We Do Not Yield

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.”

False Believers

The context here is that of the Judaizers trying to convince Christians that they had to be circumcised and that they had to obey some of the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, and/or dietary laws in order to be saved. Yet, the broader context is that of distorters of truth trying to convince Christians or prospective Christians to follow after a false man-made gospel in order to bring them back under slavery or to keep them in slavery to sin.

Now Judaizers still do exist, at least in some form, for there is a movement of Messianic Jews who are going into institutional churches and they are trying to convince Christians that it would be to some spiritual benefit for them, or else that it will draw them closer to the Lord, if they would be more like Jews and if they were to engage in some of the Jewish customs and ceremonies from the Old Covenant. But that is clearly not of God.

But the bigger concern here is the false brothers (and sisters) among us who are spreading a diluted and altered gospel message designed to attract, appeal to, and appease the ungodly of the world and the fleshly and worldly professers of faith in Jesus Christ within the gatherings of the church.

And this comes in all different shapes and sizes, all the way from telling people that God is so enamored with us humans that he just wants to be our buddy, and so we just need to accept his affection for us and we’re good to go, to all we have to do is to make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ and now all our sins are forgiven (past, present, and future) and heaven is guaranteed us, regardless of how we live our lives.

And then we have those who are teaching that, because we are not saved by our own fleshly works, that no works are required of us. They are teaching against repentance and against obedience to our Lord, and they are telling people that is works salvation, which it is not. They love Ephesians 2:8-9 but they leave out verse 10:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

And they obviously ignore the many Scriptures which teach us that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. For we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives. And now we must walk in freedom from slavery to sin and we must now follow our Lord in obedience. We must walk not according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit.

For if we continue to walk according to the flesh, in deliberate and habitual sin, and so sin is what we practice, and so we don’t walk in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, in practice, then the Scriptures are real clear on that subject. We will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. And heaven is not our eternal destiny. Hell is!

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Know the Scriptures

So we, as followers of Jesus Christ, must know what the Scriptures teach. And we need to be studying the Scriptures in their context, because many false beliefs stem from Scriptures taken out of context and made to say what the Scriptures do not teach. And it is good to use (but not depend on) Bible study helps like on Biblegateway.com and Biblehub.com. There it is useful to use the interlinear to look up the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words, for our English translations don’t always capture the true meaning. But we should do all this as being led by the Holy Spirit.

For example, the Greek word “agape” is translated into English as love, which is what the word is. But the English word “love” is so broad in its meaning and it so it is easy for us to get a very humanistic notion of what this love is. But the word means to prefer what God prefers, for he is love, and what God prefers is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, honest, faithful, upright, loving and kind. So if we love with this love, it has moral preference behind it, and so it does not deliberately sin against others.

Another thing has to do with verb tenses. The Greek has more verb tenses than the English language, I believe, and they have one that shows something as active and ongoing, and I don’t know what it is called, but it makes a difference in the meaning of verses. For example John 3:16 says “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” So people think if they make a one-time profession of faith in Christ that they are in. But the word is “believing” which indicates continuous belief.

So, the point here is that we need to be discerning, and we need to test the things we are reading and hearing from other people. For we do indeed have many false brothers and sisters among us who are sharing or teaching a false gospel of salvation. And it is the most popular gospel message out there, and the majority of professing Christians are buying into it. And that is because it makes no requirements of them other than that one-time profession of faith in Christ which they say, “seals the deal.”

So, let me conclude with the words of Jesus Christ from Luke 9:23-26 ESV:

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels’.”

My Heart’s Desire

An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s