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7-10-22 “Energized”

“Energized!” (Galatians 3:1-14)

David Peterson / General

Spirit; Means of Grace / Galatians 3:1–14

Sermon Type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: The Christian faith is about a new reality, opening up new possibilities.


1. “There is yet more truth and light to break forth from God’s Holy Word.” These words were spoken by Pastor John Robinson to the 17th century Pilgrims as they departed from Holland on September 16, 1620 for what would become Massachusetts Bay Colony. The voyage took 66 days.

2. For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in power (1 Cor. 4:20 NASB)

I. The Old Testament Background

1. Enablement for service

a. The time of Israel’s founding under Moses

17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. (Numbers 11:17 NIV)

b. The First King of Israel

6 The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person (1 Samuel 10:6)

2. Pointing back to the original possibility/intention—living in the presence and power of God

II. How the Spirit Works (by moving us)

it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13 NIV)

1. The Spirit brings new affections/desires/attitudes/thoughts—to will

Affections are often the spring of men’s actions. They make the world go round. Without lively affections, few of us would do much of anything. What animates our actions is our loves and hates, our fears and desires, our griefs and joys. More importantly, affections reveal the fundamental orientation of the heart. When you see what a person loves, hates, fears, desires, rejoices in, and grieves over, you’re seeing the bent and tendency of his heart. So if we want to know what kind of heart we have, we need to look to our affections.

2. Giving rise to new words and deeds—to do

a. Fruit

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7 NIV

b. Gifts

c. Affects the whole of our lives

Wilbur Wright

Wilbur and Orville Wright are well known for carrying out the first every successful air flight, at Kittyhawk in 1903. They came from a close family, even though their father, a bishop in United Brethren Church, was initially skeptical about their venture. Wilbur died at the age of 45. His father left a record of this tragic event in his diary. It reads:

May 30, 1912

This morning at 3:15, Wilbur passed away, aged 45 years, 1 month, and 14 days. A short life, full of consequences. An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance and as great modesty, seeing the right clearly, pursuing it steadily, he lived and died.

For Wilbur’s father it was not making the first successful air flight that made Wilbur great, but his fine character.

Source: Diary entry found at

The Wright brothers’ careers as inventors of flying machines started in 1899 when Wilbur started working on a way to bend the wings of a biplane in order to steer it. Many previous attempts, starting as early as 1896, had failed, and Wilbur had always wanted to solve this problem. In 1899, the Wright brothers created a kite glider that demonstrated Wilbur’s ideas of bending the wings. It worked as a kite, but full-sized models that were human-controlled failed to live up to the brothers’ expectations in their test flights at Kittyhawk in 1900 and 1901.

In 1902, their third attempt at building a glider worked as designed, and they made over 700 successful flights with it. The following year, the Wright brothers added a small motor to the glider, and the first powered flight was a success, lasting 20 seconds and moving 120 feet. They flew this plane a total of three times on Dec. 17, 1903, with the longest flight covering 852 feet and lasting 59 seconds.

III. How the Spirit is Received (by means)

1. The Means of Grace

77. By what means does the Holy Spirit do his work?

The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God and the Holy Sacraments, which are the means of grace. Jas. 1:21. Acts 2:38. 1 Cor. 10:16. (Evangelical Catechism)

Galatians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary The Expression Akoê Pisteôs: The Message that Is Faith or the Message that Elicits Faith?

Far more probable is the reading in which the noun “faith” identifies the goal of the message. That, as we have seen, is the thrust of Paul’s exegetical argument in Rom 10:16–17, where he identifies the origin of faith. Faith is awakened by the gospel; the gospel has as its goal the awakening of faith.

2. Prayer

112. Why is prayer necessary?

Prayer is necessary because God will give his grace and his Holy Spirit only to those who earnestly and without ceasing ask them of him and render thanks unto him. Luke 18:7-8. Luke 11:13. Ps. 55:16-17. Jas. 5:16. (Evangelical Catechism)

3. Cultivating our faith

I used to ask how on earth it can be a virtue— what is there moral or immoral about believing or not believing a set of statements?. . . What I did not see then— and a good many people do not see still— was this. I was assuming that if the human mind once accepts a thing as true it will automatically go on regarding it as true, until some real reason for reconsidering it turns up. In fact, I was assuming that the human mind is completely ruled by reason. But that is not so. For example, my reason is perfectly convinced by good evidence that anaesthetics do not smother me and that properly trained surgeons do not start operating until I am unconscious. But that does not alter the fact that when they have me down on the table and clap their horrible mask over my face, a mere childish panic begins inside me. I start thinking I am going to choke, and I am afraid they will start cutting me up before I am properly under. In other words, I lose my faith in anaesthetics. It is not reason that is taking away my faith: on the contrary, my faith is based on reason. It is my imagination and emotions. The battle is between faith and reason on one side and emotion and imagination on the other.

C.S. Lewis


Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 3097 What Is Christianity?

What Is Christianity?

In the home it is kindness.

In business it is honesty.

In society it is courtesy.

In work it is fairness.

Toward the unfortunate it is pity.

Toward the weak it is help.

Toward the wicked it is resistance.

Toward the strong it is trust.

Toward the fortunate it is congratulations.

Toward the penitent it is forgiveness.

Toward God it is reverence and love.

—Christian Digest


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