Sunday, March 20, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Galatians Part 10 – LEGALISM

Paul's Epistles - Galatians
Part 10 – LEGALISM
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Paul has explained to the Galatians in the last few chapters that they were heading down the wrong path, the wrong way of thinking.

We are told in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

The Galatians church lost their way, and strayed from the truth.

James 5:19-20brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Clearly, any “brother and sister” that strays (or wanders) from the truth (which is the Word of God, or Jesus, which is the Word made Flesh!), they are in danger of death (second death) because of their multitude of sins!

Paul, wanting to help the Galatians church, and save them from the err of their way, wanted to turn these brothers and sisters whom have now become “sinners” as the scripture tells us, back to the truth, and save them from the second death (Judgment Day) and cover (with the White Garment of Christ) their multitude of sins! (So they will not be visible on Judgment Day)

Paul and Peter bump heads as Peter is the Apostle who allowed the false teachings and misdirection of the Galatians church to take place, by giving in to peer pressure from the circumcised group trying to teach you needed to obey certain ceremonial laws IN ADDITION to Christ to be right in God’s eyes.

However, this was NOT what Jesus taught, and therefore was a false teaching.

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

a. You were slaves to ungodly things before your salvation
                                                                                  i. In their unredeemed state, they were slaves to heathen superstition

                                                                               ii. We are all slaves to some sort of sin when we are unredeemed

b. Now you are known by God
                                                                                  i. Knowing God through Salvation and acceptance of Jesus Christ

                                                                               ii. Because we know Him, and He knows us, we have the Holy Spirit

                                                                            iii. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and power to turn from sin

1. The Great Commission
a. Go into all the world preaching the Gospel

b. Baptize in name of
                                                                                                                                                                                                            i.      Father (Old Covenant)
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ii.      Son (New Covenant)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      iii.      Holy Spirit (Strength of God)

c. THEN teach them to obey all I command

2. It is only AFTER we receive the Holy Spirit that we are capable of obeying all tat Christ commands.

                                                                              iv. Once we know God, and He knows us, we receive the Holy Spirit and have the ability to turn away from sin and obey all that Christ commands.

c. Do not be enslaved to the old ways again
                                                                                  i. The Galatians however were returning to their old ways

                                                                               ii. This was a “choice”, because they did have the Holy Spirit and the strength and ability to turn from it.

                                                                            iii. The circumcision group, or Judaizers, were trying to convince the Galatians to return to the LAW

                                                                              iv. Legalism comes from the bondage of the LAW and is no longer a requirement in the New Covenant.

                                                                                 v. To take part in the Old Covenant, we MUST abandon the New.

1. This was the issue Paul struggled with until he discovered the secret was to turn away from the Old Covenant and cling to the New and simply trust in Jesus as all we need for Salvation.

                                                                              vi. Paul states in verse 10, “you observe days, months, and times, and years.”
1. The Judaizers attempt at getting the Galatians to be law-keepers in conjunction with Christ…which cannot work

a. You accepted me in the beginning and believed
                                                                                  i. The Galatians loved Paul when he first came with the Gospel

                                                                               ii. And he wanted them to be like he was, free from the bondage of salvation by works

                                                                            iii. Paul also states, “I am like you”, which is a message he spoke of often.
1. Paul taught that although he was an Apostle, he was not above anyone.

2. The Judaizers (like the Sadducees and Pharisees) wanted praise, acclimations, honor, for others to “look up to them” as higher, more important. It was their pride.

3. Paul says, NO, although I am an Apostle, I am still subject to the SAME biblical doctrine as you!

b. As an angel of God, or Christ Jesus Himself
                                                                                  i. When Paul first came, they treated him with respect, as an angel of God, or Christ Jesus Himself

1. Not that they worshipped him, rather, the respect, and acceptance.

c. Where is your blessing of me now?
                                                                                  i. All has changed now that Paul is correcting them.

                                                                               ii. The honor, respect, all gone.

                                                                            iii. This is one of the reasons the tone of the letter has been so harsh

                                                                              iv. Paul is reprimanding his children for the err of their way

                                                                                 v. He tries to explain to them “why” the Judaizers are trying so hard to win them over.

I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

They were choosing to be blind to the Truth…

a. To alienate you from us, so you will have zeal for them
                                                                                  i. They wanted to be praised

                                                                               ii. They wanted the old way back!

b. It is fine to be zealous, if the purpose is good
                                                                                  i. Paul should know, he was a zealot for God

                                                                               ii. However, Paul understands that being zealous, if not for the purpose of good, can have terrible consequences.

                                                                            iii. “It’s good to be zealous, and to do so always, not just when I’m around…”, but it MUST be for good!

c. My dear children
                                                                                  i. Paul exclaims he is AGAIN having the pains of childbirth UNTIL Christ is formed in them.
1. They had turned their backs on Christ, returning to their old ways

2. They lost what they had, and Paul was trying to win them back to Christ

3. He was once again, hurting for them in their state of being once again unredeemed, until they could once again have Christ Jesus in them

CONCLUSIONI am perplexed about you!

Paul could not understand how the Galatians could turn their back on the Holy Spirit and the New Covenant.

They turned their back on the Holy Spirit, and replaced Him with the LAW, which only condemns and leads to death.

Any self-professing Christian, who turns from the Truth of the Gospel of being saved by Grace through Faith in Christ and His work at the cross, is replacing the Spirit of God with something else, just as the Galatians did.

We must allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in us, and allow His strength to keep us from the old ways, so we can avoid the pitfall of our old selves.

The Galatians failed because they allowed false teachings, things that contradicted the teachings of Christ.

All we need is Christ, and His Word. Anything else is meant to cause confusion, which is from the author of confusion himself, so that we may, like the Galatians, find ourselves out of the New Covenant, and back into the Old.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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