Why the Law?
Loons mad I am your medicine is executive director of the Grace gospel fellowship and that Amazon is in town because last year yesterday we had a regional meeting with our church and the other churches in California that we don't affiliate with an associate with and so we invited him out here to be a part of our regional meeting and then also to see our new building and so on we asked Matt to just share with us what's going on in the grace gospel fellowship our churches throughout the country and there are some critics I think still that want to thank you Matt. Awesome Thank you Pastor Josh it is a privilege to be with you this morning we were here about a year ago for Bruce scampers funeral and to be a part of worship on Sunday morning at your old building and so it's great to be here this morning excited for what the Lord has in store what has already happened in this few weeks but what's going to happen in the coming months and years as this church grows and reaches into the community was great being a part of the regional meeting yesterday very challenging lots of things going on some struggles within our region within the region but also some really exciting things to share I want to hit on a couple things. And I went to Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago to visit with our churches there we have two churches in the port on Puerto Rico on the island and obviously back in the fall they had the devastating hurricane Maria and that had nothing to do with the McFadden's at all. But Hurricane Maria was obviously devastating and still is devastating the CAN'T ministry can't Creba is still without power to this day so that's four plus months later they do not have power and it was a great time to visit with the church as we took a freewill offering amongst all of our Grace gospel fellowship churches and we had thirty plus churches respond bringing in forty thousand dollars for the ministries in Puerto Rico to help the missionaries to help the camp the churches there as well it was great to come together as a. Fellowship of churches and we just want to thank you for being a part of that for many churches and individuals being a part of that I want to read to you a passage that I read when I had the chance to preach in Puerto Rico and if you turn your Bibles quickly I just want you to be familiar with this as you go through the week but Psalm one thirty three. Psalm one thirty three.
And it was it was interesting to be able to preach I'd preaching in Spanish I don't speak a lot of Spanish but I thought you know this might be better than me having a translator jury's still out on that but the church was very open to criticizing or critiquing the words and making sure that I make said them correctly which actually was really fine you may not think that's fine to be critical criticize up here but it was a lot of fun to be a part of that car geisha but Psalm one thirty three I'm not saying you should criticize Josh when he comes up here and misspeaks on Galatians or balloons but Psalm one thirty three. How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity it is like precious oil poured on the head running down on the beard running down on Aaron's beard down on the collar of his robe it is as if the dew of Herman were falling on the mount on the Mount Zion for there the Lord bestows His blessing even life forevermore that's one of the things that we want to see as a fellowship of churches that we are partnering together we're not just individual churches trying to do life trying to do ministry on our own but the we work together whether that's in the Southwest region whether it's across the country that we work together and with churches just down the street as well one of the exciting things I want to leave you with is the fact that we are church planting and we want to revitalize churches we want to develop new leaders but we are excited. That Josh Wurman who is from the church in Seattle from shoreline that he has moved to Portland Oregon area and is looking to plant a church in the coming weeks and months in the we're excited for that we want to build a plant churches in all of our regions and for churches to be thinking how can we plant and you may think well we just got in this new building we're good right here well the thinking of the future you be thinking of what would it look like to plant a church on another side of Phoenix or going other places in Arizona. God is doing amazing things in and through the churches in the.
So we're excited to share some of us and please be praying for Josh as he moves Portland.
Lots of challenges with church planting but we ask you to pray if you'd like to be a part of supporting church planting you can see me afterwards you can go to USA dot work and be a part of that effort but we want to see churches all over the country want to see you engaged in church planting revitalizing churches and developing new leaders which is a big part of that if we have church plants we have so they have to have leaders so seeing that in all of our churches is important we thank you for the opportunity when I entered my wife Sharon door I'm not going to stand up that wouldn't go well for the rest of the trip. And her sister Lisa so just grateful to be here with you this morning the great friendships that we have and I just thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you Matt thank you for sharing that you know as he's up here on thinking I went to college with Matt and now he's in a position of the executive director of the greatest coffee shop and we're about the same age I'm getting old.
But not as old as you imagine you are older than me I am not going to let your forget that just by a few months the few months well how many of you live in an age or way I do. But half of you roughly about half of you there are some good things about it two ways about things right well this last week I got a letter from my beloved H. away and they were saying this screams on the side of your house are not dark enough.
So you know how interesting how it's kind of interesting how that now works out just like that and so and also when we moved in four years ago they sent us another letter right when we moved in saying a couple of your screens are not dark enough above the garage you need to fix those and they didn't say the two that I have to fix they were I'm a little frustrated my age away if you can tell but you know what honestly as annoyed as it is I'm actually glad there are some things about our nature way that I like like for instance I make sure that all the other houses in the neighborhood are going to be kept up in maintaining So that's kind of a blessing of a nature a way also when we submitted the application of pain our house they told us it's approved but you can't paint your house the same color as your next door neighbor which kind of makes sense but I'm glad I live in a nature a way that will prevent my neighbor from painting their house purple and gold because you know that would be awful unless it's in church you know then it's OK if it's in the church to be purple and gold but H. a ways it's you know what human beings we like laws and at some point we all have to deal with the laws of the land and usually when we look at these laws that are out there a lot of us ask the simple question why why are there these laws why are there laws that govern us I googled Why do we have laws because that's the thing that you need to do if you have a question and Google says this for why we have laws laws Google says the law as a set of rules for society designed to protect basic rights and freedoms and to treat everyone fairly and I'm glad that I live in a nation that has laws I'm sure you are too but some laws are absolutely ridiculous and I found a few ridiculous laws I'm going to share these with you and as a share them we always have to remember there's a reason why this law is in place because someone did the very thing that they're outlawing so in Connecticut apparently it is illegal for a barber to hum a tune while cutting your hair.
I want to know the story behind that that's got to be a good story in Minnesota now this should be common sense but in Minnesota airplanes are not permitted to land in city parks.
You know the fact that they have to have a law about that in New Hampshire it is illegal to collect and carry away see we have to be church but only at night. That's kind of interesting in New Mexico persons may not spit on the steps of the Opera House apparently that was a problem in New York I totally agree with this one it is illegal to congregate in public with two or more people well each wearing a mask or his you face covering which just guys is your identity. Right debts or that's actually a really good law I like that law. In Rhode Island no person may buy off another's limbs are you serious. In South Carolina a person must be each in years old to play a pinball machine that's really bizarre in her mind you're like this one so how if you will like this one. Women must have Taina written permission from their husbands in order to wear false teeth a.
Couple more moments done and I was done to do this all day in Virginia no animal may be hunted on Sunday with the exception of raccoons of course which may be hunted only intel two AM Our last one Kentucky I know someone's from Kentucky sorry but this is a Kentucky one may not die a duckling blue and offered for sale unless there are more than six for sale at the same time.
Again you every time I see a ridiculous law you have to remember it's their fur is then because someone broke that law well those are our laws and we've been going through the book of Galatians and so we have to ask the question because this is a question that's being asked today is why did God. Give the law why did God give to the nation of Israel the laws that govern their society and up to this point in time as we've been going to the book of the way sions Paul's been proving to the Galatians and specifically the Judaizing years that a person cannot be saved by obeying the law just if you obey the Ten Commandments if you pay all the other laws that God has given that does not save you I want to go into a little bit of background on the Jewish law there is more than just the chain Commandments and the Jews obviously they were very proud of the fact that God chose to give them the law and the law as we read through the Old Testament it's primarily found in the Book of Exodus Leviticus and Deuteronomy and what Exodus does is it records Israel leaving from Egypt there in bondage and slavery to Egypt they come out of Egypt on their way to the Promised Land God brings them to Mount Sinai and God has Moses come up on Mount Sinai and he gives them the law and so that's what we read about in Exodus you get into Leviticus and it gets into some of the more of the ceremonial details of the law like for instance in Leviticus chapters once or sixteen it contains the rituals of the ceremonial aspects of the law and then Leviticus seventeen to twenty seven it contains the moral and ethical aspects of the law and obviously today we talk about how the law has been abolished the laws been fulfilled but the moral in the ethical aspects of the law have not because that's a reflection of God's holiness and so kind of like a brief summary on the law and God's relationship with Israel the law was given to Israel to show them how to be holy and then also so that they would be an example to the rest of the world now before we go into Galatians I want to hold to go back to Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy. Genesis actual surveyed against Deuteronomy numbers Deuteronomy don't forget numbers so that's not misspeaking that you mentioned like last week I told everyone to close their heads in. As we declare.
But in Deuteronomy this is the second giving of the law and this is near the end of them for the forty years of them wandering in the wilderness and this is just before Moses' death and so Moses reminds them of the law and here we have the the Ten Commandments are given in Exodus Chapter five and through Exodus what I'm going to do we're not going to read all this by going to give you some of the different subjects that are touched on Moses telling the nation of Israel this is how you do this and so he talks about worship he talks about idolatry he talks about clean unclean foods he gives the law on the ties the Sabbatical year firstborn animals the feasts and festivals leaders laws record regarding leaders on protecting life protecting sexual morality various laws protecting property talks about laws and justice marriage business first fruits and ties and so living there Deuteronomy going through all those things and then we get to chapter twenty eight Deuteronomy each one E. eight and here is somewhat of a summary there are several of these throughout Scripture but this is a summary that Moses gives to the nation of Israel and basically says this if you follow the Law God is going to bless you and if you don't follow the Law God is going to bring just the opposite of all those blessings on you so let's read this and what I want you to do is I want you to imagine before we go back to the lay sions that the Judy eyes yours in the province of Galatians who were telling those English and you have to be circumcised in order to be saved they knew about these blessings that were about to read and these blessings were probably very close to their hearts and they wanted the people in Galatians to have these blessings and also to avoid the plagues and the curses that would come if they didn't follow the law and so as we read this understand the heart of someone who is Jewish they're passionate for these blessings in their passion for God So Deuteronomy twenty eight. Beginning in verse one I'll just read a portion of this not the whole chapter. God says the nation of Israel says and if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God being careful to do all his commands and I command you today the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey the voice of the Lord your God bless it shall you be in the city and bless it shall you be in the field less it shall be the fruit of your room in of the fruit of the ground and of the fruit of your cattle the increase of your herds and the young of your flock bless it shall be your basket and your kneading Bowl bless it shall be you be when you come in and bless it shall you be when you go out the Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways the Lord will command the blessing on you and in your barns in and all that you undertake and he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you the Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself as you swore as he has sworn to you if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways and all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord and they shall be afraid of you and the Lord will make you a bound in prosperity in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock in the fruit of your ground within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you the Lord will open to you his good Treasury the heavens to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands and you shall lend to many nations but none as you shall not borrow and Lord will make you the head and not the tail and you shall go up and not down if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today being careful to do them and if you do not turn aside from any of the. Words that I command you today to the right hand or to the left or go after other gods to serve them and so they know about these blessings and they're passionate to receive these blessings and the blessings were conditional upon obedience and what Satan did is over the years Satan deceived them into taking this further to the point where they thought that their obedience to the law was going to earn them salvation Well here's the curses that come with it if they don't follow pick it up in verse fifteen of Deuteronomy here says but if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all those commandments in the statutes that I command you today then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you curse it shall be you in the city and Curse of Chalion be in the field curse it shall be your basket in your needing will curse it shall be the first of your womb your fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground the increase of your urge herds and the young of your flock person shall you be when you come in and curse and show you be when you go out and this goes on and on and on and on and we're not going to read this whole thing but hopefully from one standpoint you can understand why the Judaizing years were so passionate about following the law and O.B. being obedient to the covenant of circumcision but they were also concerned about the consequences of not following the law and so that's why they went to Glacier and they told them that they must be circumcised Now I want to kind of make a general comment before we look at our passage today you know if you were to go and read the law in Exodus Leviticus or Deuteronomy all those moral and ethical laws there's really nothing in there that should shock any of us where we'd say you know why is that a law to some extent it's basically common sense this is talking about decency and dignity and also it's truly a reflection of God's holiness but it's all in one sense it gets the majority of God's law it is a reflection of God's Holy S. now in Galatians Paul just spent time talking about the faith A. Abraham and how he was saved by his face years before the law was given and hundreds and hundreds of years after God give the promise to Abraham God called them up out of Egypt and he gave them the law and so you have to ask the question What is the correlation between the covenant that God gave to Abraham and the law and that's where we get to our passage today glaciers are turned over to glaciers chapter three
Galatians chapter three will begin in verse nine in just a minute but we finally get to the point where this rhetorical question is being asked by those the Judaizing years Paul is telling them that salvation is NOT come from the law but then you have to ask the all important question well if salvation doesn't come from the law then what I did God give the law in the first place what's the purpose of the law. And I think many of kids they ask that question to their parents when their parents tell them that they can't do something right now I remember being a child and my mom would say no you can't do that and I would always ask her why you would your reason behind that we're here Paul explains why God gave the law so let's read glaciers Chapter Three beginning in verse nineteen. Why then the law it was added because of transgressions until the offspring should come to whom the promises been made and it was put in place to reign Jools by an intermediary now an intermediary implies more than one but God is One is the law then contrary to the promises of God certainly not for the law had been given that could give life then righteousness would indeed be by the law but the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin so that the promise by face in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe now before face came referring to Christ we were held captive under the law imprisonment all the coming face would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by face but now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through face 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 no male or female for you are all one in Christ Jesus and if your Christs then you are Abraham's offspring errors according to promise and as I was reading this passage a kind of going through this week I realize there's there's actually a lot in that section that I just read and that we just looked at but I want to summarize this and get down basically to the two main reasons at least two of the main two of the main reasons we see in this passage as to why God gave the law and I want to give those to you right now and so the first reason that we see in this passage why God gave the law was number one to prove that you and I are sinners God gave the law to prove to you and me that we are sinners and if we're all honest with ourselves we all know that we're sinners right we don't need someone else to tell us but having it written down clearly that this is wrong helps to justify our sinfulness.
In reading from the E S V I sometimes I like to go to some other translations and see how they word something or maybe phrase a little bit differently the New Living Translation translates these couple verses nineteen and twenty it says like this why then was the law given it was given alongside the promise to show people they are since. When you read the law when you read anything in the Bible do you ever just your eyes kind of get opened you really thought I am not living up to the standard that God has in his word and that's why he wrote this down for us.
We're going to come back here to glaciers but I want you to turn over to Romans Chapter seven really quick on the I really appreciate about Romans as Paul just does a great job just explaining things in the beginning to the end of Romans and here in Romans Chapter seven. He talks about why God gave the law. And a backs up what he says here in Galatians Romans Chapter seven beginning in verse seven.
Will just read just a few verses here Romans Chapter seven beginning in verse seven.
Also what then shall we say that the law is sin by no means yet if I had not been if it had not been for the law I would not have known sin for I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said You shall not covet but since seizing an opportunity through the commandment produced in me all kinds of covetousness for apart from the law sin lies how many is it how many times that ever happened to you you're told not to do something and what's the next thing that you want to do you want to do it right you have that's exactly how we were just how we are designed how many of you know the Ten Commandments I'm sure all of you're pretty familiar with the Ten Commandments I don't know if all of you have all ten memorized if we kind of were to put you on the spot maybe you'd be able to recite several of them maybe forget a couple of them but how many of you know that you broke in at least one of the Ten Commandments or more right especially as we get down towards the very bottom I'm going to read the Ten Commandments
and this verifies that we are sinners. Thank you ma'am as you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy honor your father and mother.
You shall not murder you shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal.
Is anyone here ever sold something in their life you shall not give false testimony against your neighbor has anyone here ever lied you shall not covet your neighbor's house wife or property. You know this is just ten of the commandments these are the ten big ones but when the laws are written down there is no hiding from the fact that we are sinners and we are lawbreakers So the law or reveals our sinfulness and that we cannot fulfill it you know how many of you enjoy being caught doing something wrong I for instance you know like the typical example is you're speeding down the road and the police officer pulls you over and they ask you that question do you know why I pulled you over in and then they show you how fast you were going in it's a miserable feeling you broke the law and you've been caught that's why God gave the law or at least that's one of the reasons why God gave the law and I'm so thankful that God didn't give us the law just to show us our sins because God also gave us the law for this point Point number two he gave us the law to point people to Christ. He gave us the law to show us the answer to our sinfulness or read it again in Galatians chapter three beginning in verse twenty three.
Place in chapter three verse twenty three says now before faith. Came we were held captive under the law imprisoned until the coming face would be revealed so then the law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith but now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian I think in the this the section that I just read maybe the most important word in this section is the word until God gave the law for a temporary reason the law was not meant to be permanent it was temporary untel perfection had come and so Paul talks about a guardian here and some of the translations might use a different word and might say a schoolmaster or guide but this is really interesting this concept of guardian because those in Galatians and anyone that grew up in the Roman Empire they would probably understand this concept very well many of the Roman in Greek households had slaves and some of the more well educated slaves were actually to look after the children sometimes they would take them to or from school or they watched over them during the day sometimes these well educated slaves they would actually teach the children they would protect the children and sometimes they would actually discipline the children and so that is what Paul meant by calling the law our guardian the word is pedagogy which means a child conductor the law was a guardian untel And so using this illustration Paul is doing a couple things for those in just in the Roman Empire in Glacier the first thing is used to the Jews that they were not born through the law but rather that they were brought up by the law the law was their guardian not their life giver the slave or The Guardian The law is not the child's father he was simply the Guardian in disciplinary and so the law did not give life a regulated life and they needed to understand that and the second thing Paula stooging here is that the work of the Guardian is to prepare the child for Mitch. Surety and once the child is mature they no longer need the Guardian and so the law was a preparation for the nation of Israel and held the coming of the promised Seed who is Jesus Christ and in verse twenty seven interesting here he says for as many of us were baptized into Christ have put on Christ you still playing off this idea of a guardian because in Greco-Roman world what they did is the kids would wear a certain type of clothing but as soon as they became adults they would take off the children's clothing and they would put on the toga of an adult citizen and so he's saying for as many of you has been baptized in the Christ you've identified with Christ you have put on adulthood you have put on maturity So Paul is saying now that you've identified with Jesus the baptism of the Holy Spirit you are no longer a child you are an adult son of God and as an adult you must put on the clothes of an adult and lay aside the clothing of a child so that's what Paul is teaching them here in this section in Galatians he's saying he's already said the law cannot save you but the law was given to show you that you're a sinner and the law was also given to point us to Christ as the fulfillment of the law and that's the only way that you and I can reach maturity and be true heirs along with Abraham.
You know as is whenever we study the Bible whether it's in the center school class or on our own or here and in the service I think it's always helpful for us to put ourselves in their shoes to try to understand you know what they were thinking maybe some of the cultural background the kind of helps them understand what Paul is teaching and the Galatians in the Judaizing years in this period of time as were reading the letter that Paul wrote to glacially they were going through a period of transition. There was a big transition going from the law or regulating their life to understanding the law has now been fulfilled. And that now the maturity is calm with Christ we are not in this time of transition now and so we kind of miss that sense of urgency that the book is really giving to us but thankfully what we can do is we can learn from it they had to go through the transition from law to Grace and how that explained to them and I'm sure some of them they got it right away oh yes I am a sinner OK I see the purpose of the law and I see oh Christ is the fulfillment of why I will accept him as my Lord and Savior some of them got it right away some of them are probably took them a while probably some of these Judaizing is it took them a while because they were so so passionate for the law and they were fighting for it and obviously never understood it and they live the rest of their lives in slavery towards the law and then also to sin while something happens similar today to each of us as human beings as we are exposed to what the Bible teaches us some people get it right away and maybe you're one of those people that got it right away and you realize yeah I'm a sinner and that's that's a problem but I realize that God sent His Son to die on the cross so that I can have the hope of eternal life and I get that in a place my faith and. Some of us get it right away some people might take a while it might take years and years of learning and hearing this and then all of a sudden kind of the light goes off and you say oh that's what the Bible is about that's what life is about and some people they never comprehend the truth. But I hope everybody hears this morning I don't know where you're out in your relationship with God but I hope everyone here gets this and what Paul is teaching what the Bible teaches us there isn't I don't think anything more important in this life for us to get him to understand than this truce and for those of us who do get this are you glad they God revealed to you your sin and also his grace so that you can accept it. And so we look at the Bible and sometimes. We say it's kind of harsh we don't want to tell people all the the do nots in the Bible but unless they know what sin is they will never know that they're a sinner and so we can be thankful to God in His great love and mercy for us showed us that we're sinners but more importantly showed us. The solution to our sin which is the Son Jesus Christ as individuals and as a church we need to commit ourselves to sharing God's truth in the hope that it will lead more people to accept His Grace let's close in Perth this morning
dear Lord as we continue to go through the book of Galatians and try to put ourselves in the shoes of those back then and realize just the important transition that was taking place during that time where people are realizing that Christ had come and he was the fulfillment of the law and now that the law had been fulfilled we are no longer under law but we are now under grace and the world can accept that Lord this truth has been going on for many years for thousands of years and here we find ourselves here in Phoenix Arizona in two thousand and thirteen and Lord this this mission this is gospel that you've given to us is just as important today as it ever has been so Father I pray for anyone here this morning that is coming to the realization that there are a sinner and that their sins have separated them from God that you will you'll put on their heart to accept the free gift of salvation through your Son Jesus Christ and Lord I know that this church is in the midst of a neighborhood full of sinners where we were all sinners or I pray that in some way that you might stir them to visit us and so that we can share with them this this truth oh Lord I know that every single one of us has a relationship with at least another person another human being in this world who does not know how their sins can be forgiven and I pray that Lord at the right time maybe in the right way you'll give us the words to say and the graciousness to share this message of salvation with the world around us thank you for calling the Apostle Paul to this incredible ministry that you've given to him thank you for giving us the word of God so that we can study it and know what the truth is the Lord my prayer is that we as a church and as individuals we will hold fast to this truth and we will put it into practice so that the world can see that there is something different and special about us in our lives or we want to live our lives for you and pray this in Christ's name.
Now only the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with you all meant.