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Feb 04, 2018

Faith Alone Obeys Aright

Faith Alone Obeys Aright

Passage: Galatians 3:1-14

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Free, a study in the book of Galatians

Have you ever stopped to consider how often you exert yourself to gain something for yourself? There’s nothing inherently problematic in giving to get; for those who are employed, is not the means to your living the consequence of your labor? But can you see how the pattern of giving to get can subtly seep into how we think of our relationship to God? How we can unconsciously conclude that the only way to get the good of God is to offer some acceptable effort that tips His hand our way? Paul continues his argument for why faith in Christ’s work as the basis for our acceptance with God is essential to our understanding of the gospel. In this passage he’ll explain why that faith is essential to our obedience--how the only way we may obey rightly is to believe that by faith alone do we become God’s children.

Order of Worship

Call To Worship: Psalm 27:4-5
Reading: Old Testament: Joel 2:28-32
Reading: New Testament: Luke 11:10-13
Central Text: Galatians 3:1-14
Sermon Title: Faith Alone Obeys Aright
Benediction: Romans 16:25-27

02.04.18 Song Lyrics

02.04.18 Sermon Slides


Mrs. Maisel - Make Up


Call To Worship: Psalm 27:4-5
LEADER: One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,

PEOPLE: to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

LEADER: For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;

ALL: he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Old Testament: Joel 2:28-32
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

New Testament: Luke 11:10-13
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Central Text: Galatians 3:1-14
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Benediction: Romans 16:25-27
LEADER: Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—

PEOPLE: to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Post-Service Text: 2 Corinthians 5:17

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Related Scriptures:

  • Genesis 12:1-5
  • Leviticus 18:3-5
  • Deuteronomy 21:22-23
  • Deuteronomy 27:26
  • Romans 10:14-17
  • Philippians 1:3-7

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Can you remember when you first learned that you could gain someone’s favor by doing something they wanted? Can you remember a time when you may have started to think that any good thing you might receive depended on what you did to deserve it?
  2. Why do you think Paul is so pointed in his language to these churches (“O foolish Galatians. . .”)? What’s at stake in how they’re understanding the gospel differently from the one Paul told them?
  3. Why does Paul invoke the memory of Abraham to make his case?
  4. Does God want our obedience? What “kind” of obedience--in the sense of what should the basis for the obedience be? And why does that matter?
  5. What are the telltale signs of a way of thinking about obedience that’s at odds with the gospel? Alternatively, what’s gotten lost when we begin to conclude obedience is of no consequence?


  • Nothing that is possible can save us; we who must die demand a miracle.  W.H. Auden
  • The law is not up to the task it sets for itself.  If the law says, “Jump,” I sit. If it says, “Run,” I walk.  If it says, “Honor your father and mother, “ I move. . .to Portland.  If it says, “Do not covet, “ I spend all day on the Home Shopping Channel.  Paul Zahl, Grace in Practice
  • Faith is not obedience, but as obedience is not obedience without faith, faith is not faith without obedience. They belong together, as do thunder and lightning in a thunderstorm.  Karl Barth
  • What is the way that leads to communion with God, to true religion, to salvation and eternal life: God’s grace or human merit, his forgiveness or our works, gospel or law, the covenant of grace or the covenant of works? If it is the latter, if our work, our virtue, our sanctification is primary, then the believers’ consolation ends, and they remain in doubt and uncertainty to their last breath.  Herman Bavinck
  • Until we receive the Gospel on a cellular level, the little mind processes reality in some form of “tit for tat.” As a result, people spend more time fearing and trying to control God than actually loving God. Richard Rohr
  • Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett


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