Don’t Give Up

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6.9

Everyone grows weary, perhaps from working, from cooking, or from trying to do the right thing. Paul told the Galatians to not grow weary in doing good.

Perhaps Paul was thinking about Jesus when he wrote this. Matthew 21.15 refers to the wonderful things that Jesus did. Jesus taught the people, fed them, and healed them. He went about doing good. He continued to do good even when the religious leaders of the day tried to trap him in what he said or what he did.

Jesus is our example. Doing good is a part of the life of the disciple. Just as Jesus received his reward for his life here, the disciple who does not give up, but continues to do good, will reap the results. Those results might be seen here on earth or in the future in eternity. Never give up!

#risingjoy #Galatians #doing-good

Needed: Encouragement

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 2.6

There are some things that are easier to bear by sharing with others. Paul had just mentioned in verse one about the Christian who had been overtaken by a sin. Other spiritual Christians were to go to that person and with a gentle spirit, help him to be restored to Christ. Paul alerted them of the necessity of paying close attention to themselves that they were not tempted also. No one is above temptation. Peter compares the devil to a roaring lion who is on the prowl for its prey, 1 Peter 5.8. If one is not careful, you can fall to temptation and its consequences.

Christians are to help one another. One way this happens is by helping to share the burden of another. Romans 12.15 says to rejoice with those who rejoice , weep with those who weep. It is during trying times that encouragement is welcome. A hug, a note, or a phone call to say that you are praying for that person can be a source of encouragement and strength to continue in the right path.

#risingjoy #Galatians #burdens

The best thing we can do for others

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5.13

In Christ, we have been freed from serving the Law of Moses. But, Paul warned the Galatians that the freedom they had in Christ was not a license to do whatever they wanted to do.

We live by the Spirit. The Spirit wars against the desires that we have that lead us to sin. So, if we are living by the Spirit, we will not commit the acts that our flesh may desire. Paul listed the desires of the flesh in Galatians 5.19-21. He warned that those who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of God! Therefore, our freedom in Christ is not a license to do whatever we desire.

Paul wrote in 5.14, that in essence the law under Jesus can be summed up as “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus taught this in Mark 12.30-31. The important things are to love God first and your neighbor.

If we are obeying these commandments, we will only want what is best for others and would not want to harm them in any way. The best thing that we can do for others is to help them understand the Bible and live it out in their daily lives.

#risingjoy #Galatians #freedom

Alienated from Christ

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5.1

The Galatians were in danger of being alienated from Christ. There were some who had slipped into their ranks and began teaching that to be a good Christian, you also had to obey the law of Moses.

Paul made it very clear that if you obeyed one aspect of the law, then you were obligated to obey all of it. This had been impossible to do. With the coming of Christ, people were free from the law since Christ had fulfilled it. He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice given once for all of mankind. However, only those who accept his sacrifice and obey his commandments will receive the benefits of it. Paul wanted the Galatians to understand that they were freed from the law of Moses.

In Christ, we have freedom that was not seen under the law of Moses. The Israelites had to make sacrifices constantly. There were feasts and days that had to be celebrated. If they were not celebrated, the Israelites would be forced out of the camp.

The freedom that we have in Christ is seen in the one act of baptism where we have contact with the blood of Jesus. There is only one feast that is celebrated, the Lord’s Supper. During the Lord’s Supper we are reminded of all that Jesus has done on our behalf and it is to help us to remember that on a regular basis.

Paul’s instructions to the Galatians were to stand firm against those who were teaching error and not to fall prey to them. The same instructions apply to us today regarding any teaching that is not in agreement with God’s word. We are to stand firmly against it.

#risingjoy #Galatians #freedom

Who are false brethren?

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Now this matter arose because of the false brothers with false pretenses who slipped in unnoticed to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves. But we did not surrender to them even for a moment, in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. Galatians 2.4-5

Sometimes you have to take a stand. You have to defend the truth against people who come into the meeting either twisting the truth or with false intentions. Their desire is not to build up a congregation. It is to distort and divide.

Paul called such people false brethren. These do not enter a place speaking their falsehoods clearly. Most often they slip in without anyone knowing the damage that is about to be done. Their teachings come out a little at a time, many times in the form of doubts and questions. Paul said their aim was to make slaves. In the Galatian churches, it was the teaching that to be a good Christian, you have to also follow the law of Moses.

Truth is important. There is only one source of that truth, God’s word. We need to be diligent to know what it says and to understand what it means. Paul stood firm in his defense of the gospel. We need to do the same.

Do you know the word well enough to know when someone is teaching something that is contrary to truth? If not, why not? Peter said that we need to be prepared to give answers to questions about our hope, 1 Peter 3.15. That also applies to defending the truth.

#risingjoy #Galatians #truth

Part of Christ’s team

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3.27-28

Whose team are you on? With which team do you identify? Do you cheer for a certain team?

If we are Christians, we have professed allegiance to a team. Jesus is the captain of our team. He is the one who gives the directions and orders such as where to go and what to do. Anyone who has been baptized into Christ makes up a part of his team. It does not matter what race we are, nor what gender we are. We are all one team that works together to win the prize.

Baptism is the rite of passage for this team. We have to meet the conditions already set down for qualifying for this passage. It takes us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Of which kingdom are you a citizen? It is your choice. Whose team are you on?

#risingjoy #Galatians #unity

It happens sometimes

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load. Galatians 6.1-5

Have you ever known someone who was strong in their faith fall back into a sin? It happens sometimes. When it does, we can feel blown away. Imagine how that person feels. At times, there is repentance and forgiveness. However, many times the person leaves the church never to return. Paul writes to the Galatians to restore such a person with a spirit of gentleness. If we attack the person because of the sin, we stand to lose so much more than the person. That does not mean that continual sin is to be tolerated. No, I must try to gently and firmly help the person to overcome the sin in her life. All the while, I must be careful not to succumb to temptation as well. I should never think that I am above being tempted and falling. That is folly! I need to be vigilant, examining my own life to make sure that I am living and working as I should. Paul writes that we should not compare ourselves with others. That action has a tendency to breed discontent, envy, and arrogance. When I compare myself today with myself yesterday, then I can take pride in the areas where I have improved and try harder in the areas that need improvement. I will also be too busy to be comparing myself with others. If we all do this, then we can each carry our own load. We will help each other and not pull each other down. The discontent, envy and arrogance will disappear. We can encourage one another to keep going forward and growing. We might even find that our joy is rising!

#risingjoy #Galatians #restoration

Not of human origin

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.”

Galatians 1.11

What Paul preached came from God. It alone is true. Therefore, it cannot be modified in any way. Whoever changes it stands under God’s condemnation, because he gave it to save.

Is what the Bible says the only truth about God and plan of redemption? Yes! No other book, no other message, carries the divine stamp. Philosophies and theologies are useless to save.

#votd #Galatians #gospel

Each carry his own load: Galatians 6.5

“For each one will carry his own load.”

Galatians 6.5

The apostle Paul is all about helping others, even correcting an erring brother so that he not be lost. Jesus said we must love each other. But some things others cannot do for us. There is individual responsibility.

It doesn’t matter what others do, or fail to do, in their responsibility toward God, toward the church, or toward the family. I must do my part. I am responsible and will answer to God for my words and actions. The failures of others do not release me from my load.

#votd #Galatians #responsibility

Why were the Galatians turning away from the gospel?

A valid question worth considering is asked in the “Discussion Questions” section on p. 64 of the Gospel Advocate’s Foundations Adult Bible study book for Galatians (Summer 2018, Lesson 5, The Works of Law or of Faith).

The reason the question is valid is because the answers still apply to individuals today. It asks, “Why do you think the Galatians had turned (or were contemplating turning) from the gospel message Paul preached to them?”

The answers are bit subjective for obvious reasons but the question is rooted in reality. Why do people, who have obeyed the truth, turn from the trustworthy to the untrustworthy? Let me share a few answers.

  1. The Galatians were “somewhat new” to the religion of Christianity. Perhaps this different version of the gospel scratched their itching ears in some way (2 Timothy 4:3; Galatians 4:10). Familiarity can be good thing, but it can also become a stumbling block. Such has happened in the past, and continues to happen with the “installation” of “Christian holy days” meant to replace pagan holiday days. Being new to Christianity introduces great emotions into our lives, but these emotions can also become a weakness if we’re not careful.
  2. The presence of very persuasive false teachers could have also played a large factor in the Galatian’s situation. We know the false teachers had the desire (Galatians 4:17) and, according to the results they were getting, it seems as if they had the talent. Such is also the case today with charismatic and linguistically skilled people who present doctrines that blatantly reject the first principles of the gospel.
  3. The absence of sound teachers seems to be a possible contributing factor to the aforementioned work of false teachers. Dangers abound and wolves feast in the absence of a shepherd’s guidance. Consider the fact, unlike in other epistles, that Paul did not mention any laborers by name in the Galatian letter and that may be a clue concerning the leadership situation the churches of Galatia had on their hands. Sound teaching is not optional! (1 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:13, 2:2; Titus 1:7-9, 2:1) Its absence will become a detriment that can and will lead to deception in any congregation.

#galatians, #gospel-advocate, #questions-and-answers

The revelation of Jesus Christ in Galatians

The book of Revelation isn’t the only “revelation of Jesus Christ” in the New Testament. There are a few actually. One in particular is found in Galatians 3:23:

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.” (NKJV)

In the middle of a conversation about justification from sin, the burden of the justifying one’s self with the law of Moses, a promise made to Abraham and the role of Moses’ law in relation to the faith which saves our soul, Paul makes an interesting statement about how God would ultimately justify his people. He says it was God’s plan to reveal the faith after the Law fulfilled its purpose.

The word “reveal” comes from the Greek word “apokalupto” meaning, “to uncover, to lay open what has been veiled, to disclose; to make known.” So, in other words, Galatians 3:23 is the revelation of Jesus Christ in Galatians (note that the Greek for the book of Revelation comes from “apokalupsis” which for all intents and purposes has the same root meaning).

The “revelation” in Galatians is important because the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches (in more ways than one) that something is “removed” or “unveiled” when an individual stops depending upon their own work through the Law of Moses and starts depending upon the work of Jesus through faith (2 Corinthians 3:12-18). That thing (the veil or covering) removed through the glory (or light) of the gospel, in one specific manner, is our ignorance concerning God’s intent and endpoint concerning the role of Moses’ Law – that being that the way Abraham was saved was meant to last in order to justify us all (Galatians 3:22), not the Law, which was added 430 years after the promise concerning Abraham, faith, justification and Jesus was made (Galatians 3:13-18).

This is why Abraham rejoiced when he saw the “revelation of Jesus Christ” in Galatians which had been revealed to him so long ago (John 8:56); and it’s why we should rejoice about it today!

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” (2 Timothy 1:8-10 NKJV)

#galatians, #greek-grammar, #justification-by-faith, #justification-by-the-law-of-moses

Short introduction to Galatians

One concern about early Christianity was how (if at all) it differed from the Mosaic economy. Early saints conflicted regularly over which (if any) applications of the Law remained relevant to Christians.

Paul argues in Galatians that the “works of the law” were inferior to the “faith of Christ,” as the former led to the latter (3:19-25). This proved the superiority of Christ’s system, and demonstrated that all believers – regardless of whether they had previously submitted to ordinances of the Mosaic Law — are equal heirs of God’s promise to Abraham (Gal. 3:26-29; cf. Gen. 12:1-3, et. al.).

A key word of the book is “liberty.” “Liberty” must be defined by God. It is not freedom from restraint, but freedom from the broken moral and spiritual systems found in the world. Liberty in Christ involves humble, sacrificial service (5:14-18; 6:1-4), moral excellence (5:19-26), and a promise of everlasting harvest (6:7-10)

—Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

#galatians, #liberty, #nt-introduction

10th Minnesota Bible Lecture

Please post on bulletin boards you pass or share with friends and invite them to attend. The study of Galatians will be important to emphasize God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Important topics of Abraham and faith, fruit of the spirit and the Christian’s walk, baptism and much more will be discussed. God bless you!

—Dan Mayfield, Owatonna MN

10th Minnesota Bible Lecture April 27, 2013 (Lord willing!)


#galatians, #lectureships

More comfortable with being uncomfortable

Productive Living on Davidco

People are more comfortable being uncomfortable than being comfortable, if they have been uncomfortable for an extended period of time. It’s simply an ingrained pattern, and familiarity is more comfortable than novelty. Most people have for so long experienced the gnawing sense of anxiety about all the un-captured and un-clarified “work” of their life, that’s what they’re used to. Then no matter how clean and in control they get at some point, they will soon let themselves slide, let things mount up again, unprocessed, sufficiently to get them back to the level of stress they are accustomed to.

This point seems to offer a spiritual application as well. People are often more comfortable with their old sinful life than with the life of Christ, than with the “feeling of freedom,” as Allen mentioned. We love our burdens and weights too much to lay them down. We want to keep our old familiar prejudices and hates and habits. Along with the context of Galatians, might not this truth give extra meaning to chap. 5, verse 1,

“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.”

Christ has given us freedom. That freedom was meant to be exercised and enjoyed, not stifled by the inner or religious need to prove one’s own worth to God. This hopeless effort produces only frustration, but some, who already know only this, prefer it to the freedom of having sins totally forgiven and living in the free obedience to the will of God.

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#galatians, #gtd, #habits, #legalism, #spiritual-freedom

Visit Forthright Press stand at FHU Lectures

Barbara Ann will be manning the Forthright Press booth at the Freed-Hardeman University Annual Bible Lectureship. Go by and say hi to her. And buy a book.

• Got any insight into what Paul meant when he said that it pleased God to reveal in him the Son (Ga 1:16)? I’ve written an article on it, but still would appreciate any insights you might have. Not an easy phrase, that.

• As I mentioned yesterday, we got company coming, and they’re about to drive up. I’m grateful that we have people like this couple who have the heart of mission to reach places that have no gospel message.