Galatians 5:1, 7-12 ESV
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
Circumcision is an outward cutting away of the flesh, unless it is circumcision of the heart, which is dying with Christ to sin, being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and in the power of God’s Spirit, living to Christ and to his righteousness. So, in this sense, physical circumcision represents man’s attempts at being righteous before God via works of the flesh, but which has no impact on changing a person’s heart and life.
For, Jesus Christ set us free, not only from our slavery to sin, but also from false righteousness that depends on human effort to try to be found righteous in God’s sight. For, not one of us, no matter how hard we try, will ever be acceptable to God and found righteous before him by human effort.
But, did you know that what a lot of people today are teaching with regard to God’s grace is really about human effort? It is still about the flesh. It is still a religion of human origin. Yes! Because it is created in the minds of humans, and it is contrary to the teachings of scripture. For, it appeases human flesh rather than putting it to death, which is God’s design for how we are to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25).
What they have done, essentially, is to pull Jesus Christ and his Word, our Rock and our foundation, out from underneath the gospel of our salvation, and out from underneath the church, too, and they have put man as the foundation, instead, or no foundation at all. And, then they have altered and transformed the true gospel to make it more acceptable to human flesh. But, they did not transform or alter the life of the “believer,” but they left him still in bondage to his sin, only with a false assurance of heaven as his destiny.
And the lukewarm church here in America is in bed (in agreement) with this flesh-driven cheap grace gospel which requires no decency, no morality, no uprightness or honesty of its adherents as part of their walks of faith with Almighty God. For, this cheap grace convinces people that living holy lives, pleasing to God, is works of the flesh, while they also try to paint their cheap grace as true grace, because it requires no human cooperation at all with God. And, so they call what is good evil, and they call what is evil good.
Yet, whether you are trying to be saved by human effort via “good works,” or you are accepting a cheap grace which requires no action on your part at all, you are still buying into a man-made gospel, neither of which has any power to save anyone from his sins. For, they are not teaching true grace which demands we say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and that we live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).
Galatians 5:13-15 ESV
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
We have to realize that God’s whole purpose of his grace to us was to provide a way for us to be delivered out of our slavery to sin so that we could live righteously before God. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not that we would pray some prayer or make some proclamation and then go on living sinful lifestyles without regard for God and his holiness, purity, and righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
But, there are many false teachers today, wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are convincing people by the masses that they can be saved from their sins, bound for heaven, and that they don’t have to repent of (turn away from) their sins, they don’t have to obey Christ, and they don’t have to surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ. For, they totally disregard that in Jesus’ death on that cross he bought us back for God with his blood so that our lives would no longer be our own, but so we would honor God with our lives.
We also have to realize here that this whole cheap grace movement is a plot of Satan to destroy the gospel and its messengers. So, not only is it leading people straight to hell while promising them heaven, but its messengers are demonizing those who are still preaching a gospel of repentance. And this, again, is because Satan is trying to destroy Jesus and his gospel message and its messengers, and other humans’ lives, too, by promising them heaven while knowingly they are sending them straight to hell, for they will not submit to God.
So, God is making some of his people aware of this plot to destroy the gospel and its message, and its messengers, via deceitful scheming, and the Lord is having them speak out against these lies of the great deceiver, in order to rescue people from hell, and to give them a true hope of heaven.
So, Satan is sending out his army against these messengers of God who are not only teaching the true gospel, but who are combatting the lies, as well, and who are warning about this evil plot. For, Satan’s goal is to destroy them and the true gospel in any way that he can.
So, his warriors are busily putting down the true gospel and are elevating the cheap grace gospel, and they are working to blockade the truth from getting out to the people. So, one of his present schemes is to get our world leaders to conspire together to come up with internet controls which will weed out “extremist speech” and will only allow what is in the area of “lukewarm,” which is neither on fire for God or totally opposed to him.
Galatians 5:16-21 ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So, what’s the solution to all this madness? We must walk (in lifestyle) by the Spirit so that we do not fulfill (gratify) the desires of the flesh. For, if we go on walking (living, in practice) according to (in agreement with) what our flesh desires, then we are going to die IN our sins, because we refused to die TO our sins (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
So many people are trying to convince you that if you walk by the Spirit, though, that you are still under the law, and not under grace, and that you are trying to earn your salvation by works of the flesh.
But, they are twisting the scriptures to their advantage. For, it is clear here that if we are being led by the Spirit in how we live, that we are no longer under the law, but we are under grace. For, God’s grace delivered us out of our slavery to sin so that we would no longer be under to the control of sin and Satan, but so that we could live to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God.
So, please listen to the truth here. If we make these sins (listed above) our practice, our way of life, our lifestyle, then we do not have eternal life with God. If we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God, we must humble ourselves before God, forsake our lives of living for sin and self, and we must, by God’s grace, now live (in practice) according to the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24).
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Hymn lyrics by Henry F. Lyte, 1833
Music attr. to Mozart, 1831/ Arr. Hubert P. Main, 1872
Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought or hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition! God and heav’n are still mine own.
Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me, show Thy face and all is bright.
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service pain is pleasure; with Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, “Abba, Father”; I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, all must work for good to me.
Man may trouble and distress me, ’twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me; heav’n will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.
Haste then on from grace to glory, armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heav’n’s eternal day’s before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
*Copyright status is Public Domain
Wednesday, May 22, 2019