To Spy Out Our Freedom
Galatians 2:4-6 ESV
“Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.”
Both liberalism (or libertinism) and legalism come from the same mold. They come from men, not from God. Both are man-made religion made up of teachings, doctrines, and rules taught by men, but not from God. They usually come from distortions of truth and the twisting of Scripture and from Scriptures taught and interpreted outside their context to make them say what they do not say. So this is why CONTEXT is essential!
Those who are pushing and who are promoting these false doctrines and these false or half-truth (false) gospels are often those who have secretly slipped in among the believers and who have disguised themselves as servants of righteousness while they are truly servants of the evil one. And whether they are teaching liberalism or legalism, still the goal is to bring us back into slavery, one to sin and the other to the rules of men.
The false gospel message that is predominately permeating the church in America today is one of liberalism (or libertinism), not of legalism. For they are teaching people that they can “believe” in Jesus (belief not explained) and that they can be forgiven their sins (past, present, and future), and that heaven is secured for them when they die, but that they don’t have to repent of their sins or obey the Lord or submit to his Lordship.
And this is a false gospel message because it is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches the opposite of this. Jesus’ message was “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and he taught that to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For he died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24).
For, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to walk in newness of life in him in holiness and righteousness. Our old self was put to death with Christ that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So now we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
The truth that is in Christ Jesus is that we are to no longer live like the ungodly, giving ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (see Ephesians 4:17-24).
Who Pervert the Grace of God
Jude 1:4 ESV
“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Absolutely! This is what happens when people distort the truth to their own advantage, and they teach that God does not require repentance (turning away from sin) or obedience to his commands or submission to him as Lord (owner-master). They pervert the grace of God and they turn it into a free license to continue living in sin and to deny Jesus as our only Master.
And the result is that all those people who believed them are headed to hell on the false promise of heaven as their eternal destiny. For the Scriptures teach that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if we do not walk in obedience to the Lord, and if we hate our fellow Christians (or fellow humans) that we will not inherit eternal life with God but eternal punishment in hell is what awaits us.
So, don’t be fooled by these charlatans who are charmers and manipulators who know how to lie to people and who know how to twist the truth. It may sound like what they are teaching is truth, for they will throw in enough truth to be convincing but watch out for the “hook.” Watch out for that subtle twisting of truth which will send you in a different direction, for they are very clever in their deceitful scheming.
For, the grace of God, which brings salvation, instructs (trains) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit 2:11-14).
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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