Now That You Know God: Part Two
Galatians • Sermon • Submitted
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How many understand that God is in the transformation business? Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, however… He has given us the opportunity to be forgiven and to be transformed! God gave His Son so that the we might be moved from what was… to a new life and a new reality of forgiveness and freedom!
Jesus did not die so that believers would remain as they were. He died to transform those who would call on His name. He died so that our spiritual reality could be changed forever. Now that you know God, your life has changed! AND IT’S A GOOD CHANGE!
JESUS DOES NOT LEAVE YOU AS YOU ARE. Come as you are, but do not go as you came!
Key Point: When the gospel message is accepted and applied, YOUR LIFE WILL BE TRANSFORMED. Now that you know God… you know of His redeeming power.
In our study that began last week, Paul is wrestling with the Galatians regarding the absence of change, or rather the reversal of the change that happened in their lives. They accepted the gospel but they were returning to the same old chains that once bound them tightly.
These “chains” can take on all kinds of names… in their case, they were turning back to traditions and religious motions that were meaningless after what Christ did at Calvary.
For us… these chains might be addictions, immorality, old habits, cultural ways, and the list could go on and on. Church, god set us free from those chains, not so that we would return to them, but so we would never be bound by them again!
So this morning, as we look at Galatians 4, there are three truths I want to show you that we need to remember that come with knowing God! We unpacked the first truth last week, today we move on to points 2 and three.
Point one was When you Know God, You know God’s Freedom. And we read Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
Aren’t you glad to know His freedom today! His power has delivered us from the slavery we once found ourselves in… Let’s choose to REMAIN in His freedom, to live in that new transformed reality, and to deny the enemy the ability to bind us again.
When You Know God, You Know God’s Truth
When You Know God, You Know God’s Truth
Let’s continue to read on in Galatians 4:12-16
I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
This is an interesting portion of Scripture for sure. Paul is pleading with the Galatians to come back to the gospel message… the message that was preached to them while he was ill.
We know that Paul suffered from a physical illness or complication of some kind. He described it as a thorn in his side, something he had prayed for God to remove multiple times. But it was through this illness that God reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient. God was able to move despite Paul’s circumstance.
Paul preached to the Galatians and they received his message… the message of truth. And now Paul fears the Galatians have rejected him personally for the delivery of truth.
But when the truth was first presented, they accepted it. We know this for the statement Paul made in verse 9. NOW THAT YOU KNOW GOD...
It is IMPOSSIBLE to come to know God without first accepting His truth. Seem like too absolute of a statement to be true? Watch this:
The truth that must be accepted is that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. All share the same need for a Savior. Before a person calls on the name of the redeemer, they first need to understand they need to be redeemed.
Truth is what leads us to God. Truth is what causes us to question the “weak and miserable forces” we used to serve. Truth is what begins the journey from then to what God has for us.
The acceptance of truth wakes up our faith… Truth redirects our attention. Truth leads us to make a choice - the choice whether or not to follow Jesus. Truth exposes the “old” life for what it is.
Paul delivered the truth to the Galatians and now there appears to be resentment toward him regarding his ministry. Had Paul done something wrong? No… the Galatians were moving from relationship with God to religious motions. They were moving from truth… to tradition.
And church… freedom (what we spoke of last week) and truth cannot be known without knowing God. Jesus said in John 8:31-32
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you hold to my teaching - Jesus teaching was truth. Thus, if you hold to His teaching you are holding on to truth.
THEN you REALLY will be disciples - knowing and holding on to His truth meant you knew Jesus. And that truth will set you free.
So how does a person come to know the truth?
God has given us His Word. God has given us the example of truth through Jesus. God has commissioned His church to speak the truth in love to a lost and dying world. When we take the teaching of Jesus to heart and apply them to our lives… we will know the truth.
And the Holy Spirit is given to guard and guide us in us in the truth.
The way of the Lord is the way of truth… truth that leads to freedom. If a person rejects God’s truth then they have also rejected God’s freedom.
When you know God, you know His truth… there is no other way of knowing God!
Choosing to remain in His truth is how we continue to walk in His freedom. If we stray from His truth you can bet the bondage will return. God revealed His truth to us that we might be led back to Him. A person will either accept this or deny it but… it will never change from being true.
When You Know God, You Know God’s Purpose
When You Know God, You Know God’s Purpose
Lastly, Paul closes out his plea with a reminder of purpose. Galatians 4:17-20
Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Someone was trying to lure the Galatians away. Someone was passionate in their work… passionate in their sowing falsehoods among these people. Paul desperately desired to see the Galatians remain in relationship with Christ… but another group desired for the passion or the zeal of the Galatians to be pointed their direction.
Paul said it is great to be zealous - to show great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. but that zeal, that passion had to come with the right purpose.
Paul is reminding these guys to remember the purpose… it is great to be passionate so long as we are passionate about the things and purpose of our God!
There exists today a lot of things a person could be passionate about… but nothing is more worthy of our passion than the PURPOSE God has given us.
When we come into relationship with God, His purpose becomes our purpose. His plan should be lived out in and through our lives - PASSIONATELY - for His glory!
The passion expressed by those trying to win over the Galatians was for selfish gain - they desired for the people to be passionate for them!
Yet Christ desires for us to be passionate about the purposes of God. If we know God, we will be about His desires.
Go back to John 8 one more time. Jesus is talking to a group of people who claim to know God yet they did not love Jesus… they did not accept His message as truth. And Jesus calls out their claim for what it is. John 8:42-45
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
Jesus had come to earth from God. GOD SENT HIM. Jesus was consistently about the Father’s business… yet those who claimed to know God did not recognize the purpose of God being lived out by Christ.
Their rejection of Christ as Savior was an ultimate revealing of them not really knowing God!
Now that we know God, we know His purpose. We know His plan. His desire is to see all come to repentance. His desire is for all to come back to know Him.
He gave Jesus to pay the price we could not pay. He made the way for us to know Him, to know His truth, to experience his freedom, and to live out His purpose. And the only way for us to know Him today is through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
God will use those that know Him for His glory. God will use those that know Him to spread the good news. God will use those who know Him to shine His light in the darkness… and those who know Him will PASSIONATELY follow God in His ways.
God’s purpose becomes the purpose of those who know Him!
The Galatians were slipping in their relationship with the Lord and were therefore experiencing the negative effects of such behavior. They were turning back to enslavement, they were turning back to deception, and they were misdirecting their passion.
Here’s the deal. The devil wants to enslave you. The devil wants to deceive you. The devil wants you to place your passion in things that draw you away from the Lord.
This letter to the Galatians was written to set the record straight… IT WAS A WAKE UP CALL. And there are many today who need this kind of call spoken to them as well!
God desires to break the chains that bind you… but you must have a desire to know God.God desires for you to know and accept His truth… but you must have a desire to know God. God desires for you to be passionately about His purpose… but you must have a desire to know God.
Through knowing God, we can experience a change, a transformation that takes us from a position of certain death to a promise of eternal life. Through knowing God, what was then will look COMPLETELY different from what is now…
Are you willing and wanting to walk in freedom? Are you ready to accept and apply His truth to your life? Are you ready to passionately be about the purposes of God? Then it’s time we choose to know God! It’s time we give our lives to Him and be transformed through the redeeming power of Jesus!
Knowing God comes through repentance and forgiveness of our sin. knowing God means we give all to Jesus.
PRAYER - Salvation
It is a joy to know God today! It is a joy to know His presence, to experience His power, and to have fellowship with Him on a daily basis. That fellowship was not possible until Jesus did what He did at Calvary.
Before the cross, God was found only in a small room within the temple… a room that was accessed once a year by the high priest to make atonement for the sins of the people.
Today… that temple is the heart of the believer. The fellowship that sin had ripped apart was fully restored through the blood of the Lamb. This morning, we want to remember the price that was paid and give honor to God for restoring our relationship with Him through His Son.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.