North Anderson Baptist Church
Until Christ is Formed in You
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
A. When the time had fully come - Vv. 1-7

“When the time is right…”, you have heard that phrase, right? Things are going bad for the soldiers and the calvary comes just in the nick of time. Or, during the time of battle, the frontlines are being overrun, but just in the nick of time the artillery comes blasting against the enemy to save the day. Or, when the sickness is going so bad and the doctors tell you that there is no chance, but a different diagnosis comes and it leads to a better way of treating the disease and there is hope now. When Paul uses the phrase “in the fullness of time…(KJV)”, “when the timed set had fully come…”, “But when the proper time came…(Phillips)”, “But when the right time came…(New Century Version)”, whichever you choose to use, we have a turn of a phrase that tells us that there is something that has finally happened that God says He had planned for a long time and it finally arrived.

In verses 1-3, Paul speaks of the child that is underage and unable to use his father’s wealth or be treated as an adult but cared for by a slave. That child must have a guardian that has authority over the child of the master.
That doesn’t sound right but that was the way society did it in those days. Paul uses that idea and relates it to the believers in the Galatian churches. They are like the children who needed a guardian, the Law, because they chose to accept the law over their faith. God, who is their Father, would tell them when the time was that the Law would no longer have rule over them, just like the father of the household who tells the guardian that the child was old enough to take up his rightful ownership of the wealth of the father. But until such time, they lived “in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.” If one chose the Law, the way of the Judaizers, instead of the way of faith in Jesus Christ, then they would be subject to the things of the world and the spiritual forces that held sway over those who follow the Law.

But when Father God says it was time to send the deliverer for the spiritual bondage of the world, His Son, who would take away the sin of the world, then He would declare it to all the world through an announcement of birth; the One who would bring salvation to all under slavery of sin. The time was right Paul told them just a few years ago, when God Almighty chose to send Jesus into the world, born of a virgin and then when He became an adult He chose to be the giver of life and breaker of bondage to sin. Would they, the believers whom Paul won to the Lord, be so unwise to stay in slavery to sin, again going back to the past and leaving the true path of faith in the Son of God alone for their salvation?

The scripture says God sent His Son to be born of a woman. What does that mean? The Messiah did not have a man as a father and yet He would be a man! He would be born of a woman, not of a man. If He had a human father then He would not be the Son of God, the God-man! Because He was a Jew, He was born under the Law and would have to fulfil all of the Law completely, otherwise He would not be able to redeem those who were under the Law! This Jesus did fulfil the law completely and He was able to redeem mankind and then bring those who believed in Him into adoption as God’s sons.

Now that you and I are a part of the family of God, we are called “sons of God.” Both men and women are designated as sons of God and God has sent to His children the Spirit of God into our hearts. You have the presence of God in your life because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord! Have you ever called out to the Father, your Father now, and said “Father” or “Abba?” He is yours to call to because you are a son of God now. Because you are now a son you no longer are a slave to sin, Amen! Because you are now a son you are an heir. What does that mean? The dictionary says that an heir is: 1.a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death. 2. a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another. 3. a person or group considered as inheriting the tradition, talent, etc., of a predecessor. You and I are heirs of the King of kings and the Lord of lords and we have all that Jesus has; we have the inheritance that Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 1:4-5,
B. Turning Back? - Vv. 8-11

Most of us have never thought we were slaves to anything, unless we have acknowledged that we were addicted to something. But being lost is being a slave to the influences of satan and his dark world. Paul was questioning them, saying that those who once believed by faith, were they willing to go back into slavery? Being willing to go under the law that had been brought to them from the Judaizers, is being in slavery again! Paul used the special events that the Law calls for followers to experience, as a way to confront them. Paul was obviously frustrated over the willingness of those he led to the Lord and who were bound by their faith in Christ, now being willing to go back into slavery and forget their faith. Had he wasted his time with them?

One writer put it like this, “They were "dropping out" of the school of grace and enrolling in the kindergarten of Law! They were destroying all the good work the Lord had done in them through Paul's ministry.They were abandoning liberty for bondage, power for weakness, and wealth for poverty by adopting the Old Testament system of religion with its special observations of "days, and months, and times, and years" (Gal. 4:10).

Does this mean that it is wrong for Christians to set aside one day a year to remember the birth of Christ? Or that a special observance of the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, or the blessing of the harvest in autumn, is a sin?
Not necessarily. If we observe special days like slaves, hoping to gain some spiritual merit, then we are sinning. But if in the observance, we express our liberty in Christ and let the Spirit enrich us with His grace, then the observance can be a spiritual blessing.

Our evangelical churches have many different kinds of observances, and it is wrong for us to go beyond the Word of God in comparing, criticizing, or condemning. But all of us must beware of that legalistic spirit that caters to the flesh, leads to pride, and makes the outward event a substitute for the inward experience.
C. Become like me - Vv. 12-20

You can hear the love in these words of Paul for the people who make up the churches of Galatia. Once he was with them and evidently there were problems in his life. It might have been that he was having vision difficulties and they tried to care for him, but whatever it was he loved them for doing all they could for him. Now he is perplexed at their behavior and he wanted them to know that it hurt him because he was close to them. He reminds them of that love and concern and says to them “follow me, become like me.” How? Surely he is not trying to say that he, Paul, was worthy to be followed? No. He was saying that they needed to become like him in following the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can you say to others around you, those at work, school, etc.. follow me or become like me? Are you walking close to God and following the Lord Jesus Christ that you can say that? If not why not? Is there sin in you? Are you making that choice NOT to follow Christ close enough that you couldn’t say to someone else, “become like me,”and mean that as you follow Christ that they can follow like you? Each of us must make that decision to choose to be like Jesus or we are in slavery to sin of some kind. Will you make that commitment today to say, “I will follow Christ, as the Spirit will lead me, so that others can see Christ in me.”

Paul asks them, “What has happened to their joy?” I ask that of you today too, what has happened to your joy? What will you do about it? You can make the decision today to have Christ restore it and walk in the joy of the Lord today, despite what the world throws at you. He can do it in you, He can restore that joy in you!
Paul continues to tell the Galatians that those who have come to them are trying to separate them from Paul and all that is righteous. They are so zealous that they would do anything to keep the people from Paul. He reminds them that it is good to be zealous but it should be for the right purposes.
Rushing to See Church Fire

"Billy" Sunday, the eccentric evangelist used to relate a graphic story of a well known village atheist who was seen running vigorously to a burning church building intent on joining with others in subduing the flames. A neighbor observing him exclaimed facetiously, "This is something new for you! I never saw you going to church before." The atheist replied, "Well, this is the first time I have ever seen a church on fire." —Dr. Harry A. Ironside
Is this church, NABC, remember you are the church, so are you so zealous for the Lord that people come because they see you and hear you proclaim the Lord, that they come to see the “fire burn?” Are you following the Savior, so those who see you see the Savior?

To be very frank with you, I have been preaching in this church for 27 years and at times I am very perplexed that some who once followed Christ closely are not now and also that some of your lives are not on fire for the Lord as they once were. Prove me wrong my brothers and sisters, the life of a Christian is to be a public life, not to be private only. Wake up and walk with the Lord everywhere you go and see the Lord work in your heart everyday. Let Christ be formed in you today! Remember I am saying some of you. There are many who live on fire for the Lord Jesus and you can see it in their lives and hear it in their voice and they could truly say, “become like me!” because I follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you have been swayed to go backward in your life, and you recognize that you have lost your zeal for the Lord, then today is the day to declare to yourself, the devil and the world around you, I will follow God with all my heart and give Him the glory in my life from now on. Say to all, “Come and follow me as I follow Christ!”

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com