Free at Last, Free at Last
Sermon Text: Galatians 5:1
I. What is the Gospel?
a. Not a Creed
It is not saying, “I believe certain things.” You say, “Well,
I believe the plan of salvation.” You can believe the plan of salvation, and go straight to Hell; because, you’re not saved by the plan of salvation—you’re saved by the man of salvation. The demons believe in God and tremble.(James 2:19)
b. Not a Code
You say, “Well, I believe in living right. I believe that, if you live right,
you’ll go to Heaven.” Paul says in this book, “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21). If you can be saved by living right, then Calvary is a joke, the resurrection is a fairy tale and your faith is in vain.
c. Not a Church
Being a member of a church makes you a Christian as much as going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.
d. It is Christ
Do you know why we have so much religious mayhem in the world today? Because
people have met creeds, not Christ. They’ve entered into codes of living, but not Christ.
They’ve joined churches without meeting Christ. Salvation is not believing something; it
is receiving someone.
Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
John 14:6-Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
What is the Gospel? It is first the bad news of God’s wrath for our sins. Then it is the Good News of Jesus death on the cross for our sins. Lastly it is following Christ “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”(Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23).
II. How Does the Gospel free us?
A. Christ saved us from the penalty of Sin—We are Justified at the cross
James Montgomery Boice, in his commentary on Romans, tells the story of a young Russian—the son of a close friend of Czar Nicholas—who was caught stealing from the czar. As treasurer of a border fortress of the Russian army, the young man was to manage the czar’s money and dispense wages to the troops. But he began gambling and trying to cover his losses by borrowing from the army treasury.
One day he heard that a government auditor was coming to examine the books. He sat down and added up what he had taken. It was a huge amount. He emptied out his own resources, subtracted it from what should have been in the account and noted the great discrepancy. Under the amount due, he wrote: “A great debt; who can pay?” He couldn’t, and he knew no one who could help him. So he drew his revolver and decided to kill himself at midnight.
But as he waited for the clock to strike, he fell asleep, and while he slept, Czar Nicholas paid a surprise inspection visit. He saw the books, the despairing note and the revolver, and he realized that the young man had betrayed his trust. But rather than arrest the young man, he had mercy on him. He stooped and wrote something next to the man’s note and quietly left.
When the young man awoke, he again picked up the gun and was about to pull the trigger when he noticed something. Next to his note, “A great debt; who can pay?” was a single word: Nicholas. And the next morning, a bag of coins arrived from Nicholas that covered the exact amount owed.
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
B. We are being saved from the power of sin—we are in the process of being sanctified on earth
C. We will be saved from the presence of sin—we will be glorified in heaven
III. What Freedom in Christ isn’t
A. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to injure others
B. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to indulge in the flesh
C. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to ignore the law of God.
IV. What is Freedom in Christ
A. Free to love and serve God
Discipline is saying I need to do this
Duty is saying I have to do this
Devotion is saying I want to do this
B. Free to love and serve others
God doesn’t love us because we’re valuable. We’re valuable because He loves us. God is not changing us so He can love us. He loves us so He can change us.