Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder

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OVERCOME UNHEALTHY FEARS AND FEELINGS IN 2017: Overcome the Fear of Failure

Gregory Magruder    Parkview Baptist  Gainesville, FL     01/15/17
 
“Overcome the Fear of Failure”
Romans 5:1-11
 
INTRODUCTION:  As we begin 2017, we need to look into ourselves and see if our motivations are based on God’s Word and opinion of us or if our feelings and identity are based on the world’s expectations and lies. We start a new series today on “How to Overcome Unhealthy Fears and Feelings.” We are taught from an early age to perform.  We learn that success brings good feelings and that achievement leads to status.  So we try to please our parents, our teachers, our friends, our bosses and anyone else who will give us strokes and make us feel good about ourselves.  When we fail to perform or reach the expectations of others, we begin to fear failure. We try to perform to win God’s favor too.  We try to please him only to fall short.  Then we feel guilty and try to cover our sins and shortcomings.  The cross of Jesus Christ provides God’s answer to our guilt and fears.
 
WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH SIN AND GUILT FEELINGS.
 
*Sin causes separation from God, other people, and me. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
 
*Guilt feelings come when our thoughts and behavior fall short of our ideals.  “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
 
            *We try to cover our guilt feelings with deceptive excuses and lies.  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).
 
HOW DO WE OVERCOME OUR FEAR OF FAILURE?
 
*The Performance cycle says I must meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself. 
 
Mark 10:17-22 says a young man asked Jesus, “Good teacher…what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
            *The Performance cycle puts us on the treadmill to achieve or on the roller coaster of rebellion.  It is motivated by the fear of failure and produces emotional and spiritual separation. We overcome the fear of failure by accepting God’s truth about who we are in Christ.
 
THE CROSS PROVIDES THE REMEDY FOR THIS FEAR.
 
*The cross of Jesus Christ provides justification which leads to peace.  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
 
*The Law says perform so you will be acceptedGod says you are accepted; now you can perform. Justification is more than forgiveness. It means that God erases my sin and credits to me the righteousness of Jesus. I am now fully pleasing to God and have peace with him.
 
*God’s truth: “Because of justification I am completely forgiven by and fully pleasing to God.  I no longer need to fear failure.”
 
*You must ACT upon God’s truth and receive it for yourself.
 
 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
 
Admit your need.
 
Confess your sin.
 
Thank God for forgiveness and acceptance.
 

MISSION 2017

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/08/16
 
“Mission 2017”
Luke 4:14-21
 
INTRODUCTION: “Frustration is a function of our expectations.”  This applies to our work, family, church, government, individual relationships and personal self.  Jesus operated without a sense of frustration.  He knew who he was, where he was going, and what he had to accomplish.  Jesus had core values that nurtured his vision for life. He had a mission, a purpose in life, to accomplish his vision.  A sense of purpose or mission will serve as a compass to keep you headed in the right direction.  Today we will explore Jesus’ mission and we will envision our mission as a church in 2017. We find Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:14-21.
 
GOD HAS A VISION AND MISSION FOR YOUR LIFE.
 
*Vision is the overriding purpose or objective you wish to achieve over time. Vision inspires and guides every decision you make as a person or organization.  Parkview’s Vision Statement is “to lift up Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to obey His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).”
 
What was Jesus’ overall Vision? Possible answers are:
  • “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
  • "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
  • “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).
 
*Jesus had a sense of purpose or mission that fulfilled his vision and guided his ministry. Jesus read from Isaiah in the synagogue:  "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19).
 
*Individuals  need a sense of mission in life.  Jesus said, “I am the
 way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by me”
(John 14:6).
*Organizations need a sense of mission too. Parkview builds its mission around the five basic purposes of the church found in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment to love God and to love your neighbor (Matthew 22:35-40). These purposes are Worship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship, and Ministry.
 
THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERS  YOU FOR SERVICE.
 
*Jesus was led and empowered by the Spirit in his baptism, his temptation, and his service. “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him…"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…”  (4:14-18).
 
*You serve best when guided by the Spirit and use your spiritual gifts in ministry. Romans 8:14: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” 1 Corinthians 12:7: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”
 
JESUS INVITES  YOU TO COMPLETE HIS MISSION.
 
*Jesus proclaimed the year of Jubilee as his mission statement.
He came to set the people free. Jubilee announced deliverance from debt, liberty from slavery, and rest for the land.  It was a time of restoration, holiness and total dependence on God. “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19).
 
*We also must proclaim liberty to people in need, preach the Good News, and make disciples. “As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you."  I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:1-2).
 
*Mission 2017 will guide us to complete God’s purposes for his church at Parkview Baptist Church (see handout).
 
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ― Frederick Buechner
 

NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE

Gregory C. Magruder     Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      1/01/17
 
Fighting for the Soul of the Church
Ephesians 6:10-20
 
INTRODUCTION:  As a result of recent encounters, I am convinced that spiritual forces are at play and our vision and ministries as a church are being challenged like I have never experienced before. As we enter 2017, we as a church have to reaffirm our vision, reassess our ministries, and renew our commitment to tell others about Jesus and his saving grace. We will need the power and protection of God to stand against the devil and fulfill God’s purposes for us.
 
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.
 
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Eph. 6:10-11).
 
  • We need the power of God and the armor of God to fight the devil.
  • The devil has crafty methods and strategies he uses to attack.
 
THE BATTLE IS SPIRITUAL.
 
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12).
 
  • It is easy to be tricked into thinking our battle is against other people. This mistake leads to judgment, anger and hatred toward people we encounter. People do bad things but what is the source of their evil?
  • There are invisible forces at work in the world around us. Satan and his demons are actively trying to destroy God’s people and disrupt God’s plans.
  • The battle has to be fought spiritually not just physically.
 
GOD’S POWER AND PROTECTION DEFEND FROM EVIL.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Eph. 6:13).
 
  • We need to put on the armor of God constantly and consistently.
  • Evil will come. Be ready to stand up to it and to keep on standing no matter how fierce the battle becomes.
 
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:14-17).
 
  • Stand against the enemy wearing the full armor of God:
  1. Truth exposes the devil’s lies and deceptions.
  2. Righteousness confirms the Christian’s witness.
  3. The peace of God makes us ready to share the gospel.
  4. Faith shields us from the attacks and fears of the devil.
  5. Salvation assures us of God’s love and presence.
  6. The word of God brings salvation to those who hear it and are given new life by the Holy Spirit.
 
OUR PERSEVERANCE AND PRAYER DEFEAT THE ENEMY.
 
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should (Eph. 6:18-20).
 
  • Pray all kinds of prayers in all kinds of places for all people.
  • Pray for boldness to proclaim the good news of salvation.
  • The best offense against the devil is winning souls for Jesus.
  • Join us for Parkview Dreams and Mission 2017.

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS: Christ - the Word

Gregory C. Magruder       Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      12/25/16
 
Christ – The Word
John 1:1-14
 
INTRODUCTION:  We conclude our series, “The Christ of Christmas” today. We have tried over this Advent season to put Christ back into Christmas. So Merry Christmas! Today we look at Christ –the Word. The term logos, translated Word, is used by the Apostle John to introduce Jesus.  John was using a word from Greek philosophy that described “the spiritual principle” that filled the universe.  The Jews used the word to describe God. John took the idea to describe Jesus, the Son of God or the Word of God. Jesus is the final Word from God. No philosophy or person compares to him.
 
JESUS IS THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF GOD.
 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it...The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world (John 1:1-5, 9).
 
*The Word (the Mind, Logic or Intelligence of God) is
  • Pre-existing and Eternal
  • Co-existing with God
  • God
  • Creator
  • Revelation (Light)
  • Redeemer (Life)
 
“The Logos is God active in creation, revelation, and redemption”
 – Frank Stagg.
 
JESUS IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HUMANITY.
 
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:10-14).
 
*The Logos became a little babyThe Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood (John 1:14, The Message).
 
*Jesus lived a normal human life yet revealed the fullness of the love and true nature of God.
 
But in these last days he [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:2-3).
 
*The miracle of Christmas is that Almighty God would give up his glory to become like you and me so we could become part of his family.
 
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 
 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 but made himself nothing,
   taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
                                                - Philippians 2:5-8
 
*Have you believed in Jesus Christ and received him as your Savior?
 
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:11-12).
 

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS: Christ Our Peace

Gregory C. Magruder     Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      12/18/16
 
Christ – Our Peace
Matthew 2:1-12
 
INTRODUCTION:  We continue our series “The Christ of Christmas” on this Fourth Sunday of Advent. We need to put Christ back into Christmas. The word peace has always been associated with Christmas. Someone asked me what I want for Christmas this year.  I said, “World peace.” We may joke about that stock answer but deep within all of us we desire peace on earth.  We want the wars and conflicts, the hunger and oppression, the racial clashes and political repression to cease.  We just want a world where peace reigns and everyone just gets along. Matthew shares a story of a visit of the Wise Men after the birth of Jesus. The Magi came to see the King of the Jews. The message of Christmas tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
 
CHRISTMAS BRINGS US THE GIFT OF PEACE.
 
*The angels announced to the shepherds that the birth of Jesus was a sign of God’s grace and a blessing of peace. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord... This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:10-12).
 
God wants to bring you peace this Christmas.
 
PEACE CO-EXISTS WITH CONFLICT.
 
*Wise people seek the source of peace.  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-3)
 
*Evil always tries to destroy what is good.  When King Herod heard
this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him...Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  (Matthew 2:3-7).
 
No matter how bad it seems, God is always working around us for the good.
 
GOD’S PEACE OVERCOMES THE WORLD’S CRUELTY.
 
*Jesus was born to rule as the Prince of Peace. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
 
*Wise people bow to the Prince of Peace.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route (Matthew 2:10-12).
 
*Jesus conquers the world and its evil system and rulers. Jesus told his disciples: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
 
*You can experience the peace of Jesus in your life no matter what your circumstances
 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
 
Do you have this kind of inner peace? 
 
Do you know the Prince of Peace?
 

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS: Christ - Our Joy

Gregory C. Magruder       Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      12/11/16
 
Christ – Our Joy
Isaiah 46:3-10
 
INTRODUCTION:  We need to rediscover the Christ of Christmas. When we sing the carol “Joy to the World” we recognize that joy is a key part of the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The angel told the shepherds “do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). Great joy!  Isn’t that what all of us are looking for?  We want to be happy.  We want to be without pain and sadness and sorrow.  We want life to be good and pleasurable and, well, joyful!
Christmas reminds us that Christ is our joy.  The prophets of old spoke of the life that experiences true joy.  They looked forward to the day when Messiah would bring joy to the world.  Let’s see what the prophet Isaiah had to say about living a life of joy.
 
ONLY GOD PROVIDES JOY THAT SUSTAINS US.
 
*God made us and carries us through life.  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4).
 
*We find joy when we find God.
 
ALTERNATIVES TO GOD’S JOY LET US DOWN.
 
*False gods deceive and disappoint us.  “To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?” (Isaiah 46:5).
 
*We make our gods and they become a burden (6-7). “Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it” (Isaiah 46:6).
 
*An idol is anything we love more than God.
 
WE FIND TRUE JOY IN GOD AND HIS ETERNAL PURPOSES
 
*True joy comes from being part of something that is bigger than I am and has meaning and purpose.  True joy comes from attaching yourself to God’s plans for your life. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10).
 
*Prophets like Elijah proclaimed that God’s eternal plan was to send the Messiah. “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
 
*The birth of Jesus fulfilled the prophecy.  Jesus came to save us from our sins.  That is why the angel called the birth “good news of great joy.”
 
“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ - which means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:20-23).

*Do you know this “good news of great joy.”?  Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”
(John 3:16)
 

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS: Christ - The Way

Gregory C. Magruder       Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      12/04/16
 
Christ – The Way
John 14:1-14
 
INTRODUCTION:  We continue our series “The Christ of Christmas” on this Second Sunday of Advent. We need to put Christ back into Christmas. God’s word gives us some words to live by at this time of year.  Christmas is about the birth of Christ, the coming of God in the flesh.  Jesus lived his whole life in order that we might have life.  He is the way to eternal life, to a personal relationship with the Father, and to life with a purpose here and now.  Christ is the Way to life as God intended. 
 
JESUS IS OUR WAY TO HEAVEN.
 
* Jesus prepared his disciples for his death and prepares a place for us after death. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).
 
*Thomas was confused and Jesus told him the path to take. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:5-6).
The way to Heaven is a person.
JESUS IS OUR WAY TO GOD.
*Philip wanted to know God, the Father.  Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8).
*Jesus said no one comes to the Father except through him because he and the Father are one. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well...“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:6-9).
The way to God is a person.
 
JESUS IS OUR WAY TO ABUNDANT LIVING.
 
*Jesus enables us to live in reality (truth) and to experience life as God intended it to be.  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
 
*We can have the same relationship with Jesus that Jesus has with his Father.  He gives us power for living as we put our trust in him.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14).
 
The way to fullness of life is through a person.
 
Jesus Christ is our way to Heaven, to God and to abundant life.
 
Do you know for certain that you have eternal life and that you are going to Heaven when you die?
 
Do you have a personal relationship with God?
 
Is there evidence in your life that you are a Christian?
 

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS: Christ - Our Hope

Gregory C. Magruder       Parkview Baptist       Gainesville, FL      11/27/16
 
Christ – Our Hope
Jeremiah 29:1-14
 
INTRODUCTION:  Many words can describe Christmas.  God’s word gives us some words to live by at this time of year.  The prophets have a word of hope for those who will listen.  Jeremiah had warned the people of Israel that they would be taken captive by Babylon.  No one believed him until they were suddenly carried away.  Now what?  False prophets told the king and exiles that they would be returning home soon.  Jeremiah told them to prepare for a long exile (1-3). They would be captive seventy years but there was yet hope.  God would bring them home.  Many are exiled from God today and have lost hope.  Christ Jesus provides hope for anyone who turns to him.
 
FALSE HOPE IS NO HOPE AT ALL (29:8-9).
 
*The world offers false dreams and lying schemesYes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD (8-9).
 
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE (29:4-7).
 
*Plant yourself wherever you are and build a life. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce” (4-5).
 
*Build the family home through marriage and the birth of children. “Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease” (6).
 
*Pray for the city you live in and seek its peace and prosperity. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (7).
 
WHERE THERE IS GOD, THERE IS HOPE (29:10-14).
 
*You can depend on the promises of God.  This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place” (10).
 
*God has plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (11).
 
*God wants the best for us and will rescue us when we seek him with all of our being. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (12-14).
 
God wants to give you hope this Christmas.  He already proved it by sending his Son Jesus.
 
You can be God’s instrument of hope to others this Christmas.  Look for ways to bring hope to others.
 
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”
-  (John 3:16).
 

AMAZING GRACE: Carry the Load

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      11/13/16
 
“Carry the Load”
Galatians 6:1-18
 
INTRODUCTION:  In The Letter to the Galatians, Paul is trying to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is trying to save it from those who would return to the Mosaic system of righteousness.  In Chapters 4-6, Paul shows that living the Christian life is not slavish obedience to rules and regulations but a life of freedom walking in the Spirit.  The Spirit gives life and the power to please God.  The Spirit also gives to us the power to carry out our God-given responsibilities. Freedom in the Spirit calls for responsible action in service to others.  Paul describes this as “carrying the load” or “bearing the burden.” He gives four crucial actions in Galatians 6.
 
CARRY THE LOADS OF OTHER BELIVERS.
 
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (1-2).
 
-Rescue the struggling Christian caught in sin.
 
-Support each other when you are struggling with problems.
 
CARRY YOUR OWN LOAD.
 
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load (3-5).
 
-Do the work that God has given to you.
 
-You have a creative responsibility to develop your own gifts.
 
SUPPORT YOUR SPIRITUAL TEACHERS.
 
“Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (6).
 
-The church operates on the gifts of God’s people.
 
-Pastors depend upon the faithful giving of God’s people in response to the faithful instruction in God’s Word.
 
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY.
 
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (10).
 
-We need to support the community in which we live.
 
-We need to be active in a local community of believers and encourage and support them like family.
 
PRINCIPLE:  You reap what you sow.  You either serve yourself or you serve others in Jesus’ name.
 
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (7-9).
 
 The privilege of freedom requires us to shoulder responsibility for others.
 
 
 
 
 
 

AMAZING GRACE: The Three Actions of Freedom

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      11/06/16
 
“The Three Actions of Freedom”
Galatians 5:1-25
 
INTRODUCTION:  In The Letter to the Galatians, Paul is trying to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is trying to save it from those who would return to the Mosaic system of righteousness.  In Chapters 4-6, Paul shows that living the Christian life is not slavish obedience to rules and regulations but a life of freedom walking in the Spirit.  The Spirit gives life and the power to please God.  Paul very clearly says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). In other words, if you are a Christian then live like Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit lives in you and his life should be seen in your everyday life-actions. Paul gives us three basic actions that show that we walk in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
 
STAND IN THE FREEDOM OF CHRIST (1-12)
 
            -Stand firm in faith. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (1).
 
            -Do not submit to outward actions for righteousness.
“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (5-6).
 
LOVE ONE ANOTHER (13-15)
 
            -Do not use your freedom to pamper your selfish desires.   You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature”(13). 
 
            -Serve one another.  Rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (13-14).
 
WALK BY THE SPIRIT (16-24)
 
            -Let the Holy Spirit guide your life. Do not yield to the desires of the flesh.  Nail your passions and wrong desires to the CrossSo I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law…Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (16-18, 24).
 
            -Sinful actions: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (19-21).
 
            -Spirit actions:But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law” (22-23).
 
SELF – EVALUATION: Rate yourself on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being “I am consistently strong in this area” and 1 being “I am consistently weak in this area.”
 
______ I stand firm in the freedom in Christ and do not depend upon rules and regulations to please God and men.
 
______ I always put others above myself in my actions and seek to promote peace in my church.
 
______ I consciously seek to let the Spirit guide my life and show evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my attitude and my actions.
 
______ How would you rate yourself as a follower of Christ?
             What will you do today to follow Jesus?
          
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