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In or Out (Part 1)

July 29, 2012

I don’t always put sermon notes on the blog, but I am going to put today’s sermon up in small sections this week. I am teaching through Galatians, and this struck me as a really important passage. It helps us understand our relationship to God and others that we have through Christ. I realize it is an incomplete picture, at best. God truly spoke to me through his word this week. I pray you find it encouraging.

Have you ever felt like an outsider? I certainly have. For my entire life, I have never been very athletic. With a physique like mine, I know you must find that shocking. Because of this, I did not spend much time playing sports; and when I did, I was often near the last one picked to be on a team. I find this still plays out in my life sometimes. Because I did not play sports much when I was younger, I still am not really a sports fan. Sometimes when some of my friends are hanging out talking, the conversation often revolves around sports; and I don’t have much to say.

Most of you know I am new here at New Beginnings. As I was searching for the ministry God had for me, I still spent time with friends who are serving in other churches. When they would talk about the things they were teaching about or ministries they were involved in, I often felt like I was on the outside looking in.

We all feel like an outsider sometimes. We all feel separated. We all feel disconnected. One of the strongest ways to avoid seeing yourself as an outsider is to recognize your relationships. We are all related to others in different ways. For example: I am a father to my children, I am a husband to my wife, I am a son to my dad, and I am a pastor to my congregation. In the same way, through Jesus Christ, we are in a variety of relationships. We are not on the outside looking in. Today’s passage in Galatians describes at least five of our relations through Christ. I want you to be encouraged and confident in the fact that if you have placed your faith in Christ, you are no longer an outsider!

3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

4:1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 3:26 – 4:7, NLT)

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