Sons of Abraham, Part 8
Scripture: Galatians 3:6–3:14
Sons of Abraham
Text: Galatians 3:6-14
April 4, 2010
A. How important is it to distinguish the law and the gospel?
B. How are we to understand the law and the gospel?
a. The law is natural to man (Rom. 1:32; 2:14-15).
b. The law teaches us what we ought to do, but gives no strength to do it (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 7:7-14).
c. The law promises life upon the condition of perfect obedience and threatens cursing for disobedience (cf. Gen. 2:16-17; Deut. 30:15-20; Gal. 3:10; Jam. 2:10).
What is the gospel?
a. The gospel is divinely revealed (Matt. 11:27; 16:17; Lk. 2:8-11; 1 Cor. 1:18, 23; 2:12-14).
“We do not need a reporter to announce to us that we need to be better parents, spouses, and friends; that we should have integrity in our relationships; to be less selfish and more giving…Give us advice on these matters and we nod. We begin to take notes and resolve to put them into practice next week. Our ears perk up when we hear exhortations to be all we can be. Our self-righteousness springs to its feet when we are told that we have what it takes if we just put the game plan into practice,” (Michael Horton, The Gospel Driven Life, p. 22).
“We do not just naturally think that we are born in sin, spiritually dead, helpless, and unable to lift a finger to save ourselves or impress a holy God. As a result, it does not…occur to us that our greatest need is to be redeemed, justified, regenerated, sanctified, and glorified by God’s saving work in his Son and by His Spirit,” (Michael Horton, The Gospel Driven Life, p. 19).
b. The gospel is an announcement of good news (Lk. 2:10-11; Rom. 10:15).
“It is interesting that the biblical writers chose the word “gospel.” The heart of most religions is good advice, good techniques, good programs, good ideas, and good support systems. These drive us deeper into ourselves, to find our inner light, inner goodness, inner voice, or inner resources. Nothing new can be found inside of us. There is no inner rescue deep down in my soul; I just hear echoes of my own voice telling me all sorts of crazy things to numb my sense of fear, anxiety, and boredom, the origins of which I cannot truly identify. But the heart of Christianity is Good News. It comes not as a task for us to fulfill, a mission for us to accomplish, a game plan for us to follow with the help of life coaches, but as a report that someone else has already fulfilled, accomplished, followed, and achieved everything for us…It is about God and His faithfulness to His own purposes and promises,” (Michael Horton, The Gospel Driven Life, p. 20).
What is this good news announced by the gospel?
Jesus, in His life, fulfilled the requirements of the law for us (Matt. 5:17-18).
“17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Jesus, in His death, bore the curse of the law for us (Gal. 3:13).
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”
Jesus, in His resurrection, assures us that the curse has been removed (Rom. 4:25).
“who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
“…what would enable us to say, He was able to pay the penalty He had undertaken? That He died manifests His love and His willingness to save. It is His rising again that manifests His power and His ability to save. We cannot be saved by a dead Christ, who undertook but could not perform, and who still lies under the Syrian sky, another martyr of impotent love. To save, He must pass not merely to but through death. If the penalty was fully paid, it cannot have broken Him, it must needs have been broken upon Him. The resurrection of Christ is thus the indispensable evidence of His completed work…It is only because He rose from the dead that we know that the ransom He offered was sufficient, the sacrifice was accepted, and that we are His purchased possession,” (B.B. Warfield, The Person and Work of Christ, p. 544).
c. The gospel gives what the law demands (Ezek. 36:26-27; Rom. 1:16; Gal. 3:2; Eph. 1:13; Rom. 10:17)
“Like Abraham, you must never look at yourself again, and at all that is so true of you. You are justified in spite of all that; it is what God has done in Christ. Look to that, rest on that, be confident in that. Hold up your head with boldness; yea, I say it with reverence, go even into the presence of God with ‘holy boldness’ and in ‘the full assurance of faith’; not boldness in yourself, but in your Mediator, in your great High Priest, in the One whom God raised from the dead in order to let you know that your sins were dealt with at the Cross once and for ever, and that He looks upon you as His dear child,” (Martyn Lloyd Jones, Romans, p. 250).
© John Fonville
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