THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 2-16-03

LESSON TITLE: TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA: "CHAPTER 4: STANDING STRONG AS CHILDREN OF GOD"

WELCOME

Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning! Thank you for joining us today as we commit this time to the things of God. Together we will have the privilege to study from God's Holy Word and to sing praises to His wonderful name. Let's each do our part this morning in making this time of offering acceptable in His sight. Will you go to God in prayer with me at this time?

(PRAYER)

Isn't prayer a wonderful privilege as a Christian? What a great opportunity we have to talk to God anytime we need to. We can talk to God about the things we need, to request His help, to find encouragement when we are down, and to simply tell him how much we appreciate and love Him. This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us of the great privilege we have in talking to our God through prayer. So at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Lord We Come Before Thee Now."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Growing up, we all have someone who watched over us. Usually it is parents, grandparents and relatives who really take care of us and make us what we are today! What a wonderful feeling it was to always know that someone was there who cared for us, loved us, and listened to us and our needs.

As we get older, we often forget that we are still not alone in this world of trials and problems. In fact, as Christians, we have the promise that God himself is always there. The Psalmist David put it in these words, "The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore," Psalm 121:5-8. Notice here that the Lord Himself is our protector, keeper and friend. He is there all day and night, from today and forever more!

What a wonderful encouragement this is to know that truly God Himself is the one who is with us and who will never leave us. The Hebrew writer had a similar thought in chapter 13, and verse 5, of his book, where he said, "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Again, we have confirmed for us that God can be depended on by those who strive to do His Will.

Also, let me help you to notice the great strength and courage we receive from this knowledge about God always being there. In the same text, the writer went on to say, "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me,'" Hebrews 13:6? With God, His promises and the confidence we can have in Him - there is nothing we should fear or hesitate in doing, in connection to His Will! Why? Because He is always there with us, helping us and watching over us in all we do!

Do you have this type of confidence in God? If not, why not? Are you a follower of His, a true Christian, a child of God? Choose today to begin your Christian walk, and allow God to watch over you and help you in every aspect of your life. Learn to have faith in your creator today!

Today we have as a guest speaker brother Ivie Powell. Brother Powell is the minister for the Curry Street congregation in West Plains, Missouri. We thank brother Ivie for being with us today and we look forward to his presentation from God's Word in just a few minutes.

In our main discussion of the morning, we will be continuing our study from the book of Galatians. Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "Chapter 4, Standing Strong as Children of God." So please continue with us and after our next song together, brother Powell will help us focus on God's Word. Now, won't you join in with the congregation, as we sing our second song of the morning - the name of this song is, "I Believe in Jesus."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ivie Powell

Thank you very much. I appreciate very much the opportunity to once again be with you on this program. We would like to invite you to be us. The Bible study is this morning at 9:30 and the morning assembly at 10:30 and then back again at 6:00 p.m. this afternoon. We also meet Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. for Bible classes.

In the study we're engaged in today, chapter 4 in the book of Galatians, Paul is showing that these brethren have been delivered from the old law and that they are now in Christ, and he has pointed out to these brethren that they have been bewitched by false teachers. We'll remember in chapter 1 of Galatians there they were described as "perverting the gospel of Christ." In chapter 2, they had privately brought in heresies and Paul mentioned that he not given place at all in verses 4 and 5. In chapter 3 of Galatians and verse 1, he called them, "foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?" You see my friends, only truth will make one free. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free," John 8:32.

All of the error in the world, no matter how sincerely it is believed and obeyed, will not save one precious soul. Truth and only truth will set us free.

When we turn to the 4th chapter of the book of Galatians, you will notice in the 4th chapter that he is discussing the present state of those Galatians. They enjoyed being heirs of God, sons of God. They had been adopted. They were of Abraham's seed and this was not because of anything they had done to merit their salvation. It all came about as he begins to point out in the verses that follow because of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary's cross. Observe the 4th verse. "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His son made of a woman, made unto the law." And thus, Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life. He died on Calvary's cross for the sins of the world. The Hebrew writer says, "Our Lord tasted death for every man," Hebrews 2, verse 9. And so because of that great sacrifice, they were able to be in the position they were in spiritually.

He then reminds these brethren of not only the sacrifice, but also of their past condition in verses 8 through 11 of this chapter. They had forgotten a few things that they should not have forgotten. You know it is easy to do that. In fact, Peter reminds us in 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 9 that "the brethren needed to be established in the truth though you know them." He was emphasizing "lest you forget." So my friends, the Galatians needed to be reminded of where they were, where they came from lest they forget.

Also, in this chapter, you will notice that he is pointing out the why they had failed and it was because they were ignoring the state that they were in. They were in a state of confusion. They had not truly accepted everything they should have and remained faithful to the Lord. This points out to us many, many great lessons. One of which is "always being steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain to the Lord," 1 Corinthians 15:58.

You will notice also that in that need for understanding in this chapter, he shows that he is not their enemy. In verse 16, he asks the rhetorical question, "Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" Now the false teachers would have them believe that Paul was their enemy, yet that was not the case. So today my friend, the one that is your true, genuine friend is the one that would tell you the truth. Now truth isn't always pleasant to hear. Truth oftentimes would shock people. But nevertheless, truth and only truth will set us free.

1 Peter chapter 1, verse 22, Peter says, "Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth or in obedience to the truth." Now pause and think about that verse. If I have not obeyed the truth, then what? Then my soul is not purified. What if I thought I had obeyed the truth and I haven't? Then my soul has not been purified. "I must from the heart..." Romans 6, verse 17, "obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and thus having done that, my soul has been purified in the blood of Christ." And so, after pointing out who the real enemy was, he illustrates to them regarding he is given an allegory and he interprets that allegory. This is a true live story it is talking about there. He's going to talk about Hagar. He's going to talk about Ishmael. He's going to talk about Isaac. And he shows that now, observe by the way in the 28th verse, "now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." So they are in a state right now because of what Christ did for them, died for their sins. Number 2, their obedience to the gospel. Then they therefore needed to continue in the gospel. So that's the overall thrust of the 4th chapter.

Now let's go back and look at a few lessons for us today. We needed to be reminded always of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary's cross. My friend, there's only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Our Lord said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me." Therefore, we must go through the Christ in order to enter into heaven.

Observe also that every Lord's Day, faithful churches of Christ when we assemble on the Lord's Day we will partake of the Lord's Supper in memory of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11, we are given instructions as to how we are to partake of the Lord's Supper. An example of the early saints partaking of the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day is found in Acts chapter 20 and verse 7. Now observe my dear friends, those of you that do not believe that it is necessary to partake of the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day, I want to ask you a question. Do you take up a collection every Lord's Day? Well, why do you take up a collection every Lord's Day? Well, because probably you would say in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul says, "Now concerning the collection for the saints as I give an order to the churches of Galatia even so do ye upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by in store as God has prospered that there be no gatherings when I come." Thus, on the first day of the week we're instructed to give as we have been prospered. Well by the same token, we're instructed to partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week. And so it is mighty strange that some folks are more concerned about gathering their money than they are at obeying the command of the Lord to partake of the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day. They fall or they stand together.

And then also observe my dear friends, that we need to understand also that we must continue to follow Paul as he followed the Christ. We need to be reminded, my friend, who the real enemy is. The real enemy, I remind you, is the one that will not tell you the truth. Sometimes we are so confused because of outward appearance. A man's looks, his education, the clothing that he wears, and yet what is important are not these things. What is important is- is he telling us the truth? Two men could stand before us. One man might say that baptism is not for the remission of sins and then the other man state that baptism is for the remission of sins. Both educated equally. Both have the same type of looks. Both have the same type of clothing. That is not the issue. The issue is which of the two will be telling us the truth? Well, the truth of the matter would be that the man that said that the Bible teaches that baptism is for or in order to receive the remission of sins based upon Acts 2 and verse 38.

Also, we need to always be reminded that our salvation is always in the now. What do I mean by that? We only have today. We do not know that we will have tomorrow. What is your life then? "It is even like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away," James 4:14. So today is the day of salvation. Today is the day that we should do what is right.

What about you, my dear friends, are you a Christian? Have you confessed Christ as the son of God? Have you repented of your sins? Have you been immersed for the remission of your sins?

And then I might ask, what about those of you who have done that? Are you a faithful child of God? Are you walking in the light? Have you forgotten where you came from? Have you forgotten the sacrifice of Christ? Have you forgotten why we are in this world? My friend, we are here to bring glory to Almighty God and we are strangers and pilgrims upon this earth. We will be here for such a short period of time and then we will pass from the scene of this life and await the resurrection morning. We will then meet the Lord at judgment and we will either hear the welcome words from our Lord, "enter thy into the joy I prepared for you from the foundation of the world," or we will hear the dreaded words, "depart from me that work iniquity, I know you not."

So my friend, it is the now. We don't know what's going to take place tomorrow. Look at Proverbs 27 and verse 1, "And so now is the time that we need to do what is right."

Also, I would point out to you that as we look at this great chapter right here, we find that there is always the urgent need of properly studying the Word of God. When you turn to Galatians the 5th chapter, the chapter that you will be looking at next week, you will find that Paul once again is showing that these brethren could not be justified by the old law. As a matter of fact, those that would be justified by the old law, Paul says in verse 4, "You have fallen from grace." As a matter of fact, backing up to the 2nd chapter in the book of Galatians in verse 21, "I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness comes by the law then Christ is dead in vain." So they could not be justified by that old law. They were justified only by obedience to the gospel of Christ. Through Christ could they be justified.

Now, my friends, in Romans the 5th chapter, I want you to observe quickly the 1st verse. In Romans 5, verse 1, Paul says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. How does one become justified by faith? Well when you turn to chapter 1 and verse 5, which is a commentary on 5:1. 1:5 says, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name."

My friend, have you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you a New Testament Christian? If you are, are you walking in the light as our Lord is in the light? Yes, the book of Galatians is a marvelous book. It presents to us how that the Jews are no longer under the Jewish law. We Gentiles are no longer under that law if we had become a proselyte. We are therefore in Christ.

We thank you for being with us and look forward to having you at the Curry Street Church of Christ. Until next week, we bid you a pleasant good day.

(SONG # 3 - "Does Jesus Care?")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves this worship to God!

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May we all stand strong in the things of Christ, knowing that our God is always there to help and encourage us with the strength we need!

(Program closing)