Who Gave Himself

Posted by on Jul 16, 2006

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

July 16, 2006

Sunday Morning

“Who Gave Himself”

Scripture Text: Galatians 1:1-5

Introduction:

 

A.   The book of Galatians has been called several things.

1. For example, it has been called, “The Magna Carta of Spiritual Liberty.”

2. It has also been called, “The Battle Cry of the Reformation.”

3. In fact, the great German reformer, Martin Luther, wrote the following about Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers, he said, “The epistle to the Galatians is my epistle. To it I am, as it were, in wedlock. Galatians is my Katherine.” (Katherine was his wife’s name.)

4. The book of Galatians has also been called, “The Christian’s Declaration of Independence.”

5. Now this raises a question.

6. Why is the book of Galatians given these names?

7. It is given these names simply because of it’s theme, which is “Christian Liberty.”

 

B.   Now what was the occasion for the writing of this letter?

1. The theme of the letter was “Christian Liberty,” but why did Paul write this letter to the churches of Galatia?

2. He wrote this letter because the Galatian believers had been influenced by false teachers.

3. Apparently, these churches had been infiltrated by “Judaisers,” who had led them to believe that even though they had trusted Christ as Savior, if they did not keep the law of Moses, they still would not be saved.

 

4. In other words, they had been convinced that even though they had been saved by grace through faith, if they wanted to “stay saved” (not lose their salvation), they would have to conform to the law of Moses.

5. One writer put it like this, “The Galatians, having launched their Christian experience by faith, seem content to leave their voyage of faith and chart a new course based on works, a course Paul finds disturbing. His letter to the Galatians is a vigorous attack against the gospel of works, as well as a defense of the gospel of faith.”

 

C.   Now that we know the theme of the book of Galatians and understand the occasion for it’s writing, I want us to notice how Paul begins his letter to these misguided believers.

1. He begins his letter by doing two things.

2. The first thing he does is he sets forth his credentials as an apostle.

3. Notice again Vrs. 1, “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)”

4. Paul made it clear that he was not a self-appointed or man-appointed apostle, but a God-appointed apostle.

5. He wanted these Galatian believers to know that his authority came from God Himself!

6. The second thing that Paul does, as he begins this letter, is he reminds these believers that the basis of their salvation was not their works, but rather the finished work of Christ on the cross.

7. Notice again Vrs. 3-4, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,…Who gave himself for our sins.”

8. Paul made it very clear to these Galatian believers that they were not because of anything that they had done, but rather because of what God had done for them.

9. Now as we examine the basis our salvation more closely, this morning, I want to call your attention to at least three things.

10.  First of all, I want to call your attention to…

 

I.       What Jesus Did For Us.

 

A.   Notice again the first part of Vrs. 4, it says, concerning Jesus, “Who gave himself for our sins.”

1. What did Jesus do for us?

2. He “gave himself for our sins.”

3. This is not the only place in God’s Word where we are told that Jesus “gave Himself” for us.

4. Let’s jump ahead, for just a moment, to Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

5. Listen also to Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

6. Finally, listen to 1 Tim. 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;…Who gave himself a ransom for all.”

 

B.   Now what did Paul mean when he said that Jesus “…gave himself for our sins”?

1. He simply meant that Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross as a payment for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and live with Him in heaven one day.

2. You see, the Bible tells us that we are all sinners.

3. In Rom. 3:23, we read, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

4. The Bible also tells us that because we are sinners, we owed a terrible debt to God.

5. In Rom. 6:23, we read, “For the wages of sin is death.”

6. That’s the bad news.

7. However, there is good news, and the good news is that Jesus died for our sins. (Amen?)

 

8. In Rom 5:8, we read, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

9. And so, when Paul said that Jesus “…gave himself for our sins,” he simply meant that by sacrificing Himself on the cross, Jesus paid our sin debt in full, thereby providing a way for us to one day enter heaven.

10.   The apostle Peter put it like this in 1 Pet. 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”

 

C.   By the way, this was a totally voluntary act on His part.

1. Listen to what Jesus said in John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again….No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

2. What did Jesus say?

3. He said, “…I lay down my life.”

4. He said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.”

5. This was a totally voluntary act on His part.

 

D.   Now this raises a question.

1. Why would Jesus voluntarily “lay down” His life for us?

2. What could possibly motivate Him to allow Himself to be crucified on an old rugged cross?

3. There is only one answer, and that is love.

4. Do you remember what Jesus told His disciples in John 15:13? He said, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends?

5. The apostle John put it like this in 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:”

 

E.   And so, that’s what Jesus did for us. Now I want to call your attention to….

 

II.      What Jesus Desires Of Us.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 4 of our text, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.”

1. What does Jesus desire of us?

2. He desires that we be delivered “from this present evil world.”

3. Now what does this mean?

4. Some would have us to believe that Paul is talking about going to heaven. After all, what better way to be delivered “from this present evil world.”?

5. However, I don’t believe Paul is talking about going to heaven here.

6. You see, I believe that there is a sense in which we can be delivered “from this present evil world” without actually having to be taken out of the world.

 

B.   Turn with me, if you will, to Tit. 2:13-14, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;…Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity (what Jesus did for us), and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (what Jesus desires of us).”

1. A lot of people think that the only reason God saved us was so that we could go to heaven, but let me ask you a question.

2. If that is true, why did God leave us in this world after He saved us? Why didn’t He just take us to heaven the moment that He saved us?

3. According to Tit. 2:14, He left us in this world so that He could “purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

4. Now let me point out that the word “peculiar” here does not mean “whacky” or “weird.”

5. It simply means “unusual” or “different.”

6. What does Jesus desire of us as His children?

7. He simply desires us to be “unusual” or “different,” as compared to “this present evil world” in which we live.

 

C.   Now this raises a question.

1. How do we go about being different?

2. Well, let me say, first of all, that “being different” should not be our principle aim. (In other words, we shouldn’t concentrate on being different.)

3. Instead, we should concentrate on living our lives according to the principles of God’s Word.

4. If we will do that, we won’t have to worry about being different, because we will be different.

5. Israel is a good example of this.

6. The Bible tells us that the Lord chose “Jacob” and his descendents to be “his peculiar treasure.” (Psa. 135:4)

7. How did Israel accomplish this?

8. Turn with me to Exo. 19:5, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”

9. In other words, God told Israel, “If you will live your lives according to the precepts of My law, you will be different from all the other nations and peoples.”

10.   Why was this true?

11.   It was true because all of the other nations and peoples of the world were heathens and were living their lives according to the dictates of their own sinful flesh.

12.   Well, the same thing is true of Christians today.

13.   If we will live our lives according to the principles of God’s Word, we will be different. Why?

14.   Because the unsaved of this world are living their lives according to another standard, they are living their lives according to the dictates of their own depraved natures.

 

D.   But someone says, “Pastor, I still don’t see how this amounts to being delivered “from this present evil world.”

1. Well, it’s like this.

2. By living our lives according to the principles of God’s Word, we are being delivered from the influence and domination of this world.

3. We are in the world, but we are not of the world!

4. Of course, one day we will be taken out of this world, either by death or by rapture, whichever comes first.

5. That will be our ultimate deliverance!

 

E.   Thus far we have noticed two things.

1. What Jesus did for us.

2. What Jesus desires of us.

3. Finally, this morning, I want to call your attention to…

 

III.    What Jesus Deserves From Us.

 

A.   Notice again Vrs. 5 of our text, “To whom be glory for ever and ever.”

1. What does Jesus deserve from us?

2. Considering the fact that He died for us.

3. Considering the fact that He is now delivering us.

4. What exactly does Jesus deserve from us?

5. This is an easy question.

6. He deserves “glory” from us.

7. What does the word “glory” mean?

8. It comes from the Greek word “doxa,” which means, “honour, praise, or worship.”

9. And so, because of all that Jesus has done for us, He deserves our honour, He deserves our praise, He deserves our worship.

 

B.   Someone says, “I give glory to Christ every Sunday morning. I come to church, I sing praises to Him, and I worship Him.”

1. That’s great, but what about the other six days of the week? What about Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday, do you give Him glory then?

2. How do we give glory to God when we are not in church?

3. Jesus answered this question in Mat. 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

4. The apostle Peter put it like this in 1 Pet. 2:12, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

5. And so, by doing good works we give glory to God.

 

C.   But there is another way that we can give glory to God any day of the week, and that is by bearing fruit.

1. Listen to what Jesus said in John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.”

2. Now how does a Christian bear fruit?

3. Let me ask you a question, “What fruit does an apple tree bear? (It bears apples, of course.)

4. Okay, let me ask you another question, “What fruit does a peach tree bear?” (It bears peaches, of course.)

5. Okay, let me ask you a third question, “What kind of fruit should a Christian bear?” (A Christian should be other Christians, of course.)

6. And so, the fruit of a Christian is another Christian.

7. I don’t know anything that brings more glory to God than the act of leading a lost soul to Christ.

 

D.   What does Jesus deserve from us?

1. He deserves “glory.”

2. He deserves honour, praise and worship.

3. He deserves the glory that we give Him when we do good works and bring the lost to Christ.

4. That’s what Jesus deserves from us.

Conclusion:

 

A.   What have we learned this morning?

1. First of all, we learned what Jesus did for us. (He gave Himself for us.)

2. Secondly, we learned what Jesus desires of us. (He desires that after we are saved, we be delivered from the influence and domination of this world by living our lives according to the principles of His Word.)

3. Finally, we learned what Jesus deserves from us. (He deserves the glory that we give Him by doing good works and bringing the lost to Christ.)

 

B.   Let me ask you a couple of questions.

1. First of all, do you realize what Jesus did for you?

2. Do you realize that Jesus gave Himself for you, that he sacrificed His life on Calvary’s cross to pay your sin debt, so that you could live with Him in heaven one day?

3. If you don’t, then in all likelihood you have never been saved.

4. Won’t you consider coming to Christ this morning, putting your faith in what He did on the cross for you, and then calling upon Him to save you?

 

C.   Now, those of you who are saved, do you realize what Jesus desires from you?

1. Are you being delivered from the influence and dominance of “this present evil world” by living your life according to the principles of God’s Word? Are you giving glory to God by your good works as well as your efforts to bring the lost to Christ?

2. And then do you realize what Jesus deserves from you? Are you giving Him glory by doing good works and making every effort to bring the lost to Christ?