Made to Thrive

 


 

Monday

Day – Matthew 4

Night – Matthew 6

 

Tuesday

Day – John 15

Night – Hebrews 10

 

Wednesday

Day – Psalm 1

Night – Matthew 11

 

Thursday

Day – Romans 10

Night – Luke 6

 

Friday

Day – Mark 11

Night – 3 John 1

 


 

 

Pastor Carroll L. Scott

 


 


 


 

Sister Lilly Jefferson

 


 

 

Letting Jesus Use Your Boat

 


 

Luke 5:1-11

 

How many of you believe that Peter is very important to Jesus? There are only few (several) stories that can be found in all four gospels. The story of the alabaster box is one of those stories and Jesus said that it would be preached in all the world. Matthew 26, Mark 14:9, Luke 7:37, John 12. The details of Peter being approached by Jesus and given the opportunity to follow Him is another also that we see in all four.

 

Luke 4:14,38,44

>First, I want to submit to you that Peter getting to the place of forsake everything and following Jesus was a process. Matthew and Mark present it as a quick and easy decision but beginning in John and especially here in Luke we see that there was much more involved.

>I want you to see something hear that we have not seen before. Jesus actually had to win Peter. He did it by first ministering to his family and then by ministering to Him personally (JN 1:42) and finally by evoking a blessing in his life. Jesus ended up with a lifetime follower and leader who lead multitudes of others to follow Christ as well.

 

Luke 5:8-9

>I also believe that we are suppose to notice Peter’s reaction to this blessing being bestowed upon his life as well as his disobedience to the Lord’s instruction. Depart from me I am a sinful man. Remember we said to you that adam hid from the presence of God when he sinned. I believe one of the main reasons that unmarried men make of the smallest active percentage in the body of Christ for this reason. And many of their absent married brothers are so for the same reason.

 

Luke 18:9-14

>This man stood a far off. We have got to follow the way that Jesus was able to reach these men where they were and bring them with Him to where He wanted them to be.

 

Luke 5:5

>Secondly Peter did not completely obey Jesus and in this we see his pride. Because of the male ego it is easy for men to have a pride problem. ILL: Asking for directions.

 

Luke 14:16-20

>Remember those that began to make excuse. Excuses, excuses, excuses!

 

Luke 5:6-7

>There is coming a boat filling, ship sinking harvest in your life because you are letting God use your resources!

>Thinking we know it all can easily get in the way of receiving the full benefit and blessing of our obedience in the reward of letting God use our resources.

 

Luke 5:16

>Which brings me to my last point for today. Do we pray enough? Proverbs 3:6 teaches us to acknowledge him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. Peter got clear direction from the Lord. But we only get that when we acknowledge him.

 

 

Sis. Tamula Hodo

 


 

John 10:10 (NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 

-This verse lays out TWO different purposes by two different people

-satan whose purpose is to steal, kill and destroy

-Jesus, who came that we might have life and have it more abundantly

 

-So often we automatically believe we are living the latter, however that is not always the case

 

John 10:10 (NLT)

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

 

-Above all, we see three main features of what satan is here to do. (Steal, Kill, Destroy)

-Let’s look a little more closely at these terms

(Definitions according to Webster 1828 Dictionary)

-Steal: To take or carry away feloniously, as the personal good of another

-Kill: To deprive of live, in any manner or by any means

-Destroy: To demolish; to pull down; to ruin; to annihilate; to kill; to slay; to put an end to

 

-These three terms are used most of the time to describe something that no longer exists or is no longer in your possession.

 

There is a SHIFT going on, things are becoming a bit more serious for satan; his game is changing.

 

There was a time when satan was a bit more relaxed about those in his possession.

 

It’s almost as if you are in a cell full of everything you could have ever desired and the door is wide open. he is so comfortable in what he has provided you with that he leaves the door wide open giving the illusion that you are free to go whenever you wish; however you ARE in a cell. A dressed up one, but cell nonetheless.

 

So what does he have people comfortable in?

 

1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

 

-Not, going to pass away, IS PASSING AWAY…

 

There is a SHIFT going on….

 

You used to be able to go out and play with satan a little and come back, but satan is now playing for keeps and you should be as well. Let me explain…satan didn’t always feel threatened by the body of Christ and I believe that is changing. Why do I feel that way? Simple, just look at what God is doing here at Faith Family Church.

 

-Having outreach at store fronts, where we give people Jesus & a hotdog

-Having men & woman rendezvous, where we can become healed, delivered and free

-Holding men camps & Women conference cruises for strengthening and unity

-Mission trips to other countries sharing God’s love and Good News

-Raising up & developing leaders to raise up and develop other leaders

-Praying for and going after God’s men and God’s order

 

GREAT things are happening, Shifting is happening in the body of Christ.

 

But know that there is a shifting in satan’s world also.

-People are hurting, starving, dying

-Children are being kidnapped, raped, and even killed

-People are losing their mind’s, killing themselves and each other

-Planes are missing

-Students are missing

-People are without hope, love, & resources

 

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

 

-We have NO time to be in our pity parties, outside of our purposes, still trying to figure out if that is what God REALLY wants from us.

-He knew what He wanted when He told it to you

 

It’s time to stop helping satan destroy you, aiding him in stealing from you, because how many of us know it’s not stealing if you give it to someone.

-We are not even guarded anymore

-We go anywhere, participate in anything, say anything, do anything, watch everything, listen to anything, over look too much

 

The responsibility falls on us.

 

This is the importance of renewing our minds with God’s Word.

 

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

Joshua 1:8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and have good success.

 

Ephesians 4:23

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind

 

Philippians 4:6-9

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

Time out for “The devil Made Me Do It” Syndrome

 

We are given so many instructions in the bible

 

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly diving the Word of truth

 

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time

 

Romans 12: 1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing

 

Just to point out a few, but in all of these verses we were given instructions.

 

Satan is doing what he is supposed to be doing, but are we, or are we helping him in his purpose by not focusing on our own?

 

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

We can’t flirt with satan and think he has no rights to us.

 

(Close)

 

Today marks something really special in my life. Today I give God a YES, a real one to pursue the purpose he has given to me, and I know that doesn’t have to match what someone else’s ministry or calling looks like. I make a decision not to be the doorway that allows satan place in my life. I encourage you to do the same. Make a decision to not be satan’s aide in destroying or killing anything in your life. That includes, your prayer life, study time, you family, finances, and most importantly your heart and mind.

 

People are in desperate need of the gifts and callings inside of each us.

 

The Importance of Prayer pt. 2

 


 

Hebrews 2:1

2 Peter 1:12

Jude 1:5

 

We’ve been on this series for about a month and a half now and I think that it would be good to do a thorough review today. I almost feel instructed to review what we have learned and covered up to this point.

 

We covered the fact that MEN are OUR TARGET AUDIENCE. Jesus’ selection of His disciples and God’s choice of Abraham are proof positive that the statistics are true. The GOAL of this series is to show you from the word of God the basis from which we have received vision from the Lord to target men in this ministry. By doing so my hope is that we as a congregation will be on ONE ACCORD. Through this series we are learning to become fishers of MEN, in the specific sense.

Then there was the second message in this series entitled HIS TARGET, HER TARGET. In that we saw clearly from several passages of scripture that Jesus targeted men while He ministered to women and children. We closed that message in John 4 where Jesus was ministering to a woman at a well. The Bible says that she left her water pot and went and told all the men of her city about Jesus. From that we say it should be for all of us, men and women, of this congregation to target men likewise while we minister to women and children.

After that we dealt with THE DEVIL’S TARGET. In Matthew 26:31-34 Jesus reminded His disciples that the scripture says Smite the Shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered abroad. Satan knows this and therefore targets men while he hates women and children. Peter spoke up and vowed his allegiance and determination. Thankfully Jesus had prayed for Peter. But amazingly we saw that at the foot of the cross there were 4 women and only 1 man. Our goal as a congregation is 33%-40%.

In the message called WOMAN vs. MAN, we saw that one of satan’s tactics from the beginning of creation is to plot woman against man and man against woman, one against another. From Abel we looked to Eve and Adam, then to Moses and the prophets and even the time at Jesus’ birth. But in Luke 14:16-20 we saw the three tools that satan will use in his attack. Wealth, Work and Women. Balaam had taught Balac how to throw off the children of Israel by getting them to commit fornication (Revelation 2:14).
Proverbs 6:26 tells us that the adultress will HUNT for the precious life. Proverbs 14:1 says that a foolish woman tears down her own house. And Ecclesiastes 7:26 says that there is a kind of woman whose heart is a snare and net, and her hands are bands. Satan will plot WOMAN vs. MAN.

Now let me insert this here. If you missed Deborah vs. Delilah last week then let me highly and strongly recommend you get both CDs or go online and study those words from the Lord. In Minister Toni’s message about Deborah she talked about the role she played with Barak and how in the end he got the credit for the battle that was fought. Yes she stepped up when the man didn’t but found a way to get the man to the place where he needed to be. Delilah on the other hand was a gold-digger and full of manipulation. And will find a way to use a man’s weaknesses against him. Min. Toni concluded her message showing us the fatalities of being attracted to or involved with a Delilah (physically and spiritually) or in being a Delilah (death).

 

All of these things lead up to THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER, which is where we are today. The last time I ministered to you we introduced the importance of prayer stating that one of the most important areas for a man to focus on is his relationship with God through prayer. It is also the area that men struggle in the most. Yet the man is the first that God looks to find, that will stand before Him in prayer. So why then are our prayer services in the Body of Christ dominated by women. Yes there is a sensitivity in the realm of the spirit that a woman has that makes her dynamic in prayer. But prayer truthfully is the heavy lifting. And it should take both. If two of you agree. God sought for a man to stand in the gap for the people and found none, and so the people were scattered. We said to you that MAN has SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITY as a leader in his family. It should not be left for the woman to be the spiritual head of household. (Scripture knowledge vs. prayer). We looked at what a hedge is supposed to look like and said this is what a man is supposed to make up for his family.

 

1 Timothy 2:1-2

>He is saying specifically how important it is to pray for men. Everybody in the family benefits when the man is in his rightful place.

>But prayer is not important in this series just for the men, it is important equally also for the women.

 

1 Peter 3:1-6

>Wives if you see there is an area in your husband’s life that he is missing God in, then the solution will be discovered through your prayers.

 

1 Peter 3:7

>And one of the reasons that men struggle in prayer is because of their treatment of women.

>The other major reason is ignorance.

 

Luke 11:1

>Now when you read this don’t forget that He originally told them to follow Him and He’d make them fishers of men. I submit to you that in this He is teaching them how to become fishers of men, you do it through prayer.

 

Luke 6:12-16

>He called the disciples but prayed before He appointed apostles. In this He is teaching them the importance of prayer and how to fish for men.

>I’ve always been taught that before you make any major decisions in your life to make sure you bath them in prayer. Every success in life is a prayer success first. And every failure in life is a prayer failure.

 

John 15:16

>First, notice they were chosen (through prayer) to bring forth fruit (fish for men)!

>He is teaching them about prayer – whatever you ask of the Father in His name will be given you.

 

John 16:23,26

>And again He teaches them the importance of prayer.

 

John 11:41-42

>He demonstrated a lifestyle of prayer for the disciples to follow.

 

Mark 11:24-25

>He taught them on and in many occasions how to pray and in doing so He is teaching them how to be fishers of men.

 

Matthew 26:36-39

>He taught them how to pray when you are in a time of temptation, testing and trial.

 

Luke 22:31-32

>He prayed for Peter. And as a result Peter wasn’t destroyed and in turn became a man of prayer himself.

 

Acts 1:12-14

>So we see here that not just Peter but all His disciples learned the importance of prayer.

 

Acts 3:1

>As a result, they became men of prayer.

>My challenge to you today is simply to embrace the importance and significance of prayer in your life and as we are being made to become fishers of men.

 

 

Brother C.L. Scott


 

God, Creator of all

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

1 John 5:7

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

 

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Love

4 Types

  1. Storge – Affection (Parental, family love)
  2. Philla – Mental (Loyalty, equality – give and take, friends, activity, community, etc)
  3. Eros – Physical
  4. Agape – Spiritual
    1. God’s love can keep you, but cannot satisfy you physically.

 

5 Attributes of God’s love

  1. No fear in love
    1. 1 John 4:18
      1. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
  2. We are Conquerors
    1. Romans 8:37
      1. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  3. NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God
    1. Romans 8:38-39
      1. For I am persuaded , that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present , nor things to come ,
      2. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  4. Love is faithful
    1. Lamentations 3:22-23
      1. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
      2. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
  5. Unlimited Supply
    1. Matthew 7:7-11
      1. Ask , and it shall be given you; seek , and ye shall find ; knock , and it shall be opened unto you:
      2. For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened .
      3. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
      4. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
      5. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

The Key to Unlimited Supply

  1. We must keep His commandments
    1. John 14:14-15
      1. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
      2. If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  2. The commandments:
    1. Matthew 22:36-40
      1. Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
      2. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
      3. This is the first and great commandment.
      4. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
      5. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Characteristics of Loving your neighbor as yourself

  1. Do you cut yourself slack?
    1. Are you AS quick to give forgiveness as you are to receive it?
  2. Do you always air your own dirty laundry to others? (Gossip)
    1. Are you as critical, masking it as “the truth”
  3. Do you believe the best about yourself?
    1. Even though you don’t always do what you say you’re going to do
      1. Exercise
      2. Eat right
      3. Pay tithes
      4. Pay bills
      5. Stop this or stop that
    2. When others SAY they are going to do something, do you trust it?    

 

 

 

“Deborah or Delilah: Which Woman are You? Pt. 2″

10:30 Service

As we saw with Deborah, the greatest accomplishment we can experience in life may be in helping somebody else achieve greatness. But, likewise, the greatest failure we can experience in life may be in hindering someone from achieving the greatness that God had ordained for their lives.

Turn to Judges 16:1-31 And Let’s look at Delilah

Traits of a Delilah:

  1. Judges 16:1-6Consumed with GREED.
  • From Biblical research we know that the Philistine nation was made up of 5 major cities and each had its own “Lord.” And so, although the text doesn’t state exactly how many Lords, we can estimate at least five. Enough money to set one for life.
  • 1 Timothy 6:10 So when she discovered how much money she was being offered, she decided the revenue meant more than her relationship, the cash meant more than her commitment, and the silver meant more to her than Samson.
  1. Judges 16:10-15- Skilled in Manipulation
  • God desires that not only our vertical relationship with Him is right, but also that our horizontal relationships with other people are right.
  1. Judges 16:18-19 – Uses Weaknesses to Hurt & Destroy You
  • You’ve got to be careful who you share your weaknesses with. In this text, Samson was in love with a woman who wasn’t in love with him.
  • She was trying to find out the one thing that could break him, bind him, and bring him to his knees. She took his most sensitive and sacred secrets and used them to sabotage and subdue his strength.

The Fatality of an Attraction to a Delilah / Judges 16:20-25

  1. It costs you Physically:
    1. Loss of Freedom- He was bound as their slave
    2. Loss of Vision- They put out his eyes
      1. Loss of Dignity- They mocked him

  2. It costs you Spiritually:
    1. Loss of Discernment – He wist (knew) not
    2. Loss of Fellowship with God- the Lord was departed from him
    3. Loss of Ministry – no longer Judge over Israel
    4. Loss of Testimony – when they mocked him, he brought mockery on God.

Delilah’s Demise: Judges 16:26-30

The woman who deceived the man of God did not escape, it is said that Delilah was in the house that fell that day.

Proverbs 31:11, 12 Let’s do right by the men in our lives.

 

 

Minister Toni Tyler


 

“Deborah or Delilah: Which Woman are You? Pt. 1″

8:30 Service

Introduction:    How many of you are being blessed by the Fishers of Men

series? We’ve been learning what God’s target is for the Kingdom of God. We

learned about three areas the devil uses to get our men off track WWW (Work,

Wealth and Women). I want to spend a little more time today on the Woman

factor. While we may just be gaining revelation of God’s intended target, I don’t

believe it is new revelation to the devil.

Genesis 3:15

  • While verse 15 says “it” shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise “his” heel. Satan knows it’s going to be a man. I looked at 20 different translation and they all say, “he” shall or will bruise thy head. All throughout the Bible, it’s the men that have been targeted by the devil and today it is still the same today and he is using the same weapon he used from the beginning.

  • Satan used women from the beginning because he knew that man would be less emotional and not easily deceived. Since, he could not influence the man, he used the one who could influence him, the Woman, Eve.

1 Timothy 2:14

  • Ladies we have influence and it is important how we use it. As it said in this passage, we were deceived not Adam. Adam was influenced by someone he trusted.

I want to look at two women in particular today, Deborah and Delilah.

Now, while I am speaking expressly to my sisters, brothers you can learn from this message.

 

Let’s look at Judges 4:1-7

Deborah has a word from the Lord directly for Barak. She knows that God wants Barak to

take the lead on this, so she shares that word with Barak, and she finds that Barak seems to

be afraid to follow that word.

  • We see here a perfect example of what goes on in the church and many homes today. The Lord has something he wants the man to do, but the man won’t step up. So, the woman does and ends up with the credit for what was done and also the blame for doing it.

Judges 4:8, 9

  • We’re designed to PUSH. We bring life into existence by pushing. We can bring life to the dreams and destinies of the men in our lives by pushing him (not nagging and criticizing them). Come on ladies let’s get to pushing.

  • Deborah was trying to PUSH Barak into his rightful position as leader.

    I’ll go, but you’re going to forfeit the credit. She agrees to go, but tells him that since he depended on a woman to do a man’s job, the glory of victory will be given to a woman!

We can see that Deborah didn’t automatically assume the role of leader, she took it by default. She was trying to encourage Barak to take the lead. Brothers we need you to step up and take your rightful place so that we can get back into our rightful place and function in peace.

1.     Deborah Fortified Barak- Verse 9 and 10

Deborah fortified Barak by being supportive of him. She fortified him with her presence. She went with him because she knew what God was calling him to do; even though he was intimidated, insecure, and fearful. Colossians 3:18 The Message

2.    Deborah turned Barak’s Attention to God- Verse 6 and 14

Notice what she’s doing. Deborah is not jumping out in front of Barak; Deborah is saying, “The Lord has already gone before you, hasn’t he?” She turns his attention to the Lord. In other words she said, “You can do this because God has gone before you.

3.    Deborah sought Barak’s Dignity-Verse 9

Deborah also sought Barak’s dignity. Notice verse 9 where she admonishes Barak that disobeying the Lord would mean he would not get the honor God intended for him. I believe she went “with” him to battle but not “ahead” of him and as a result He is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, the Faith Hall of Fame.

 

Through the life of Deborah we saw that we, ladies, have the ability to encourage manhood, because she understands the order of God’s favor and blessing. She gets behind God’s order. I love this because Barak could have tucked tail and ran, but because he had the encouragement of Deborah, he hung in there another day.

 

  • Excerpt from Woman or Wife: There is a Difference; “In Genesis God created the woman because He knew that it was not good for the man to be alone. Its not that he couldn’t survive by himself, but God knew life would be easier for him if he had help. Therefore, He created a “helper” for him; someone’s whose sole existence was to ensure the continued existence of another. Someone who would help him accomplish all that God had ordained for his life.”

Hebrews 10:24 NLT – Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.


 

Brother Rod Garrett

 


 

SLAVERY OR FREEDOM — The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

 

TRUE GOSPEL – SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, IN CHRIST ALONE!

 

Over the past two-thousand years, the church has gone from simple departure to complete distortion of scripture, ignoring the teachings of Jesus, Paul, and the rest of the apostles in favor of man-made doctrines and teachings that have served to hold the people of God in bondage.

 

Paul, in his letter to Galatia, attacks the false teaching that had begun to take hold. The Galatian church had gotten away from the roots of grace and moved to be a people of the law!

 

Specifically, Paul addresses the rise of Legalism in the church. Some Jews who had become Christians believed (and were preaching to new converts) that in order to obtain salvation and grow in God, both faith in Christ and obedience to the law (law given to Moses by God as well as OT scriptures) were required.

 

LEGALISM – WHEN THE EMPHASIS IS ON BELIEVERS TO OBEY MAN-MADE RULES IN AN EFFORT TO KNOW GOD AND GROW IN GOD (Wikipedia) (also referred to RELIGIONIST)

 

Don’t confuse legalism with obedience or discipline; the essence of legalism centers around a person’s intent, motivation, or identity (good illustration is found in Luke 15:25-32)

 

The Legalist will claim that grace teaching is giving people license to sin and to ignore the moral law. However, Jesus, Himself, said all the law and the prophets can be distilled to this – Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. (See Luke 10:26-27). .

 

Why is legalism a threat to the church?

 

Legalism attacks these basic tenets of Christianity

  • JUSTIFICATION – God declares us right because of Christ’s obedience (Wikipedia definition – God’s act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice) (Romans 5:1)
  • SANCTIFICATION – God changes us with His power as we obey (Wikipedia definition – the act or process of acquiring sanctity, or being made or becoming holy) (Philippians 2:13)

 

Another way of looking at it…

  • To Christians
    • Believe in Jesus = God’s acceptance => Desire to obey God’s commands
    • What God has DONE for us!

     

  • To Legalists (Religionists)
    • Believe in Jesus + Obedience to laws = God’s acceptance
    • What we DO for God!

       

     

In defending the gospel of justification by faith in Christ, and refuting Legalism, Paul makes five (5) arguments:

  • Personal Argument (Galatians 3:1-5) (Galatian’s own experience)
  • Scriptural Argument (Galatians 3:6-25) (Old Testament testimony)
  • Practical Argument (Galatians 3:26-4:7) (how one becomes a son and heir of God)
  • Sentimental Argument (Galatians 4:8-20) (appealing to their relationship with Paul)
  • Allegorical Argument (Galatians 4:21-31) (using Hagar and Sarah as an illustration)

     

We will study Paul’s allegorical argument: Who better to refute these false teachers than Paul? (See Philippians 3).

 

“Allegory” comes from the Greek word allos (another) and agora (to speak); an allegory is a figurative representation conveying a meaning other than, and in addition to, the literal (Wikipedia)

 

HISTORICAL PRIMER

 

Before examining our central passage, we need to review a little history…

  • Abraham & Sarah – Abram was a prosperous businessman in Ur of the Chaldees when God appeared to him and told him to take his wife Sarai, leave that land, and go to a land that God would later show him. God also promised to give him descendants who would become a great nation.
    • Gen 12:2 – God tells Abram that he will make him a great nation
    • Gen 13:16 – Abram and Sarai move to Canaan, the land God promised them; God reaffirms promise of children, but note Abram is 75, Sarai is 65
    • Now in Canaan 10 years with no children; Sarai, who is barren, has a servant named Hagar (Gen 16:1)
    • Because Sarai was barren, she gives Hagar to her husband Abram to bear a child in her place (Gen 16:2-3)
    • Hagar conceives, causes strife in the home, and gives birth to a son – named Ishmael (Gen 16:4, 7-16)
    • 14 years pass (Abram is now 99, Sarai 89); God reaffirms promise to Abraham (God changes his name from Abram to Abraham) that Sarah (God changes her name from Sarai to Sarah) will have a son (Gen 17:15-17)
    • God confirms that the covenant will be through Isaac, not Ishmael (Gen 17:18-21)
    • Sarah bears Isaac as God promised (Gen 21:1-8) (Abraham was 100, Sarah 90)
    • Ishmael mocks Isaac; Hagar and Ishmael sent away (Gen 21:9-11)

     

ALLEGORICAL ARGUMENT

 

Galatians 4:21-31

  • Verse 21 – if the Galatians truly understood or heard the law, they wouldn’t want to be bound to it because you can’t fulfill it! The design of the law is to show us that we can’t keep it!!! (and drives us to Jesus) MIRROR example. The law demands PERFECTION. (See James 2:10). A person cannot do enough works nor keep enough laws to become perfectly good!
  • Verses 22-23 – legalism emphasizes the difference between Abraham’s two sons; the way to become acceptable to God and to enter heaven is not by law nor works of goodness, but by the promise of God.
  • Verse 24 – Paul sets up the symbolic illustration…two covenants (old versus new) (law/works versus grace/promise)
  • Verses 25-28 – Hagar represents the old covenant between God and man. The law bears children into slavery – the law says do this and don’t do that. It demands and insists on obedience. It enslaves a person to do exactly what it says. Therefore, if a person hopes to approach God in his own goodness, merit, virtue, morality, and righteousness, he is in bondage to the law. Sarah represents the new covenant between God and man. Grace is seen in the Jerusalem which is above (heavenly). Heavenly Jerusalem is the spiritual and eternal city which God has promised to those who approach Him through faith…and it’s free! The covenant of grace ends up with more children that the legalist. This is a prophecy which simply predicted that more Gentiles would believe the grace of God than Jews (See
    Isaiah 54:1). Paul is not saying that the law is not good. We are to live righteously and morally, but we are not acceptable to God only because of our goodness and self-efforts.
  • Verse 29 – legalism persecutes and enslaves believers and persecute others because legalists try to approach God in the flesh…by their own energy and effort in trying to be good and righteous. A legalist will go to church consistently and work in ministry…it looks the same to the Believer; but the difference is that the legalist will go out of compulsion, not out of love: that person is enslaved to those works in an attempt to please God. Think about this — who persecuted Jesus?
  • Verse 30 – legalism is to be cast out and have no inheritance with God. They cannot coexist. God will never accept anyone who approaches Him by law or by works. Why? Because that person has to stand before God and boast about what he has done. Even in that boasting, the legalist is not perfect; God is perfect, and only perfection can exist with Him!
  • Verse 31 – legalism has no claim upon the children of grace.

 

APPLICATION

  • We are children of promise, not of works
    • In verses 28 and 31, Paul makes this clear – We who believe in Jesus are descendants of Abraham through Isaac. We have believed God’s promise by faith and on that basis alone, we are going to heaven.
  • We should expect persecution from those who practice the religion of works
    • Paul’s point comes from Genesis 21 where we learn that Ishmael mocked young Isaac, deriding him and trying to humiliate him. Religious people do the same thing today. Our chief opposition today almost always comes from religious people, not unbelievers! It was religious Jews who hated Jesus the most!
  • We must not compromise with those who do not accept the truth of God’s word
    • The promise of God must be preserved at all costs. If Hagar and Ishmael had continued to stay with the family, there would have been unending strife. In the church, there can be no compromise on the core doctrines of our faith. We must stand for these truths even if it costs us popularity and personal advancement.
  • We who are persecuted also inherit all the promises of God
    • Though we may be despised and rejected by man, we are accepted by God in heaven.

     

CONCLUSION

 

Who is your mother? Hagar or Sarah? Are you born of the flesh or are you also born of the Spirit? Do you still think there is some way you can help God out by the things you do? If you think you can somehow be good enough to merit salvation or if you think that salvation is partly what God does and partly what you do, you are a child of slavery. You are still in chains. The Ishmaels of this world trust in themselves. The Isaacs of this world trust in God alone for salvation.

 

Those who know Jesus are forgiven, redeemed, justified, accepted, given a new name and life, adopted, reconciled, empowered, filled, called, gifted, and commissioned. There is true joy in that!!!

 

Whatever the situation is in your life that seems to be taking God too long to resolve, recognize that He is perfecting His power in you. It is ok to be TOTALLY dependent on Him!

 

TRUE GOSPEL – SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, IN CHRIST ALONE!

 

Let’s get back to, and stay grounded in, the roots of grace!!!