Tag Archives: Galatians

Let Us Not Grow Weary – Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:9-10).

It has been over a month since my last blog post. It started off as a couple of days of sabbatical while I traveled for work. It continued a little longer while I took care of a number of busy home and family things like moving. And then was compounded by a weariness from fighting and seemingly losing every spiritual battle.

whack-a-moleIt had begun to feel like I was playing Whac-A-Mole trying to fight off the false teachings and teachers that were popping up from every corner of my life. And every time I turned one way to beat down one of those pesky moles, someone would sneak up behind me to lovingly caress those moles and give me and my mallet the evil eye. And that does not even begin to address the sinful thoughts in my own life that pop up. Hitting my head with the mallet is not very productive.

But the time away from writing on this blog also meant less time in God’s word. Less time reflecting on how God is at work in my life. Less time pondering his holiness and the goodness of his mercy. Less time in marveling at his perfect plan of salvation. And a surprisingly fast drift away from God. Kind of like the book of Judges. Only faster.

choc_chipsIt was basically like my physical exercise. The less I exercise, the more tired I feel and the less I feel like exercising. It is a downward spiral that ends with my hand rummaging around the bottom of an empty bag of chocolate chips while I loosen my belt another notch. Not good. Eventually I have to decide to just get on that treadmill and run even when I do not really feel like it.

How much more damaging when I weary of being with God? I finally decided that I have to get back to this spiritual exercise of writing merely to keep me drawing near to God. It has meant some changes to my comments policy to try to fight off the weariness. But I have learned that this blog is one of the ways that God has equipped me to fight my own spiritual battles by forcing me to continuously pick up the sword of the Spirit.

So, God willing and whether any one reads them or not, on this blog I will be back to rejoicing in the goodness of the almighty, unchanging, sovereign, holy God and his perfect plan of salvation. And back to whacking those pesky, heretical moles. Universalism – WHACK! False prophecy – WHACK! Evolution – WHACK! Roman Catholicism – WHACK! Women pastors and elders – WHACK! Mormonism – WHACK! Homosexual marriage – WHACK! Prosperity gospel – WHACK! Aigghh! They never stop!

Come Lord Jesus!

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Spiritual Freeze Tag – Galatians 6:1

snow_miserEarly Saturday morning before play practice, about a dozen kids were racing around our church playing Freeze Tag. In this game, if the Freezer catches up to and touches an individual, they become frozen and unable to move. The others in the game can unfreeze that frozen individual if they can touch them without themselves being nabbed by the Freezer. Watching the children reminded of the following verse:

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted (Galatians 6:1).

Christ designed his church that we would be in fellowship with other believers and under the supervision of a plurality of elders so that we have protection and support. We are prone to being frozen in our sins and transgressions and often need others to help unfreeze us. If we isolate ourselves and try to walk the Christian life alone, we have no one else to assist us in these times of need. There is also the warning in this verse that we must keep our eyes on the Freezer while we try to help our brothers and sisters, lest we too be tempted by sin and the devil and frozen ourselves.

 

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Scripture is living, active, foresees, and preaches – Galatians 3:8

Last week in adult Bible study we were studying Holy Scripture itself. Our leader, Greg, started us at Hebrews 4:12 which says the word of God is “living and active…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” I wish I had recorded during class all the verses he covered that further discussed the issue of Scripture being alive. One example I do remember was:

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8).

I was struck, yet again, by the powerful words used by the Bible to describe itself as God’s living word. Here in Galatians we see the quote of Genesis 12:3 in which it is the LORD (Yahweh) speaking the promise to Abram. Clearly in Genesis it was God speaking to Abram verbally. But, when we read it recorded in Galatians 3:8, it is Scripture that is speaking. It is these Scriptures that were breathed out by God.

God spoke out loud to Abram many thousands of years ago. Those very words recorded in Scripture also continue to speak today through the working of the Holy Spirit. The words of the Bible continue to foresee future events, preach the gospel, discern our thoughts, and plumb the depths of our hearts. The words of God really are living and active. I am so glad I have that sure foundation to lead me to know and better understand the LORD my God!

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Jesus came to respond to the universal human need to…

DCF 1.0A couple of summers ago I did some research on a small-town, rural Idaho pastor for some friends. He turned out to be an absolute heretic. Last week, I made the mistake of listening to a new sermon by this pastor. Why? It must be similar to our seemingly natural response to look at a car crash. It did not take long for this pastor to remind me of why he is a heretic when he stated:

It is the singular most important issue that Jesus came to address…

OK. I will pause here and let you think about how you would finish his sentence. What was the most important issue Jesus came to address? Think…think…think…

Do you have an answer yet? Is that your final answer? OK, are you sure you want to see this pastor’s answer? Maybe you should look away? No? OK, here is his answer:

Jesus came to respond to the universal human need to know how to live well.

car_crash_2That was not a minor fender-bender, but an absolute, unmitigated disaster: “the universal human need to know how to live well.” Really? He spent a week of sermon prep and came up with that? God had told us how to live well about 1500 years before Jesus came. You may not have heard of these guidelines, but they were called the Ten Commandments. We could all live exceptionally well if we just followed that simple 10 step program. In fact, Jesus even confirmed those rules as words to live by.

There is only one teensy, weensy little problem. We cannot live by them. Not you. Not me. No my Roman Catholic friends, not Mary either. Only Jesus. That law is what convicts us, condemns us, and leads us to Christ Jesus that we may be saved by faith:

But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:22-24).

Unlike the law-based gospel preached by this heretic, Jesus came not to tell or show us how to live well, but to respond to the universal human need to have our sins forgiven. We do not need more rules or excellent moral examples. We cannot keep the rules God had given long before Jesus arrived. We need a Savior. Jesus was and is that Savior:

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

If you church is teaching anything remotely like the message given by this pastor I listened to—RUN!

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Examine the Evidence – Galatians 3:11

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11).

It really could not be more evident that we are sinners. No one who is honest with themselves can look at God’s 10 Commandments and say, “I am perfect. I keep God’s law perfectly.” Examine the evidence of your life and your thoughts. That evidence is damning. We have all the evidence we need of our sinfulness. We have all the evidence necessary to demonstrate our need for a Savior.

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