WHO DO I LISTEN TOO?
Galatians 3:1, “O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified among you?
The Apostle Paul had rimmed the Mediterranean Sea three times and in so doing everywhere he went he led people to Christ. He baptized those converts, established a New Testament Church, and helped them call a man of God to be their pastor. There is no greater personal soul winner in the New Testament, outside of our Saviour, than the person Apostle Paul. Yet, it was not just winning folks to Christ that motivated Paul it was the establishment of local churches that also drove him.
Paul won souls in Galatia, baptized them, and established a local New Testament Church in Galatia. As he continued on his missionary journeys he received word that the church at Galatia had drifted back into religious legalism.
It is interesting to note his assessment of what happened to bring about this drift from truth to heresy. God’s Word says in verse one it was the foolishness of peer pressure and a dynamic personality that brought about a turning from the “truth.” The vehicle that the devil used was the vehicle of personality. There is a head on collision between “truth” and a “personality.” Paul said, “…who hath bewitched you…” He said “who” not “what” and this “who” caused them to not obey the “truth!” Paul not only points out the problem but he also provides a solution in the book of Galatians.
People basically do not like themselves and as a result we find ourselves admiring someone else because all we see are the assets that we like and would love to possess ourselves. We act like those we admire. We dress like those we admire. We talk like those we admire. We cut our hair like those we admire. It seems this lack of confidence we have is a dangerous flaw that could lead to a downfall.
The Christians’ confidence is found in the Lord Jesus Christ and not in our flesh. The flesh is corrupted while our Saviour and His Words are incorruptible! It is not a matter of being cocky it is a matter of being Spirit filled and confident!
We all have family members, church members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors who are constantly attempting to convert us to something. To the degree we are grounded is the extent of the potential damage that can occur in our lives. Who do I listen too?
If our children could embrace this truth Paul gives to the church at Galatia it would prevent them from falling in the pit of suave personalities who will bewitch them. I always pushed my children to bury themselves in the Word of God to determine right and wrong.
Leaders are a good; however, the best of men are at best men! I believe in insulation and not isolation! Our children should be able to question things. To rebel is not wrong! It is what we rebel at that makes it wrong! To rebel at liquor is good! To rebel at Hollywood is a good thing! To rebel at the dope crowd is good! To rebel against the Scriptures is a bad thing. To rebel at soul winning is a bad thing! To rebel at tithing is a bad thing!
NEVERTHELESS WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE
Galatians 4:30, “Nevertheless what saith the scripture?” Paul is saying they may be able to articulate their position better than I but what does the Scripture say. Simple faith in the WORD of God alleviates confusion and consternation.
Let us prioritize who we should listen too in order to protect ourselves from falling into a
WALK IN THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
Paul is simply stating precept upon precept in the protection that will keep God’s people from falling prey to heretical teachings and falling back into the weak and beggarly elements of Satan. First what does the Scripture say? We as God’s children must first bury ourselves in the Holy Scriptures to have the mind of Christ! Then second we can allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the Scriptures in order to be strengthened.
I Thessalonians 5:19, “Quench not the Spirit.” God has given us the Holy Spirit to indwell us in order to be taught, strengthened, empowered, and corrected. However, the Scriptures plainly state that it is possible for a child of God to “quench” the Holy Spirit. He can be grieved!
When the Holy Spirit is given freedom in our lives He works in concert with the Holy Scriptures in our lives to build us but when we decide to shut Him out we have then bypassed the Scriptures of God and the Spirit of God. We then are two steps closer to heresy! Bible believing people will always be a free people!
PROTECT YOUR CONSCIENCE
Galatians 6:3, 7, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
“Be not deceived…”
God has given to every man a conscience! The Scriptures refer much and often about the conscience of a man.
· John 8:9, “…convicted by their own conscience…”
· Acts 23:1, “…I have lived in all good conscience…”
· Acts 24:16; “…I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward man.”
· I Corinthians 8:7, “…their conscience being weak…”
· I Timothy 1:5, “…a good conscience…”
· I Timothy 3:9, “…a pure conscience…”
· I Timothy 4:2, “…having their conscience seared…”
When you quit the Scriptures the Holy Spirit can only convict you. When you quench the Holy Spirit then the conscience kicks in! However, it is possible to sear the conscience. It is possible to have a weak conscience.
The Scriptures in concert with the Holy Spirit and a good conscience provide a three-fold protection against heretical teachings via personalities. Remember it is truth verses personality. Paul said, “Who hath bewitched you?” and not “What hath bewitched you?”
· FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST HERESY VIA PEOPLE - “NEVERTHELESS WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE”
· SECOND LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST HERESY VIA PEOPLE - “WALK IN THE SPIRIT”
· THIRD LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST HERESY VIA PEOPLE – “BE NOT DECEIVED”
· FOURTH LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST HERESY VIA PEOPLE – “NOW I SAY…”
THE RIGHT AUTHORITY
Galatians 4:1, 11,12,13,14,15,16,18,19,20, and 21! Note Galatians 4:1, “Now I say…” Through out this chapter Paul refers to himself in his pleading with them to quit this folly of heresy that has griped them.
The first line of defense in the Scriptures, the second line of defense is the Spirit of God, the third line of defense is the God given conscience, and the last line of defense is the Authority in their life. As God’s man he is the last one standing between them and the spiritual destruction of heresy.
· The Scriptures always take precedence
· The Spirit of God can work freely when Scriptures are first and foremost
· The conscience is always clear and good when the Scriptures and the Spirit are working together
· The right authority provides leadership within the bounds of the Scripture, Spirit, and conscience!
· When all four are in line the child of God has four levels of protection from being pressured by the wrong “WHO.”
The danger is when the authority steps in front of the Scriptures for he or she becomes the “WHO” Paul warned about!
· FIRST THE SCRIPTURES
· SECOND THE SPIRIT OF GOD
· THIRD THE CONSCIENCE
· FOURTH THE RIGHT AUTHORITY