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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 5 Part 2)

Don’t you love the variety in the Scriptures?  Here in chapter 5 Paul uses several analogies and metaphors to express his deep concern for the Galatian believers.  Let’s continue our study of this great epistle by looking at verses 7-12.  Here, I believe, the theme is misguided persuasion!

Paul commends these Christians for the good race they were running.  But someone “cut in” on them (v. 7).  Someone got in their way, cut them off from “obeying the truth”!  And those who cut in on them used their persuasive powers to take them away from the simple gospel.

And their being persuaded infected others (“a little yeast,” v. 9).  This person who misled them threw them into confusion (v. 10) and will be subject to God’s judgment (“will have to pay the penalty”).

Paul makes it clear that he is not preaching circumcision, for his being persecuted shows this to be true.  He has not given up persecution for perversion.  He has not relinquished “the offense of the cross” (v. 11).

He then, in an Old Testament imprecatory way, wishes that these false teachers would follow their own advice and emasculate themselves!  Wow!

The perversion of the gospel is serious!  And there are hidden and not-so-hidden persuaders out there seeking to confuse God’s people and to do way with the offense of the cross.  Don’t let anyone cut in on you and your race for the Lord!  And don’t just stand on the sidelines.  Get in the race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Galatians

 

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Four Days in the Book of Acts (Day #3)

We’re taking these four days to think about our own history, the history of Jesus’ church.  We were not founded on a fable, but on the facts about the Lord Jesus (His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension).  Luke in this, his second volume (the Gospel of Luke is his first history), details for us the spread of the gospel and the character of the Early Church.

God the Holy Spirit is quite prominent in this book, but let us notice another characteristic of this story.  One must be impressed with the way the gospel is presented in the various settings.  There is a great emphasis on efforts to persuade men and women of the truth about Jesus!  The Apostles invest much time and effort and intellectual energy in not just proclaiming the gospel, but in seeking to persuade others to believe it!

With Jewish audiences the Old Testament Scriptures are used; with Gentiles reason is employed and even publicly-known philosophical works are quoted (see Acts 17).  The Apostles spend significant time in synagogues and in the temple presenting the facts about the Lord Jesus.  Theirs is not a privately-held set of convictions.  They are in the marketplace — and are willing to pay the price for their witness!

Even before secular authorities who have the power to execute them, the early believers are bold and seek to lead others to believe in Jesus.  Their work is not in contradiction to the internal work of the Spirit of God.  I would suggest the early disciples sought to convince others of the gospel; the Holy Spirit’s internal work was/is to convict those who hear of their need of salvation.

I’m a big fan of Billy Graham, but I wish he had named his magazine Persuasion, not Decision magazine.  Sure, people have to decide about the gospel, but the early church sought to lay out the facts about Jesus logically and powerfully, by the enablement of the Holy Spirit.

Assignment:  In your efforts to share the gospel with others, list one step you are taking to convince them of the truth about Jesus in the comment section below.  (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2017 in The Acts of the Apostles

 

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