Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 33
GALATIANS 3:15-29 – PART 2
Now this lesson will finish book 33, and I find that unreal. That means we’ve come to Tulsa 99 times to do these tapings of “Through The Bible.” Before we begin, let’s review where we ended our last lesson. Paul is writing to Gentile believers for the most part and says –
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
And as I mentioned in the last lesson when Paul speaks of faith in Christ he’s speaking of that whole finished work of redemption, which is faith in His death, His shed blood, His burial, and His resurrection. Paul stresses constantly the power of His resurrection.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into (your denomination?) Christ have put on Christ.”
Well that’s the way most people read it, isn’t it? Sure. You ask the average individual, how did you become a member of your Church? Well I was baptized into it! But you see that’s not what the Scriptures says. Here it says, “that you have been baptized into Christ.” Now there’s not a drop of water in this verse. It’s as dry as a bone, and to follow up with another verse come back to Romans chapter 6, and you have the same thing. I’ll never forget the first time I heard a guest preacher in one of our previous churches where we were members, and this preacher preached from Romans 6 and when he said there wasn’t a drop of water in this 3d verse we thought he was way out in left field. And at that time I was probably one of the strongest, but oh I can see now that he was 100 % right because there is no water in Romans chapter 6. Here it’s basically the same thing as what Paul is saying in Galatians chapter 3.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into (not into a denomination or church, but rather into) Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
If you’ve been placed in Christ then before you can get there you had to be identified with His death. And how have I always put it? When Christ died, God saw every one of us on the Cross in the Person of Christ, because He died in our place, and this is what God saw. He saw you and I crucified and that’s what He means in Galatians 2 when Paul says –
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;…”
Now just as surely as God saw us on the Cross in the person of Christ, He also saw us in the tomb. So here we are in the tomb, we’re buried with Him. Not by water but by virtue of God determining that now since He’s paid the sin debt for all that believe, and appropriate it then yes God said, “You’re dead, you’re crucified, I saw you in Christ, I saw you buried with Him in his death, in His tomb, and so also we’ve been resurrected with Him to a new life. We are totally different people as a result of this power of His resurrection, and so it’s a God thing. God in His Omnipotence, in His power, in His Omniscience, in His ability to work in the area of the invisible, He has placed us in all of these places.
In the area of the invisible He has seen everyone of us crucified with Christ. In the area of the invisible He saw everyone of us in the tomb with Christ, and in the area of the invisible He has resurrected everyone of us to a new life. How often haven’t I made this illustration? If you were to go down to the morgue and accompany a pathologist in a autopsy, would you ever see the soul of a person? Would you ever see their spirit? Of course not, it’s invisible. Does that mean that it’s not for real? You better believe it’s for real or you wouldn’t be here. But the soul and spirit are invisible, and that’s where God works, in the area of the invisible. He works in the area of our soul and spirit, and human hands can’t touch that. You can baptize this old body a hundred times and it’s not going to change the soul and spirit. Remember this is only an outer tabernacle, but only God can work in the area of the soul and spirit. I wish people could understand that. Looking at the verse again.
“Know ye not, that so many of us is were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized (or identified) into his death?” And then to verse 8:
“Now if we be dead with Christ, (in other words if we’ve been crucified with Him, if we’ve been buried with Him then) we believe that we shall also live with him:”
How are we going to live with Him? By His resurrection power. Do you see that? We’ve been raised in resurrection power. We’re a new person, we’re a whole new being, and now we are placed into Christ. How? Now on your way back to Galatians stop at I Corinthians chapter 12. These are verses that we use over and over because they are so foundational and so simplistic. You don’t have to have a seminary degree to understand some of these verses. They’re so simple but most people don’t understand them. Also keep in mind that Paul tells us in Ephesians now in this age of Grace that there is only one baptism and then I Corinthians tells us what baptism that is.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit, it’s capitalized) are we all (believers of Paul’s Gospel for salvation) baptized into one body, (the Body of Christ. Now here’s another verse that is as dry as a bone. There is not a drop of water in this verse. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit working in the area of the invisible placing you and I now in that new resurrected personage into that relationship with Christ.) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and we have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
There is no color line in the Body of Christ, we believers are all baptized into that Body of Christ, and we are all one in Christ. We just came back from a cruise on the Mediterranean, and we had 62 of us from various parts of the country. But you know what? In just a matter of 24 hours we had all come together as though we had known each other all our lives. Why? We were all believers. We were all members of the Body of Christ, and you’re not strangers long when you’re believers, and it’s so beautiful. Now next week we’ll be going back to Israel, and we’ll have a different group and I know the same thing is going to happen again. That whole group of people is going to come together and by the time we come back it’s going to be as close knit as family. It just shows the fact that when you become members of the Body of Christ there is that unity that nothing can take apart.
Now this is what comes alone from the writings of the apostle Paul. This isn’t taught in the Four Gospels, this isn’t taught in the Old Testament, but Paul is constantly at it. That when we have faith in the Gospel then we become a member of the Body of Christ. Now back to Galatians chapter 3. Now verse 27 is too good a verse to just casually go over, I’m going to spend some time in it. So if you have been baptized by that Holy Spirit’s work into the Body of Christ, then something else has happened. What? You have put on Christ.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Now I know that maybe some of these things take more faith than the average believer has. In fact let’s come back to Romans again for a moment. You see Romans is the first Book of doctrine that Paul writes in our New Testament, and in his writings is where we must spend most of our time. So turn with me to Romans chapter 3. In one of our lessons earlier today we looked at verses 10 and 20 so now we’ll look at 21 and 22. Remember up in verse 20 it says-
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.. (now read on in verse 21 and you will see the flip side) “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, (or brought into the spot light) being witnessed by the law and the prophets:”
Remember what I told you in the last lesson that the Bible is a progressive revelation, and here is a good indication of that. Here we are today in Grace, there is no Law, nothing that is part of our salvation comes from the Law, but what does Grace rest on? The Law and the prophets, because they came before. See it’s a progressive thing. Here comes the Law of Moses, and then here comes the prophets with all of their teachings concerning the coming of the King and the kingdom. Then we’ve seen all that just fall through the cracks as we come up through the Old Testament, the Four Gospels and the Book of Acts, and so temporarily during these past 1900 + years God has turned to the Gentiles and calls out the Church. Of course we build on everything that’s gone before.
“Even the righteousness of God (not our righteousness. Ours in His sight is nothing but filthy rags, but God’s righteousness) which is by faith (or the faithfulness) of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
Now I like to look at that word “upon” as being draped with some blanket or cloak that just totally covers me up, and it’s the righteousness of God. Which means that when God looks at me and you, what does He see? He sees that outer covering, and who is that outer covering? It’s Christ! That’s what it means to “put on Christ” that whatever God sees, it’s not me or you but rather Christ. How does that happen? It’s a work of God, I can’t do it.
I explained to one of my classes this past week, Can we crucify ourselves? It’s impossible. There is no way a person can crucify themselves. You might be able to have guts enough to put the first nail in your hand, but how are you going to put in the second one? Hey you have no way of doing it, and so it becomes utterly impossible. And so we have to realize it’s the same way in salvation. I can’t do anything, God has to do it all, because this is being done in the area of the invisible – I the soul and spirit. Now let’s come back again to the Book of Galatians. So we –
“…have put on Christ.”
And according to Romans that becomes His righteousness. We are clothed with His righteousness and that brings to mind another verse we need to look at the Book of Isaiah chapter 61.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; (now this is a man under the Law remember.) for he (God) hath clothed me with the garments of salvation he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, (do you see how that fits with Romans) as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
That’s the outward view now that God sees in that believer. Adorned, covered with righteousness, but inside it’s still old me for the most part, and it’s still old you. But on the other hand we are new creations in Christ because of all that has happened when we believe. Not when we go through a bunch of rituals that will never save anybody. Now come back to Galatians chapter 3 again. Now let’s look at verse 29.
“And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, (now that doesn’t make you a Jew, be careful thinking that. A lot of people teach that when you become a Christian you become a Jew. No, no, but we become the offspring of Abraham in the realm of the spirit. And so if you’re Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and if you are of the seed of Abraham in the realm of the spirit then you become) and heirs according to the promise.”
Now think about that. If you’re Christ’s you are Abraham’s seed. Now again we’ve got to go back to Genesis chapter 12. You’ve go to see these things before they really began to make sense. In chapter 12 we will just look at the 3d verse and remember it’s part of the Abrahamic Covenant.
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee (Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Since all families of the earth are blessed then God here is looking way beyond all the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is looking beyond the Law, He’s looking at this age of Grace we’re in tonight when now His blessing of salvation goes to the whole human race. And it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, black or white, it makes no difference. As soon as we become a believer of the Gospel then we are one in Christ, and we’re in the Body, and then we become heirs of the promises made to Abraham. Because you see God’s promise went way beyond the Nation of Israel, and so that’s where we come in then, as I showed you earlier.
As Abraham was saved by faith + nothing we are also. Did Abraham bring sacrifices for salvation? No. Was Abraham circumcised before he had salvation? No. Was Abraham under the Law? No. So what did Abraham do to merit salvation ? He just simply believed God. So he becomes then the first to really be saved by faith + nothing! Immediately after that sacrifices are coming in again. So now then here we are 2000 years BC and Abraham saved by faith + nothing. And here we are over on this side in our age of Grace, the 1900 + years also saved by faith + nothing. So what does that do? It just simply ties us to the man Abraham and that’s where we’re connected. not through earthly progeny, but only in the realm of the spiritually do we become the children of Abraham. Is that clear?
I hope I can make that plain, that here is where the connection comes in as God made the promises to Abraham 2000 years BC. And yes out of him would come the Nation of Israel. Yes through the Nation of Israel would come the Law, and yes Israel would be the vehicle that crucified the Redeemer, and made our salvation possible. But then Israel slips off the scene and the Gentiles come in and are dwelling on the root and the fatness of Abraham because all of those promises that were made to Abraham have become ours. So we have entered in to the whole concept of being joint heirs according to the promises. Now the subject of joint heirs should bring us back to Romans chapter 8.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the born ones) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;…”
What did I tell you about the Law? It was a burden. It was severe. And don’t tell me that they didn’t live in a segment of fear. My goodness I bet you more than once they slipped out on a Saturday afternoon and tried to pick up a few sticks for fire, and they were scared to death that someone would see them and they would be stoned to death. But you see we’re not in that situation. Paul says we’re not under that sprit of bondage fear-
“… but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Let me go back again to our last lesson. Remember when that tutor had that adult son ready to step in and be co-equal with the father? Did the son have to come in like a little puppy dog afraid of old dad? No. He’s prepared; he’s ready to come right in and work along side the father. Why? Because he’s been well-tutored, he’s ready for it. Well that’s where we are. By virtue of the work of the Cross, now God can place us as a full completely tutored son of God and we can come along side with Him. Now that’s our position. Someday if the Lord tarries we’ll be going into the Book of Ephesians, and that is a Book of positions. Where are we as believers? We’re in that exalted position, even though we’re here on the earth and still under the curse, we’re up against all the things that the rest of the world is, and a lot of us are kind of blind to the fact, but in faith we can see that we’re all ready in that exalted position in the heavenlies, and we’re already joint heirs with Christ.
“…but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Can you picture an 18 year-old son in the Middle East – maybe his father has a jewelry store. Boy those jewelry stores over there will just knock your eyes out. Can you imagine the exhilaration of both the father and the son on the first morning that son comes in and says, “Dad, I’m finally ready and I’m going to run the business with you.” And to see that father just as exhilarated and hear him say, “Son I’ve been waiting for this day.” Can you imagine that? That’s what God says every time a child of God is saved. God the Father says, “I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for this day.” And He places us right up there in a place of full responsibility. I know we begin as babes and we feed on the milk of the Word, but positionally we’re right up there with God the Son.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, (or born ones) then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;…” What’s Christ’s is ours, and on the other hand what’s ours should be His. Do you see that? And then to close.
“if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”