Jephthah (Judges 10-12)

 

  1. Judges is a good book to study alongside Galatians because it proves that salvation can’t be based on works.
    1. Israel made a covenant with God but they were unable to keep it.
    2. And that was despite the fact that God punished them through the oppression of their enemies.
  2. You’d think once or twice would be enough, but Israel needed it so regularly it became a cycle.
    1. During times of peace, they turned to wickedness.
    2. So, God caused them to be oppressed.
    3. Eventually, they cried out in repentance.
    4. Because of grace, God heard and sent a judge to save them.
    5. Then a new era of peace began, so they returned to wickedness and the cycle continued.
  3. We’ve already read about the first five cycles and judges:
    1. They include Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, and Gideon.
    2. We also read about Abimelech, but he wasn’t actually a judge.

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For Freedom Christ Has Set Us Free (Galatians 5)

 

  1. We’re studying through Galatians where the main point is that salvation is by grace through faith apart from works.
    1. Some of the pagans in Galatia heard the gospel, believed it, and converted to Christianity.
    2. That made them think they were right with God, but some Jews came along to teach that they also had to be circumcised.
    3. More than that, they wanted the new Christians to observe holy days and submit to the whole law of Moses.
  2. So, there was a lot of confusion and Paul decided to send a letter.
    1. He argued that the Galatians had been saved without the law.
      1. If that was true if God had been forgiven them by faith, why did they suddenly need the law?
    2. And, who’d ever been saved by keeping it in the first place?
      1. It was plain that the answer was no one. (2:16)
      2. We talked about how it’s like an x-ray in that it can only show a problem but not fix it.
      3. It highlights sin and shows it for what it is, but it can’t take sin away.
    3. In the end, Paul described it as slavery.
      1. He said it held us captive until faith came.
      2. It’s like Hagar who “is in slavery with her children.” (4:25)
      3. He quoted Sarah, saying, “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” [31] So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.” (4:30-31)
  3. Today we’ll start chapter five and learn more about this freedom.

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Children Of Promise (Galatians 4)

 

  1. We’re reading through Galatians, and I want to remind you that all of this is the gospel.
    1. I know it can feel repetitive talking about how salvation is by grace through faith apart from works.
      1. I know it seems so basic.
      2. I know the main theme has been that salvation can’t be earned by following the law, and I hope it doesn’t feel redundant.
    2. But it should say something to us that Paul wrote an entire letter focusing on this one point.
      1. And it wasn’t a point that only first-century believers needed to hear.
      2. Law-keeping and the threats of the law are just as prevalent today as they were then.
        1. People still say Jesus is enough but God will get angry if you don’t _____.
        2. If you really want to get close to God, you have to __________.
      3. They may mean well, but these things take our attention off Christ and onto ourselves.
        1. That is anti-gospel and antichrist.
        2. It’s worthy of condemnation, so we need to make it clear and we need to get it out of our heads.
        3. We ought to hate law-preaching and stand against it.
        4. But first, we have to be able to recognize it.
          1. We have to know what’s Old Testament and what’s New.
          2. We have to discern between what’s meant for physical Israel and what’s for spiritual Israel.
          3. We have to learn how to find Christ in every text and to rest in his finished work.
          4. We have to learn how to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, and that is not as mystical as it sounds.
            1. Even walking in the Spirit is God’s work on our behalf.
  2. So far, Paul has said that the law was a guardian for God’s people.
    1. A guardian was an escort who made sure a boy got to school safely.
    2. He wasn’t a teacher or a tutor; he just made sure the boy made it to where he was supposed to be going.
  3. So, even though he was a son, the child had to follow and obey, which made him no different than a slave. (Gal. 4:1)
    1. The idea is that God’s people also “were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world” during their time under the law. (4:3)
    2. But then “God sent forth his Son” (v. 4) and we’ve matured past the point of needing a guardian.
  4. So, the question for the Galatians is, “how can you turn back again?” (v. 9)
    1. To go back to the law after hearing the gospel is a backward step.
    2. It’s illogical to the point of stupidity because it only ends in failure and slavery.

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How Can You Turn Back? (Galatians 4)

 

  1. When we last studied Galatians, we read about how the law was a guardian of God’s people during the time we were considered children.
    1. During that time, young children weren’t treated any differently than the slaves.
  2. So, God’s people “were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. [4] [But then] God sent forth his Son…[5] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. [6] And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” [7] So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (4:3-7)

 

Now we’re ready to continue that thought in verse eight…

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

  1. Now, the main problem is that these former-pagans heard the gospel and received it, but then they heard the law and received it too.
  2. So, in response, Paul says, “Your former religion was slavery to things that aren’t even gods.”
    1. You were slaves because you were forced to work to please the gods.
    2. And, as we’ll see in the next verse, their religious practices were nothing more than weak and worthless elementary principles.

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Abimelech (Judges 9)

 

NOTE: The last few minutes of the recording are missing.

 

  1. We’re studying through the book of Judges, and last time we talked about Gideon’s victory over the Midianites.
  2. We ended at 8:28 with, “Midian was subdued […]. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.” (v. 28)

 

Now we’re ready to pick up in verse 29 and read the next part of the story…

[29] Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. [30] Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. [31] And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. [32] And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezrites. [33] As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. [34] And the people of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, [35] and they did not show steadfast love to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.Read More »

The Law Was Our Guardian Until Christ Came (Galatians 3-4)

 

  1. We know from Galatians that Abraham was saved by grace through faith and not of works.
    1. He was made righteous when he believed God’s promise of land and offspring. (3:6)
      1. As strange as it sounds, belief was enough because the promise was the gospel.
        1. He recognized that the promised land was a city that God would build.
        2. The promised offspring was God’s own Son, and the same one promised to Adam and Eve.
      2. So, when he “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” it was the same hope we have today.
    2. His righteousness never had anything to do with keeping any part of the law and neither does ours.
  2. So, the question is asked, “Why then the law?” (v. 19)
    1. If it can’t make anyone right with God, then why was it even given?
    2. Well, we saw that “it was added because of transgressions.” (v. 19)
      1. Or, it was added to make sin look utterly sinful.
      2. It revealed everything inside a man’s heart and “imprisoned everything under sin.” (v. 22)
        1. It proved that everyone was wicked and deserving of judgment.
        2. The problem was inside of us and in our nature.
        3. And there was no way anyone could get out of trouble with God.
        4. The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb. 9:22)
    3. But in that, the law complimented the gospel as it held us captive “until the coming faith would be revealed.” (Gal. 3:23)

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Gideon Pt. 3 (Judges 8)

 

  1. When we last studied Judges, we read about how Gideon was called to fight and defeat the Midianites.
    1. The Midianites were raiders who came up every year to steal Israel’s food.
    2. And they were compared to locusts because they “laid waste the land” (6:5) and were innumerable.
    3. We read that they set up camp to prepare for the newest raid, but they didn’t know that God had called Gideon to fight them.
      1. Gideon sent messengers to some of the surrounding tribes and managed to build an army of 32,000 men.
      2. But God didn’t want them to brag about their own efforts, so he reduced it to only 300.
    4. These men surrounded the Midianite camp at night and scared them by blowing trumpets, breaking pots, screaming, and lighting torches.
      1. It might not have sounded like a great idea, but God was fighting for them.
      2. He “set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army.” (7:22)
      3. Those who weren’t killed began to flee, and the Israelites chased them down.
  2. With the Midianites on the run, Gideon sent more messengers to Ephraim asking them to cut off their escape.
    1. The Ephraimites answered and captured the two main leaders and put them to death.
    2. Then they brought their heads to Gideon, but they weren’t happy…

 

Let’s return to the story in chapter 8…Read More »