July 6, 2003
“BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE”
My calling, perhaps I should say my temperament,
etc. Last Days - Rev. 22:17,11
To be saved by faith and living by the Law perpetuates
falling from grace.
Either you are saved by God’s plan of salvation or
else you have a do-it-yourself-religion.
Spirit vs. flesh
liberty vs. bondage
v. 1 - The Law is not to be the rule of life for the
believer - Grace supplies the indwelling &
filling of the Spirit to enable us to live on a
higher plane than Law demanded.
Christ was sinless, He kept the Law, He came not
to destroy the Law but to fulfil it.
Sermon on the Mount - “Thou shalt not kill” - “but I
say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment”
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” - “but I say unto you
That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her
hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”
James 2:10 - “For whosoever shall keep the whole law,
and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Paul is addressing serious problems within the church or
churches in Galatia.
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Lamb of God that taketh
away the sin of the world, was made of a woman, took
upon Himself our form, was in all points tempted like
we are, yet without sin, became sin for us, was crucified,
buried and arose from the grave.
This for our salvation & deliverance from this present
Works have a place but not for salvation.
v.1 - “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free”
v. 6 - “faith which worketh by love”
v. 12 - “use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but
by love serve one another”
Those causing dissension in the church were telling the
Galatian people that they had to be circumcised to be saved.
v. 3 - To be circumcised to gain righteousness is wrong -
it is at extreme peril that a Christian allows himself
misgivings as to whether Christ’s blood as an atonement was
all-sufficient for peace with God or entrance into His kingdom.
Now circumcision was enjoined on Abraham as a token of the
covenant which assured to him & his descendants the promise
of the Messiah.
At the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, I read where that Jews
wishing to assimilate themselves into the heathen around them,
went through a procedure to uncircumcise themselves.
v. 4 - Remember - justification by the Law is unattainable - 3:11
“ye are fallen from grace” - now I believe in the eternal security
of the believer but nowadays, as in Paul’s day, and I am afraid
throughout history, there are those who have held or hold to
NEW MODES OF SALVATION....PLUS?
v. 5 - “the hope of righteousness by faith”
By faith we look forward to the hereafter, to receive the hope
Rom. 5:1-11 (never going to reach perfection in this life)
SO WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO FOR SALVATION?
The Do-It-Yourselfer has an ever-unappeased conscience
always striving at pleasing God through personal righteousness
whereas it is the privilege & glory of faith that one can enjoy
the assurance of being justified by faith now and be at peace
& at one, with God.
Chase a butterfly, can never catch it, be still, it will land on
v. 6 - Only damning mischief results from prying with salvation,
circumcision or uncircumcision - NO LEGAL APPARATUS
WILL PRODUCE A CHRISTIAN LIFE - the formula
is “faith which worketh by love”
II Cor. 5:14-15,17
Rom. 7:18 - “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me;
but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
Christ’s love to the Christian awakens in his soul a sentiment
of love for his Redeemer which is so strong & influential,
that it regulates the whole of the Christian life.
John 8:36 - “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye
shall be free indeed.”
Christ imparts the gift of love to Himself & that makes
obedience to be no longer a constrained service.
v. 7 - Why are you looking elsewhere for grounds of
“that ye should not obey the truth”
They were turning their ears away from the truth to listen
to pernicious counsels or teaching.
II Tim. 4:1-4 - Giving attention to things which they ought
to be giving to the gospel.
v. 8 - Coming not from God but the world - Satan.
Col. 2:20-23 II Cor. 11:13-15
What they were listening to now had “anathema” written
all over it. (curse) ch. 1:6
Paul declares in the strongest manner that the Gospel he
preached was the one & only way of salvation, and that to
preach another was to nullify the Death of Christ.
(The distance across home plate in baseball - compare with left field distance to right field) The further you go the farther off base you are!
v. 9 - a noxious element - promising comfort & sense of
acceptance - external religiosity - when once it
begins to show itself, has a great tendency to SPREAD.
Leaven in the Bible is always a symbol of evil - it may be
the kind of gospel that is passing around today as legal tender
but it is still evil.
There seems to be a lot of leaven being put to the gospel
today to make it more palatable (taste better).
Sight - Not Faith - much like it is the economy, not
morality, stupid although the scripture tells us "For we walk
by faith, not by sight" - II Cor. 5:7
It tastes good but we are warned against it.
Pulpit Commentary - Verbatim - part of writings on v. 9-
For always, in every Church, there are unstable souls, too
often not a few, never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth; which have never truly discerned Christ’s all-sufficiency
for their spiritual needs, or have lost any superficial
persuasion of it once enjoyed; and which, consciously
unsatisfied with what they as yet possess, and nevertheless
only toying with spiritual things, are ready to adopt almost
any novelty of religious behavior offering itself for their
acceptance. The particular form in which the external
religionism of seekers after another gospel clothes itself
varies according to varying tastes & circumstances......
the fatal blunder of mistaking the external shows of
saintliness for the reality of saintliness......The danger of
the leaven in the present case, increased by the
instability of character and the quick impulsiveness
belonging to the Celtic temperament.
pp. bottom 244- top 245 - if you don’t believe it go to
our church library and look in Vol 20 of Pulpit Commentary
written a century or two before the present.
When I studied this all week - I relate it to contemporary
Book - Why I left the Contemporary Christian Movement:
Confessions of a Former Worship Leader by Dan Lucarini.
There are things going on in churches in Christian County
and throughout the Southern Baptist Convention that if
done 20 years ago would have produced an outrage.
I size up the situation as God’s people getting hurt in church
splits and don’t want to rock the boat and go through that again
and the vacuum is filled with a more worldly, delicious form
of worship which we can see & feel, forgetting that God is
a Spirit and does not require or want physical contact.
True antidote - the gospel of the righteousness of
The remedy - Ps. 119:130 - “The entrance of thy words
giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”
John 5:39 - “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye
think ye have eternal life: and they are they which
testify of me.”
Youth Movement not as grounded on Scripture but has roots
in the world.
The only remedy - Christ crucified for the sins of the world -
not the church crucified for the world. Jesus plus nothing.
Nothing plus nothing equals nothing. Jesus plus nothing = JESUS!
v. 10b - read - ch. 1:7-9
v. 13 - Freedom/Liberty
John 8:34 - Jesus said “Whosoever committeth sin is the
servant of sin”
Freedom which allows a man to obey his lower nature is a perverted & generic use of the term freedom and is a world of difference from that freedom wherewith Christ makes us free -
Exhibit A - Luke 16:26 ****
II Pet. 2:18-19
Today’s attack on morality & it’s support in the U. S. Constitution by Civil -Libertarians - that low class of the nether world! even have political party
The moral behavior required of those who enjoy the
freedom which Christ gives - remaining part of this
chapter and part of next.
The flesh is not to have its own way but it is to own
the mastery of the Spirit.
v. 17 Rom. 8:5-8
The Law is negative - produces a negative goodness - a
legal goodness and never rises to positive goodness where
one tries to please God because we love God & love to
Political correctness in the world is on the wrong side
of this one -
John 14:15 - “If ye love me, keep my commandments”
I John 4:19 - “We love Him, because He first loved us”
The indispensable requirement to fulfill the Law is the
Spirit of Christ dwelling in us & leading us!
Romans 13 - all
v. 15 - A description of Christian cannibals - no love for one
another -they bite & devour one another.
“biting & eating up” - are images drawn from carnivorous
animals furiously fighting with one another
The verb “to eat up” in the Greek describes the intense
desire to vex & damage an antagonist, which often disgraces
the so-called religious controversialist or partisan.
The verb “consume or utterly destroy” in the Greek,
points to another sphere of hurt than that referred to by
the two foregoing verbs.
Eat up and bite implies eagerness to sting and run down
Consume describes the utter laying waste of the inward
life of piety.
Exposing the evils of contentiousness - LOVE - the corrective.
Such evils were rife among the Galatians, whose natural
character was commonly described as quarrelsome.
Remedy - A loving temper of mind, along with other benefits,
is recommended also by this, that it guards Churches from
corrupting innovations in doctrine & church practice; checking
our self-will and our obtrusive vanity, it leads us to avoid giving
uneasiness to others by thrusting upon them new notions or
new modes of conduct, and makes it our ambition to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Once again verbatim from p. 250, vol. 20 Pulpit Commentary
Perhaps a good food washing service as exampled by our
Master in John 13 might put us more in the right frame of mind!
This bitter antagonism & controversy has to be eaten out
and love can & will do the job.
“by love serve one another” in v. 13
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” in v. 14
A Christian disciple who has ceased to love, Christ teaches
us, is salt which has lost its savor - utter refuse and hopeless
of recovery. Mark 9:50
May God save us from such apostate situations
and from such Laodicean-like symptoms of which Christ
mentions in the Revelation where He, Himself is on the
outside, knocking to get an entrance! Rev. 3