Don't run off course (Galatians 5 v 7-12)
You can almost feel the emotion and frustration pouring through Paul's pen and onto the page as he writes to these Christians who are considering throwing their faith away.
Knocked off course
Read Galatians 5:7
• What does Paul say in verse 7 about the Galatians' performance as Christians:
• in the past?
• in the present?
• What does he know has caused this change (v 7)?
Paul is picturing the Christian life as a race. And the Galatian church were fast starters. But clearly someone has cut them up, and they've been knocked off course. Now there's a chance they won't carry on in the race at all.
And that false teacher (or teachers) has done something particularly dangerous: he seems to have convinced the Galatians that his is the authentic Christian message. So Paul points out that God, “the one who calls you”, would never seek to persuade His people not to obey the truth of the gospel of salvation by faith (v 8).
• The false teachers were few: but what kind of effect had they had (v 9)?
• Why do you think Paul includes the first sentence of verse 10? What is he encouraging the Galatians to do?
t's easy to think that this kind of thing couldn’t happen to us, or to our church. But these Christians in Galatia had been “running a good race” before they were knocked off course.
• Pray for yourself: that God would keep you trusting in the gospel truth, and that you would not change course for anyone or anything.
• Pray for your church: that God would protect it from persuasive, all-pervasive false teaching.
Still on course
Read Galatians 5:11
There are two “gospels” being preached:
• “circumcision”: relying on what we do to make us right with God.
• “the cross”: relying on what Jesus has done to make us right with God.
• Which one is Paul preaching (v 11)?
• How does he feel about those who are preaching the other “gospel” (v 12)?!
Pauls says: If these false teachers are so keen on chopping bits off themselves in circumcision, I wish they'd chop the whole thing off!
What would you say to someone who says: “That church up the road which says we need to do good as well as trust in Jesus—it’s fine, it’s just a different type of Christianity”?
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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