Thursday after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Galatians 5:1-15 (NKJV)
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. 7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Many times Christians find themselves being lectured by others who say, “If you were really a Christian, you would (fill in the blank).” The idea behind this is to guilt someone into doing what you want them to do. Sometimes the one doing the lecturing may be a Christian but oft times those words come from the non-Christian. In either case, they hope you will just lie down and let them walk all over you.
Paul was unwilling to give up his Christian liberty in order to try and get along with those who opposed the Gospel. Instead, he fought them all the more as they tried to pressure him and other followers of Christ to give up the Truth. He called them out for who they truly were, “estranged from Christ.”
We are not given by God a mandate to try and find some sort of middle ground when dealing with false doctrine. We see the damaging and damning effects what such trying to “get along” has done to numerous Christian denominations. Outright sin is placed before the people as being holy and righteous in the sight of God. In some cases, churches have split but in most cases the poison of false doctrine slowly anesthetizes the congregants like nitrous oxide. They simply find themselves happy but can’t feel contrition because God’s Law has been perverted.
Paul was concerned that the Galatians were about to lose it all because they were being pressured to be “real Christians” by people who had perverted the Gospel.
Gracious, Heavenly Father, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we find that we so easily drift away from the truth of the Gospel. Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word. Amen.