Sermon for the service of July 23, 2017 by Pastor Steve Hopkins
Links to prior sermons in the series:
God’s blessing is our inheritance.
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:7-14, NIV)
- Why the covenant with Abraham?
- Humanity exiled under the curse of sin: “therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3:23, NKJV)
- Through Abraham, God blesses the nations: Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 12:1–3, NRSV)
- We share the blessing by faith: So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:9, NIV)
- What is the blessing?
- The blessing reverses the curse of Eden: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3, NIV)
- But it came at a cost: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, NIV)
- The Cost is high:
- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us… (Galatians 3:13, NIV)
- “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.” (Genesis 15:17, NRSV)
- Why does it matter? When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:31–34, NIV)
- Reflection & Application:
Δ? How do I live my life on a daily basis? “Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4, NRSV)
Δ? How does this relate to the world around me? “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, ESV)