12.11.2016 Sermon Notes & Slides
The Importance of Timing
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Not a minute too soon. Or a second late. At the exact moment that God had planned all along, he sent his Son, born to a poor, peasant, teenage girl. As the Scriptures affirm and the creeds attest, the Very God of Very God, the one who was there at creation, became flesh and saw fit to live with us so he could die for us. But why at that juncture in history? What made that time the right time? And why was it the perfect time for us?
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What are some events in your life where you could easily discern that the timing was definitely a “God thing”?
2. What made first century Israel a good place strategically for the initial spread of the gospel? In what sense was the world ready spiritually for a Deliverer?
3. Every religion has a prophet who tells us what to do to get right with the god they represent. How is Jesus strikingly different?
4. How are we, at birth, “enslaved to the elementary principles of the world” (verse 3)? Why, then, do we feel the nagging burden to constantly prove ourselves to God and others? How does being redeemed by Jesus free us from that burden?
5. What inheritance is ours through faith in Jesus? How do you find hope in that promise?
1. Read Galatians 4:1-7.
2. “The old philosophies were empty and powerless to change men’s lives. Strange new mystery religions were invading the empire. Religious bankruptcy and spiritual hunger were everywhere. God was preparing the world for the arrival of His Son.”
3. 01. At the peak of spiritual desperation, the gospel yields its greatest fruit.
4. Read Galatians 3-5.
5. “Every day you will meet people who are trying to prove themselves. Some are trying to prove themselves to God. Many are trying to prove themselves to others to establish their own identity. All these futile attempts at self-justification are stretching people to the breaking point. Into this frenzy, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28). We have good news for our busy culture … good news of justification by grace.” – Michael Reeves
6. 02. Jesus’ birth marked the guarantee of our adoption into God’s family.
7. “Christ banished the Law from the conscience. It dare not longer banish us from God. For that matter—the Law continues to reveal sin. It still raises its voice in condemnation. But the conscience finds quick relief in the words of the Apostle: “Christ has redeemed us from the law. The conscience can how hold its head high and say to the Law: you have lost your influence forever.” – Martin Luther