Sermon Summary: Remember Who You Are
WHO ARE YOU?
What we believe about who we are (identity) drives how we see the world (worldview) and how we live (lifestyle/morality). Paul is address this identity-issue in today’s passage: he’s reminding the Galatians church that as believers in Jesus Christ they are “Children of Promise.”
He compares the children of Hagar with the children of Sarah, making it clear that those who put themselves “Under the Law” are children of Hagar the slave. Instead, we who believe in Christ are born of the Spirit and are children of Sarah, we are children of promise.
WHY WOULD ANYONE DESIRE TO BE UNDER THE LAW?
It’s worth considering why anyone would desire to put himself under the law. There are three main reasons to consider.
- Putting yourself under the Law makes life clear-cut and simple. Under the Law, life is black-and-white and you only need to learn what God wants you to do and teach others to learn God’s Law too. The problem with this is that God’s Law never changes hearts, it shows the hearth’s guilt before a holy God, so life turns out to not be so simple and clear-cut afterall because we aren’t able to do what we know we should do.
- Putting yourself under the Law promotes Holiness. Holiness is a good thing, and we’re all called to pursue it. The Law is good and reflects God’s standard. Again, the problem with the Law is that it can’t bring about what it demands. Where the Law tells us to fly, the Gospel gives us wings.
- Putting ourselves under the Law is natural. We all want bad to be punished and good to be rewarded. Grace and mercy are, in many ways, unnatural. Since God is a good Judge, He upholds the Law; since God is loving He took the punishment we deserve.
As Children of Promise, we look forward to the coming of the New Jerusalem. We are people of faith, who live with God’s promises in mind. Although Jerusalem represents the holiest place on this earth, Paul is emphasizing that in comparison to the New Jerusalem (read Revelation 21) it looks like a landfill. In light of the great promise that lays ahead, the Old Jerusalem becomes like Hagar… a substitute that relies on the effort of man instead of the miraculous work of God.
ONLY GOD CAN CHANGE YOUR HEART
This couldn’t be more practical. We all know people who keep making a mess of their lives; really, who isn’t guilty of doing that to some degree or another! Bad decision after bad decision. Beer after beer. Needle after needle. Partner after partner. Website after website. Lie after lie. We command ourselves to stop, to be less addicted or proud or selfish or judgmental. We keep saying it’s going to be our last time… but it’s not.
Surely counselors and doctors and medicine are wonderful blessings that God has provided, so I’m not saying to avoid those, but we must recognize that they cannot change our hearts… only God can do that, and He does that through faith.
IDENTITY: CHILDREN OF PROMISE
Christian: Remember who you are… a child of promise… a person who walks by faith. Embrace grace – the grace the God has given you, and the grace He is calling you to give to others.
If you are not a Christian, please do this: Look deep within your heart and confess to yourself what you see, then ask yourself what you will do with your sin. How will you stand before a Holy God? How “good” is good enough?
The Great News of the Gospel is this: God loves sinners! He loves sinners so much He died for them, for you and for me, so that we could be forgiven, redeemed, and made innocent so we can stand before a Holy God.