now that you accept Christ there is neither slave nor bond. Was that the message of Paul? I think we're afraid to say, 'you mean Paul isn't encouraging rebellion against slavery?' No he wasn't. That was not his message. Not in this verse.

Let's read the rest of what the Bible says. Do you want me to teach you the truth from the Bible? Let's make sure we rightly divide the word of truth. All right. Somebody look up for me Colossians 3, verse 22. You got it right here? All right, let's get a microphone to you.

Hold your hand up so they can see where the mic is going. And while we're doing that I'm going to read a few verses. I'm going to read Colossians chapter 4, verse 1. "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that you also have a master in heaven." Matter of fact, I'm going to read 1 Timothy 6, verse 2. "And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather do them service," - in other words, here you've got a master who's a Christian, a slave who's a Christian, Paul says, 'you're brethren now, but he's still your master.

' And you're still his servant. Keep in mind, in the roman empire a lot of slaves - the only way you could be a roman was you had to purchase your freedom. If you couldn't purchase it, your only option was to be a slave, otherwise you were unemployed. And so he said, "rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved partakers of the same benefit." You can both benefit from salvation but they're still your masters and you're still their slaves. All right, you're going to read for us Colossians 3:22.

"Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in sincerity of heart, fearing God." So the message of Paul here, when he says, 'there is neither slave nor free.' Can you support that this is a call to rebellion? No. That's not what he's talking about. He's saying that we are one family in Christ. Now, with that background, one of the most misunderstood or misquoted verses, 'there is neither male nor female.' That's the rest of the verse. Now, was Paul saying, now that Jesus has come the distinction of roles of men and women in the Christian family and church has evaporated? Who is the strongest advocate in the Bible for those distinctions? Paul.

And yet, how many times have you heard - I'm not taking sides on this, right now, I'm just wanting to be honest about what is he saying here? Let's not misquote the verse. What is he really saying here? But how many times have we heard this verse used as some kind of battle cry for the issue of the ordination of women? Whatever verses you want to use, that's fine, but use this one honestly. Paul is not saying that. Paul is addressing this because in their economy back then, it was only circumcised males that were to appear three times a year before the Lord. Women and servants were exempt.

But in Christ, Paul was saying, the women have a right to baptism, the women have a right to the Lord's supper, that we are all equally valuable to God for salvation. But to take this verse and make it sound like it's to be used in a position when it comes to the role in clergy or ordination - I've heard this misquoted and it's kind of like Scripture abuse. It bothers me when I hear people quote a Scripture and then - I heard a preacher one time, you know, I think the Lord blessed him anyway. There's a - in the King James version it says, 'my heart is fixed, oh God. You remember that? 'My heart is fixed.

' Now, fixed means glued in the Bible there. It means attached, but the preacher - and he was - this was at a little country church. The preacher thought that meant my heart was broken and he's repaired it. And I thought, 'you know, the Lord blessed that sermon, but that's not what the language meant.' It was a totally different word. And I've heard - I've heard a lot of people just sort of take Scriptures and misapply them, and let's be honest about what they're saying and what they're not saying.

All right, now verse 29 - Galatians 3:29. "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." We've spent quite a bit of time on that - boy this is a delicate issue too. Among my evangelical friends, if you say that all believers become spiritual jews, they think you're preaching what they call replacement theology - that you're dissing the Jewish nation and saying that God doesn't have a special role for them. I think you can do both - I think you can say that God still has a special role for the Jewish nation, even in prophecy, and still understand that everybody who accepts Christ becomes grafted in and we become spiritual jews. 'He is not a jew who is one outwardly.

It is not circumcision in the flesh. He is a jew who is one inwardly.' And many of those who say they are jews because of their dna or because of the rite of circumcision, if they have rejected the Scriptures and they are rejecting the God and the Messiah, then what is the value in that? You know what Christ says about anybody - Christian or jew - that follows the devil, that claims to be a child of God, he says, 'you are not God's children, you are of your father the devil.' Those are the words of Jesus, right? And so, this is the main thing. If you're Abraham's seed you'll do what Abraham did. Chapter 4. Let's go to chapter 4, verse - I'm going to read 1 through 3.

"Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but he is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by The Father." So, all right, picture if you will for a moment, there is - well, let's take Abraham. Who is going to be the heir of all that Abraham has? Ishmael or Isaac? Isaac. So, Isaac now is 8, 9, 10 years old and all that Abraham has is going to be his. He just kind of sits in a hammock all day long and drinks a cherry slurpee and doesn't have to do anything because he is the heir. Is that how the jews treated their children? Or did they make them work? They worked.

It was part of the Jewish religion that they were to be taught - and sometimes in the wealthier families, they actually had people appointed - when Abraham needed a wife for Isaac did he send Isaac or did he send his steward to go find this wife for Isaac? Isaac didn't get to look her over. The steward did. The steward had a very important responsibility for the heir. How many of you think we ought to return to that system? It probably wouldn't fly very well with our generation today. Just to illustrate this point, if you look in Genesis 18 - this always - this verse always struck me.

How big was Abraham's household? Well, he had 318 servants in his house that were trained in war. Those are just his little - his own personal military. Beyond that, I mean, he had just vast - he probably had a couple thousand people in his household. The majority of them with the exception of Isaac, Sarah, and ishmael were slaves. Isn't that right? And hagar even started out as a slave.

She was Sarah's slave. But in spite of the fact that Isaac grew up surrounded by thousands of slaves, who did Abraham put the wood on when he went up the mountain? Isaac had to carry the wood. Why not - he left two slaves back with the donkey, why not make them carry the wood? Because the jews - a very strong part of their religion was there is honor and glory in work. God told adam, 'you've been created to work six days a week.' It was a shame to have a son - it didn't matter how rich you were - if you had a son that was lazy, that did not work, that did not do something productive, that was terrible. And so, part of the job of the schoolmaster was to teach the children to work.

This is the verse I was going to read. Genesis 18:6. And Abraham hasted to the tent." This is when those two angels and the Lord, in one of his preincarnate appearances - they appeared to Abraham, they're on their way to destroy sodom and gomorrah and Abraham cooks a meal for them - and Abraham, when he saw these three travelers, he "hasted to the tent unto Sarah and said, 'make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, kneaded, and make cakes upon the hearth.' And Abraham ran unto the herd and he fetched a calf, tender and good, and he gives it to a young man and he hastes to dress it. And he took butter and milk and the calf that he had dressed and he set it before them." Abraham sets it before them. And he stood beside them like a waiter in an expensive restaurant, waiting to see if there's anything else they need.

The way they served each other back then - you remember the story of this wealthy shunamite woman and she wanted to show some honor for Elisha so she builds a guest room on the roof of their house - they went two stories just for Elisha - and they built this guest room for him, right? And he blessed them with a son. And the Bible says that that son was out working in the field with his father. And evidently, working so hard that he suffered some kind of stroke and he dies. We don't know what it was, but he has a problem. But the fact is, he is out working.

Elisha was very wealthy. The reason you know that - Elisha - his family had 12 yoke of oxen but who is out there with one of those yoke of oxen? Elisha. So the jews believed there was honor in work and as long as you had health and energy, you were to be busy and be productive and be working. So, even though you might be the heir in the household - my father believed that way. My dad had an aircraft business.

He had a couple of airlines. One time he owned three different airlines. Capital airlines, international air leases and western airlines. Any of you remember western airlines? My dad owned controlling interest in western airlines for a while. And I went to work for my dad.

You know what I did? I swept - I mean I'm going around, my dad owns the company, he's got all these other people and here I'm The Son, I'm sweeping - I'm inside the wheel well of these planes spraying the grease off with gasoline. If you had lit a match back then I would have exploded. And I'm thinking to myself, 'I'm The Son. Why am I - I want an office and a cigar - what's this all about?' But, you know, my dad came through the depression. He believed 'work.

Work. Work. Work. Work. Work.

' You know. Everybody's got to work. Well that was the way it was and so even The Son - they were out there working and they had schoolmasters. But when they came to age, then things might be turned over and changed in that way. And so, you've got that example here.

All right. I was going to have us read - somebody look up for me Galatians 4, verse 4 and 5. I think we gave that to somebody. You got that, jessica? "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons." Why did Jesus need to be born through mary? Was it not possible for Jesus to just appear? Couldn't he have just appeared years old as a man? He could have been 100% human - I mean, if God made adam he could have made Jesus, the second adam, without going through the regular - adam didn't even have to go through the birth process, did he? Why did God do it that - why didn't he just speak life into some clay and make his son 30 years of age and ready to begin his ministry? But in order to redeem those of us that are born with these bodies that have suffered the results of - you know, at that time 4,000 years of sin - Christ sent - God sent his son born of a woman. And it makes me think of that verse in Psalms 51 where king David said, 'I was brought forth in iniquity and sin my mother did conceive me.

' I mean, all of us here in this life, we're sort of born with these selfish tendencies. We've got a deformed dna or something - I don't know what it is - in our genes. It makes us born with a selfish propensity. Adam was originally made and eve - where they were motivated by love until sin. But we're not.

We're naturally selfish and we need to learn love and get that through the new birth. But Christ became one of us to save us in that way. And in Hebrews 4, verse 15 - did we give that to somebody? Right here. Let's get a microphone. Hold your hand up.

Hebrews 4, verse 15. So why did Jesus have to take our humanity? To reclaim us. Was Jesus like us? This is a big discussion. Was Jesus like us? Did he get tired? Did he get hungry? Did he ever sin? That's a big difference between Jesus and us. But was he tempted? All right, let's read that verse here, please.

Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Jesus was tempted in every way like we are tempted and yet, he was victorious. Christ was not born with some kind of insulation against temptation that made him perfect. He was born tempted like we're tempted. You know why that's important? Because in order for us - in order for him to be an example to us of how to overcome, he was going to have to be tempted like we're tempted.

So we overcome like he overcame. And how did he overcome? Did Jesus - why did he pray all night long? Did he need to pray? Well, evidently he felt the need. He set an example for us. All right. John 1:14.

"And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten of The Father full of grace and truth." You know John knew Jesus in a way that nobody else knew Jesus. John knew Jesus physically. John knew Jesus in his glorified state when he rose from the dead. And John knew Jesus in his divine state in the vision of Revelation. John saw Jesus in every way.

I mean, that's really amazing when you think about it and he said - no one knew Jesus better than John - talking about mortals - and John said the essence of Christ is His Word. In fact, Christ is so much like the word that really what happened is the word took on human form. So when you pick up your Bible, you can caress it. I'm not trying to get you to make an idol out of your Bible - but you know what I'm saying? The Word of God is the expression of Christ to us. That's how precious it is.

The word became flesh. If you want to know what the Word of God is - I mean, aren't we created by the word? God spoke and it happened. Is there power in the promises of God? And so the Word of God took on the form of a human and his name was Jesus. We don't know what he looked like. People have all different kinds of ideas about tall he was or how close his eyes might have been set or what color they were or how long he was.

I personally think he was bald from the age of 25. You can't prove me wrong. Show me a Scripture. Didn't that just mess up your pictures of Jesus in your head? But what we do know about him is what he said. What changed the world is what he said, right? Romans 8, verses 3 and 4.

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his son in the likeness of sinful flesh." That's very much like what we read there in Galatians 4. "In the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin." What kind of flesh was Jesus sent in the likeness of? Was mary, as some churches claim, sinless? Or was mary, though she was a Godly woman - no question - but she had sinned like all mortals. She had the same kind of body and as James said of Elijah, 'he was a man with the same simple propensities that we all have.' And mary had that too. But Jesus was "born in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh." In other words, he had the kind of bodies we have and he condemned - he stomped out - sin in this kind of flesh. Why? 'That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in him or in us? Through what Jesus did, what the law requires may be fulfilled in us.

We can be victorious Christians living new kinds of lives because of what Christ did - because he came in the fullness of time. And then you've got Galatians 5 - 4 rather, verses 5-7. "To redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." I love this verse. "And because you are sons, God has sent forth his spirit of his son into your hearts crying out, 'abba father.'" Now, you've got the more formal word of father like in the Lord's prayer, we pray 'our father, which art in heaven.' It tells us that we're adopted. We're sons.

Right there in the Lord's prayer. The first thing you hear is adoption. But here, Paul is using a lot more intimate word - it's what you would hear in a family. It's what a small child might say, it's the word daddy or papa. And so, he's saying, 'you know, it's one thing if a son calls his father and says, 'father', but if a child calls out and says 'daddy!' It's like, you know, they're young, they really need help.

They're weak. They're vulnerable.' I could never figure this out. When I went to the office to work my stepbrother, John, who is not any blood relation of my father, he went to work with my dad, he called him george - but he always called him george, he never called him dad. My brother, blood full brother, falcon, who called my dad 'dad' at home, when he went to work for dad he called him george. I thought that was so weird.

And I went - I think I tried it once or twice when I - I worked a little bit at the office, not much. I didn't do very well. I tried to call my dad george, I thought, 'that's weird, I'm not doing that.' And he never asked us to call him george, but my brothers wanted to look professional in the office environment. Don't say dad. But I said, 'nah! Dad!' You know.

All the office people, you know. It never bothered him. And I don't think our heavenly father is offended when we speak to him as papa. Now I'm not saying you call God 'daddy,' but technically, you have that kind of relationship. He loves you as a father loves a little child that might call him 'papa.

' Now that's what he's saying. Well, I'm glad we read the rest on to verse 20 because I knew I'd run out of time. Anyway, I hope you have been somewhat edified by the lesson and again, for our friends who are watching, there's a lot more you can study at the website Bibleprophecytruth.com. We invite you to go there. God willing, we'll be studying our next lesson together next week.

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