FAITH AND FREEDOM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
9-30-56 7:30 p.m.
Well, if they sing that good over there on the other side of the Jordan, I’ll say it’s a success. It’s all right.
Now let’s turn to the fifth chapter of the Book of Galatians. This morning, we concluded with the thirty-first verse of the fourth chapter; tonight, the fifth chapter of the Book of Galatians and the first six verses. The title of the sermon tonight is Faith and Freedom. The first six verses of the fifth chapter of Galatians – now let’s read it together. Galatians 5:1-6:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Behold, I, Paul, say unto you that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.
Now, all of this Book of Galatians – and we’ve been reiterating it, and resounding it, and preaching on it, and repeating it – all of this Book of Galatians concerns itself with those who came to the churches and said, "You’ve trusted in Christ. That’s well and good, but it won’t take you to heaven. It’s fine to love Jesus. It’s fine to commit your life to Jesus, but you can’t be saved by trusting Jesus. There must also be a self-merit. There must also be self-righteousness. There must also be obedience to the commandments of the Law. You can’t be saved just by looking to Jesus. You must also keep the Law of Moses" [Galatians 1:7, 4:21, 5:3-4, 10]. And the sign of the keeping of that Law, of course, was the rite of circumcision [John 7:22-23].
Now, Paul’s reaction to that was vehement and furious. In no uncertain terms like you’d beat off of a hot anvil, he beat out of his heart and the fury of his soul this letter to the churches in Galatia. This same thing is carefully worked out in a theological presentation in the Book of Romans – same thing. But in the heat of the word that was brought to him that these churches of Galatia were turning back to the old bondage, back to the old way, back to those old commandments and rites and rituals in order to be saved [Galatians 4:9-11], Paul wrote out of the fire of his heart and the fury of his spirit this letter.
Now, I say, he sure says some things here! Look at what he says in the passage you’ve just read. He says in that first verse: "You go back and you’re going back to the yoke of bondage. You’re going back to slavery" [Galatians 5:1]. Look in the second verse: "I, Paul, say unto you as an apostle called of God, I tell you that if you go back to the keeping of the Law, Christ shall profit you nothing [Galatians 5:2]. He’d might as well not have come into the world, and you might as well never have heard about Him."
Now, look at the third verse: "For I testify to everyone that goes back to that old Law that you’re in debt all your life" [Galatians 5:3]. You never are paid out: always in debt, always short, never full, never arising to the full expectations of God, but a debtor all your life.
Now, look at the fourth verse: "You that go back to the Law in order to be saved – you that are keeping good works in order to get to heaven – Christ is of no effect unto you: none at all. Whosoever you justified by the Law, you’ve departed from grace" [Galatians 5:4].
That falling from grace doesn’t refer to a man who’s been saved and falls. It refers to the fact you’ve turned aside from the great revelation of God – how God saves us in Jesus. You’ve turned aside from it. You’re doing something else.
Then in that fifth verse: "You’re hopeless. You don’t have any hope of righteousness, for the hope of righteousness comes by faith" [Galatians 5:5].
And then the sixth verse: "Absolutely," says Paul, "in Christ Jesus there’s not any rite, and there’s not any ritual, and there’s not any ordinance, and there’s not any ceremony that avails to the changing of a man’s life for the saving of his soul. There’s one thing only," says Paul, "that which a man can ever see the face of God, and that is by faith which worketh in love" [Galatians 5:6]. That’s his text. That’s the reading of the Book.
Ah, Paul had a spirit about that thing! With one great sweep of his hand, he brushed aside all of man’s works and all of the rituals and ordinances of religion, and he said: "They are trash. They are refuse. They are helpless; and the man who keeps them to go to heaven is a slave and a debtor, and he’s never free. He’s always in bondage [Galatians 5:1, 3]. He’s never a son, and he’s lost. Whosoever you be, you make Christ of none effect when you hope to get to heaven by your good works" [Galatians 5:4].
Even baptism is that way. In the first chapter of the Book of Corinthians, First Corinthians, Paul said, "I thank God that I baptized none of you save Crispus. I baptized him. I thank God I baptized none of you . . . for Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" [1 Corinthians 1:14, 17]. You’re not saved by baptism, and you’re not saved by the Lord’s Supper, and you’re not saved by any other rite or ritual whereby a man might administer a ceremony to you or in your behalf. But a man is saved by faith in Christ [Galatians 2:16, 3:7, 9, 11, 26].
I say, Paul had a tremendous vehemence about that like Martin Luther [1483-1546] in the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg [Wittenberg, Germany]. Martin Luther gave himself to good works, saved by good works: pray all day long and half the night, fast five times in the week. He fasted so long and so much that they found him again and again in a swoon on account of hunger, emaciated, body wasted away by his good works, buyin’ his way into heaven. But he found no peace for his soul, no rest for his troubled mind.
There in that Wittenberg monastery upon a day he read in the old Latin Vulgate Bible: "The just shall live by his faith" [Romans 1:17]. But he was so bound down by his background and by habit and by customs and by religion until he couldn’t break away. He found no freedom for his soul. Seeking peace of heart and some answer to the perturbation of his mind, he made a pilgrimage to Rome.
And going through all of those things in the holy city, he still was empty in his heart and lost in his soul. And while he was going up, on his knees, those supposed stairway of Pontius Pilate, the Scala Sancta – upon his knees, kissing, kissing, praying, counting, praying, going up on his knees, in order to merit salvation and have his sins forgiven – there came into his heart like a thunderclap out of heaven the verse he’d read in the old Latin Bible: "The just," God’s righteous, "shall live by faith" [Romans 1:17]. He stood up from his knees. He walked down the steps back to Wittenberg, and the great Reformation was on.
That’s it. That’s it: sweeping away all of the man-made meritorious works whereby a man might face God and say, "God, look at this. Look what I’ve done. Look what I’ve done! Look what I’ve done. Why, I’ve done this, and I’ve done that, and look at all of these meritorious good works that are to my credit. I deserve to be saved. No purgatory for me: look at what I’ve done! No hell for me: look at what I’ve done! Open the gates wide, Lord. I have bought my way, and the reward of my life is eternal salvation."
Paul sweeps it away. Look what he’d say: "O foolish Galatians! Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth, before whose very eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified among you?" [Galatians 3:1] Listen at him: "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now perfected by the flesh?" [Galatians 3:3] Having been justified by believing Jesus, now are we going to perfect ourselves for heaven by all kinds of meritorious works?
Listen to him. Listen to him: "Now after that ye have known God . . . are you going to turn again to weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire to be in bondage?" [Galatians 4:9] Listen to him. Listen to him: "My little children . . . I desire to be present with you . . . for I stand in doubt of you" [Galatians 4:19-20]. Listen to him: "If ye be circumcised" – if you go back to the Law, if you try to find your way into heaven by personal merit – "I, Paul, say unto you that Christ has become nothing" [Galatians 5:2].
How is a man saved? How does a man see the face of God? [1 John 3:2] How does a man enter the presence of the great King? [John 14:6; Hebrews 4:14-16] How does he walk the streets of glory? [Revelation 21:21] This is it. Rite is nothing. Ritual is nothing. Ceremony is nothing. Ordinance is nothing. Good works is nothing [Isaiah 64:6; Galatians 2:21]. Commandment-keeping is nothing. There is one thing: "Faith which worketh by love" [Galatians 5:6].
What kind of faith is that? This is saving faith. It is not intellectual assent. James 2:19: "Thou sayest, ‘I believe in the great one God.’ Thou doest well. The devils also believe and tremble." It is not intellectual assent. It is not creed-saying. How many people gather together every Lord’s Day morning and repeat together: "I believe in God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth: and in Jesus Christ, His Son . . . crucified under Pontius Pilate; buried, descended into hell, third day rose again . . . " on and on and on? And they take the truth, and like a piece of paper, they pull it out on Sunday and then put it back in its pigeonhole until the following Lord’s Day. It is not creed-saying: "I believe this, and I believe that, and I believe the other." It’s a piece of paper.
What is that faith? What is it? It is not joining up. It’s not belonging to the church, or belonging to the lodge, or belonging to the civic organization, or belonging to anything. That’s not saving faith – the faith that saves us, the justified-by faith. Well, what is that faith? This is the way we’re saved: faith, by faith, justified by faith. What is that faith? This is that faith. It is a committal of our souls and our lives personally to Jesus Christ as our hope and our Savior. It is a committal of our lives to Him. Second Timothy 1:12: "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He’s able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day."
It’s not committin’ your life to the preacher, or to the church, or to fine and good works, but it is a personal commitment of your life to Jesus: "I lay in His hands my soul and my destiny." It is a trust in, it is a trust on, it is a trust upon Jesus Christ. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" [Acts 16:31]. Believe on, believe in, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ – same kind of a thing as when you go out there and crawl in an airplane and there’s that pilot up there. You don’t know anything about an airplane. You couldn’t get the thing off the ground, and twenty thousand feet up there in the air, how in the world would you ever get it back safely on terra firma again? You trust in the pilot, trust in him, leanin’ upon him.
You’re sick and you’re in a strange town and you don’t know anybody, but a doctor, whom you’ve never seen maybe, operates with his surgical instruments. You trust your life into the hands of the doctor. It’s in his hands. You’re leaning upon him. That’s saving faith. It is in Christ alone – not some of you and some of Him, some of Christ and some of us. No. All of it in His hands – all of it. Not anything of me or of mine but everything of Christ. All glory to Him. That is saving faith.
Why is it that God chose that way in order for men to be saved? Here’s the reason: because there was no other way for a man to be saved [Acts 4:12]. No other way was possible. The only way for a man to be saved is for God to save him, God to justify him, for the man can’t justify himself [Romans 3:26]. If from this moment on I say, "Lord, I will be perfect," what am I going to do with my sins that are past? [James 2:10] Like the cry of Job, "I have sinned. What shall I do?" [Job 7:20] O Thou Savior of men, what should I do with the sins that are past and what shall I do with the weaknesses of the future? I can’t be saved by keeping the Law [Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16]. I’m a sinner. We all are sinners [Romans 3:10-18, 23]. The only possible way for a man to be saved is for God to save him, to be justified by trust in Him [Romans 3:23-26].
Why is it that God chose that way in order to save men? God chose that way in order to save men because it was a gift of God [John 4:10; Romans 6:23]. It’s by grace. And if it’s a gift, then you can’t buy it. If you buy it, then it’s not a gift. If you purchase it, then God doesn’t give it to you. If I paid just a little for it, God hasn’t given it to me. I just got it at a bargain. I got it at a cheap price. "For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves . . . not of works lest a man should boast" [Ephesians 2:8-9] saying, "I bought it. See. I got it cheap. See." It’s all of grace. It’s a gift of God not of works – not what a man could do. It’s a gift of God.
Why is it God chose faith to save a man? Because it’s the only way that poor sinners, poor sinners, could ever be saved – could ever go to heaven. Suppose I were sick unto death, and you come and preach that I have to do good works in order to be saved. But I’m sick and dying. What could I do? What could I do? How can a poor sinner – any poor sinner – be saved? He can be saved by looking to Jesus.
Jesus used that as a marvelous illustration of His glorious saviorhood when He spoke of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness [John 3:14-15]. Here are dying Israelites, bitten by venomous, tenuous little vipers [Numbers 21:5-6]. Hardly a mark on the skin, but the poison is in the blood and they’re dying. What could they do? What could they do? They can look [Numbers 21:7-9]. They can look. They can look and live.
That’s what a dying man could do. Look to Jesus [John 3:14-16]. Look to Jesus. That’s what the thief on the cross did [Luke 23:39-43]. Nailed there to those cross arms, he couldn’t work. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t serve. All he could do was look to Jesus, but that was enough. That was enough. That’s why God did it – so that poor, lost sinners can be saved. Look to Jesus.
And another reason God did that: because the most unlearned among us could find the way into heaven by this way. You don’t have to be a theologian to be saved. You don’t even have to know how to read or write to be saved. You don’t have to know a thing in this world how to be saved except this: that you’re lost, that you’ve sinned, that you’ve come short of the great expectation of God [Romans 3:23, 6:23] and that Jesus, in compassion and in love and mercy, Jesus looks upon us in forgiveness and in His own death paid the price for our sins [Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24]. That’s all. I’m a sinner and Jesus can save me. He’s the rock. Led me high to Him for refuge. That’s all. That’s all.
If a fellow could never read and could never write and could never understand any book that you might print, if you could tell him about Jesus and he’ll trust Jesus, he’ll be saved [Acts 16:30-31]. That’s why God made it that way – so the unlearned could find heaven and home [1 Corinthians 1:26-29].
How does it work? How does it operate? This thing that Paul says – "faith that worketh by love" [Galatians 5:6] – how does it work? How does it operate?
Here’s the way it operates. When a man trusts Jesus, when he commits his soul and his life to the Lord Jesus, when he looks in faith to the Lord Jesus, this is the way it works: he has a new love, a new dedication, a new affection. He’s given himself to a new way, a new person, a new somebody [Mark 10:28; Philippians 3:7-8]. He’s got a new ideal. He’s got a new vision. He’s a new man [2 Corinthians 5:17]. He’s looking to Jesus. And without that, you’re never saved, and you’re not a new man, and you’re not converted and you never see the face of God.
Suppose I had the power to take a hammer and nails, and I close up every bar in this town, and I close up every beer joint in this town, and I close up every liquor store in this town, and I close up every parlor, saloon in this town. I go around and I nail ’em up tight, and then after I’ve done it, I say, "Look, I’ve made a new city. I’ve made a new citizenship. We’ve got a new people here in Dallas. Look at me. I’ve nailed up these places of the devil. I’ve closed them up." Do you know what’d happen? In every house where they now patronize those places, they’d have a liquor joint – every house. They’d have a bar. How many of you got a bar already in your house?
You don’t change the man by working on the outside, by locking up doors. It is a pig out there in the joint, in the dive. He’s a pig in his house. If he’s eatin’ slop and drinkin’ dirty, filthy, polluted stuff in a joint, he’d do the same thing at home when his house door is closed. You’re not going to change that fellow by changing the outside. You change him by changing the inside of him [Matthew 23:25-26; Luke 11:37-41]. And that’s what faith does in its operative power under God. He’s a new man. He’s looking to Jesus. There’s somethin’ on the inside. He’s got a new love. He’s got a different affection: doesn’t get any thrill anymore about the joint and that worldly crowd and all the things that go with it, but he’s got a new affection [1 John 2:15-17]. He’s got a new love: "faith that worketh by love" [Galatians 5:6]. He’s got a new motive; got a new motive. He’s no longer a slave [John 15:15] – work in order to be saved – but he’s a child in his Father’s house [Galatians 4:7], and he’s serving God because he loves the Lord [John 14:15, 23].
Why, bless your heart, I have never heard a vaudeville song on the radio or TV or anywhere in my life that I thought was as pretty or as interesting as even this song that they sang here tonight, and they got better songs than that even. I just don’t believe there’s anybody anywhere that has any finer thing to share than we have in Christ Jesus. And we like it. It’s a glorious fellowship. And we have a new relationship. In this thing of faith, somethin’ happens to your heart and you’re born again [John 3:3-16]. That’s what the Bible calls it. You’re born again.
Back there, way out there, you’re in the world. You’re a slave. You’re dying. And the more you work, the more you’ll find you’re short of what God expects [Isaiah 64:6; Romans 9:31-33]. You’re always a debtor, a debtor, a debtor [Romans 10:1-5]. You’re in bondage. You never get paid up, and you never arrive [Hebrews 9:9-10], but you grind at a treadmill and are always lost.
But this, my soul, you’re not grinding anymore, and you’re not a slave anymore [Romans 10:4]. You’ve got a new relationship. You’re a son. You’re an heir, and you walk in the freedom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man [Galatians 4:1-7]. If He makes you free, you shall be free indeed [John 8:36]. I don’t have to do anything in order to be saved. Consequently, I’m not a cowering suppliant. I’m not a genuflecting sycophant. No, sir. I’ve already been saved. I don’t have to count beads. I’ve already been saved. I don’t have to fast. I’ve already been saved. I don’t have to do any of these things. I’ve already been saved. I have been saved by looking to Jesus and trusting Christ [John 3:14-18].
Well, then, why don’t you go out here, live like the devil and do everything out there in the world? ‘Cause I’m not interested. I could if I wanted to – just not interested. I don’t like out there. Don’t like it. I don’t get a bang and a kick out of it out there. I just don’t. I like it here. I like it here. But I’m not here in order to go to heaven, and I’m not here because I think without being here I’d be lost and damned. I’m here just ’cause I want to be. That’s all. And because you pay my salary.
Used to bother me a lot about that thing – taking money to serve God. I never in my life, never in my life, forget the first time a man gave me money for preaching. They sent me down there – I was seventeen years old, I’d just started out, and they sent me down to a little church called Mount Calm. It’s down there some way; little old place called Mount Calm. And when I preached, I preached Sunday morning and Sunday night. When I got through preaching, the senior deacon there in the church who’d met me at the train – brother, was he surprised! He’d sent down to Baylor for a preacher – their preacher had gone – and when I stepped off the train, he was still looking around, but I was the only one got off of it. Finally he came up to me and he said, "Are you the preacher?"
I said, "I was sent here to preach."
"You, that boy? Oh."
He looked crestfallen. He looked like the end had come for him. But God blessed me, and he invited me back the next Sunday. And that night, that first night when I got through preaching, there was a train going back to Waco about midnight or something like that, and I was going to catch that train, and so he came up to me and he gave me a ten-dollar bill. He said, "I’m sorry" – now this is back in the Depression, remember. Ten dollars was about fifty dollars now, and to me, ten dollars then was about a thousand dollars now. He gave me a ten-dollar bill, and he said, "I’m sorry it’s not any more, but this is how much we have in the treasury to pay our supply."
I said, "Sir, I refuse it. I refuse it."
He said, "You refuse it?"
I said, "Yes, sir. I don’t preach for money. I don’t preach for money."
"Why," he said, "Man, we’re not payin’ you money to preach. We’re just glad to have you fill our pulpit, help us carry on our church, and you must take it."
I said, "No, sir. I refuse. I don’t preach for money."
I don’t know what in the world was the matter with me. How would I live? I just never had thought about that. If people didn’t give me money, how was I to eat? How was I to carry on my ministry? I just never had thought of that. But I wasn’t preaching for money, so I refused to take it; absolutely refused to take it.
Well, I was the last one to leave, and I had my hat hangin’ out there in the little foyer, and when I went to get my hat to go down to the train and wait for it, I found, in the brim of my hat, stickin’ out of the brim of my hat, I found that ten dollar bill.
When I got home – mother was with me down there at Baylor; she took me down there in my freshman year – when I got home, I took that ten dollar bill and I gave it to her, and I said, "Mother, I don’t know what to do with this. I don’t know what to do with this. This is money for preaching the gospel, and I don’t preach the gospel for money, but I don’t know what to do with it."
"Well,"’ said mother, "We’ll just give it to the Lord and the Lord’s work." Well, sir, I found out what that meant. That meant we gave it to another preacher! I tell you I’ve learned a lot in these last few years.
But I am saying to you sincerely, that thing has bothered me all of my life – to do good for pay, to preach the gospel for a salary. But I’ve always felt in my heart that I did it as a youngster when I started out for the love of God and not for any remuneration I received at all. I preached hard in a little half-time church where they said, "If you’ll work hard and preach twice a month and come, we’ll try to pay you twenty dollars a month. And I have never, never, never tried to do this thing for remuneration. Never. And I pray God shall deliver me until I can die and say, "Lord, I never did that because of what I could get out of it – what I could get out of it." Free! Free! What I do, what I ought to do – do it for the love of God because – ’cause I – ’cause my heart reverberates at the very thought of sharing in it.
I can say this, and you can compare it. Half of the work that I do here in this church, I don’t have to do; I don’t have to do. Tomorrow night when the deacons meet, I could say to the deacons, "Brethren, it’s too much for me, this preaching three times a day. You get somebody else to preach at one of these services," and every one of those men would be unanimous; every one of them would rise up and say, "That’s right. This pastor’s got too much on the Lord’s Day. We’ll get another preacher to preach one of those services."
Well, why don’t you do that? ‘Cause I love to do this thing. I like to do it. My heart thrills at the prospect, and if He’ll just give me help and strength and physical ability and keep my mind clear and my heart warm, I’d love to do and to do and to do it. Same way with all of this work with all of us. I just use myself as an illustration. Look around you! Look around you! There are godly men and consecrated women who pour their lives into the ministry of Christ, and all they get out of it is just a feeling in their hearts they’re doing something for Jesus – not to be saved, not to go to heaven, not to stay out of purgatory, not to get an indulgence, not in order to buy their way into heaven – doing it ’cause they love God. That’s all. Just feel it in their hearts. That’s this faith; that’s this faith.
I must close. May I say one other thing about that faith, how it operates? That kind of a faith adores God in a way that God couldn’t be adored any other way. The Book says that up there in heaven, up there in glory, the Book says that the [seraphims] sang in the presence of God: "Holy, holy, holy!" [Isaiah 6:1-3] And that must be beautiful to the ears of God: "Holy, holy, holy," sing the [seraphims]. And up there, the Bible says, and the angels sing [Job 38:7]. And the angels sing thousands times ten thousand; they sing up there in glory [Revelation 5:11-13, 15:1-3]. And that adoration must please God. It must make God glad to see His angels sing His praise. But I think, I think – according to this Book – I think what touches God’s heart the most is the adoration from a poor sinner that gets up from his knees and says, "Lord, thank you for listening to a lost soul and forgiving the sins of a lost man such as I am" [Psalm 51:17]. I think that praise pleases God more than the angels singing.
I think for a man to humble himself before the Lord God and say, "Lord, thank Thee for Thy mercy, and I love Thee for sending Jesus," I think that adoration pleases God more because Gabriel wouldn’t know what we were talkin’ about. What would Gabriel know about asking God to forgive his sins, and feeling in his heart God had done it? What would the angels know about thanking God for bread to eat and for the care and strength to bear the burdens of life? What would the angels know about that? They don’t. They don’t.
But the Lord God, seated now on the throne of His Father [Revelation 3:21], the Lord God, He understands and He knows. And when His people pray, and when they thank Him, and when they bow in His presence, that’s the adoration that touches the heart of God Almighty [Revelation 8:3-4]; and it comes out of the soul, the fountain of love in you, for what Jesus has done.
That pleases God – not trying to buy His favor, not by self-merit to present yourself as being worthy – but what pleases God is to bow in His presence and thank God for forgiving us, for giving us the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. That’s the motive: "Faith that worketh by love" [Galatians 5:6].
Oh, what a grand thing, what a free thing [Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:5-6], what a holy and glorious thing to be a son, to be a joint heir [Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6-7], to be a believer, to know that you’re justified by trusting Jesus [Romans 3:24, 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16], by faith by looking to Him, and the rest out of the fullness and the overflow and the love of our hearts! [John 14:15, 23; 2 John 1:6].
While we sing this song tonight, while we make this appeal tonight, somebody you, into that aisle and down here to the front, would you come? Would you so? "Pastor, I will trust Jesus. I’ll look to Him. I won’t look to myself. I won’t try to buy it with self-merit, but I’ll trust Jesus for it. Just Iike I would a physician, I’ll trust the Great Physician. Just like I would with an earthly pilot, I’ll trust the Great Pilot and Captain of my soul. I’ll yield the issue of my life into His hands. I’ll trust Him. I’ll look to Him." Or somebody to put his life with us in the church by letter or baptism, as God shall say it, would you put your home together in the church? Would you do that? As we sing this song, prayerfully, earnestly, into the aisle and down here by the side of the pastor: "Here I come. Here I am." Would you so, while we stand and while we sing?
FAITH AND FREEDOM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
A. The conversion of the Galatian Christians
B. Then the visit of the Judaizers
C. The reaction of Paul swift and thunderous(Galatians 5:1-6)
1. Makes clean sweep of all trust in the externals of religion(Galatians 3:1)
2. Even baptism(1 Corinthians 1:14)
D. A like spirit in Martin Luther
E. One thing – "faith which worketh by love"(Galatians 5:6)
II. What is this faith?
A. It is not intellectual acknowledgment(James 2:8, 19)
B. It is not empty recitation of creeds
C. It is not joining the church, lodge, order, fraternity
D. It is a personal committal of your life to Christ(2 Timothy 1:12)
E. It is trusting in Him, on Him, upon Him(Acts 16:30-31)
F. It is removing all other hope save in Him(John 6:67, 8:68-69)
III. Why God chose this as the way of salvation
A. No other way possible(Job 7:20, Romans 7:15, 24)
B. God reveals Himself as merciful, redemptive and gracious(Genesis 1, 2, 3, Ephesians 2:8-9)
C. It is suitable for poor sinners(John 3:14-15)
D. Open door to all mankind(Luke 23:42-43)
IV. How faith operates
A. A new creation(2 Corinthians 5:17)
B. A new motive(Romans 13:9-10)
C. A new relationship
D. A new freedom(John 8:34-36)