Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Freedom # 4: Sounding the Alarm

A man was working in his garage.  He was the kind of person who did not like to be interrupted while working on a project.  Knowing this, his wife walked into the garage and stood quietly at his side for several minutes, waiting for the proper time to speak.

  

At last her husband looked up, the signal that she was now free to say what was on her mind.  Very calmly, without a trace of panic, she said, “The house is on fire.”

  

There definitely is a time to ignore the customary polite social graces and bluntly sound the alarm in  an emergency.  

  

This was one of those crisis times for Paul. False teachers were constantly confusing and corrupting the young converts in the Galatian region whom Paul had won to Christ.   So Paul begins his Epistle to the Galatians by getting right to the point. Listen to him as we read Galatians 1:6-9  “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him who called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there are some who would trouble you and pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from Heaven  preach any other gospel unto you other than that which we have preached unto you,  let him be accursed.  We’ve warned you before.  Let me warn you again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which you received from us, let him be accursed.”

  

The Apostle Paul was constantly being hounded by the Judaizers from Jerusalem who were trying to bring his converts back into the legalism of Judaism.  They tried to kill Paul by stoning him at Lystra, but God strengthened him to escape and recover.

  

The major approach the Judaizers used was to try to discredit Paul by claiming he was not a true Apostle of Christ.  After all, Paul was not one of the twelve Apostles that had walked with Christ and learned from Him before His crucifixion and resurrection.

  

Nevertheless, Paul was a special called Apostle of Christ.  He had met the risen Christ who confronted him on the road to Damascus.  The story of his conversion is found in Acts 9 and it is exciting to say the least.  The Lord Jesus gave him three years of intensive training in the deserts of Arabia concerning the Gospel of the grace of God and  personally called and commissioned him to be His Apostle to the Gentiles.  He had just as much authority as Peter or any of the other Apostles.  Furthermore, his Gospel of Grace, inspired of God, fit in perfectly into the inspired Scriptures.  So when you read Paul’s writings you are reading Scripture that has just as much authority as anything that Jesus taught in the Gospels. Why?  Because Paul received his Gospel directly from Jesus.

  

Those false teachers who despise  Paul’s Gospel of grace today, are as dangerous as the Judaizers who tried to discredit Paul and his inspired writings.

  

The Roman Catholic view is that The Church wrote the Bible and these apostles who wrote were servants of The Church. Therefore, they reason, anything that The Church taught in the past or is teaching today has as much weight and authority as the Bible itself. That includes the traditions passed down through the centuries.

  

However, Paul was not an apostle of the Church.  He was an Apostle of the risen Lord Jesus Christ TO the Church.  So when Paul wrote by inspiration of God, the Gospel of Grace in Romans and Galatians and other Epistles, he was teaching the Gospel of Christ.

  

Paul taught in Galatians 1:3-4 that the Gospel is found in Christ and with that Gospel is found true freedom from sin and from the corruption of this present evil world system.

  

In that Gospel is found freedom from the curse of the Mosaic Law according to Galatians 3:13. Jesus took that curse for us by hanging on “the tree” (the cross).

  

In that Gospel is found freedom from the power of our sinful self nature, we learn in Galatians 5:13. The fifth chapter goes on to teach how Christians can walk under the control of Christ’s Spirit and thus find deliverance from the power of the flesh nature.

  

Of course, no Christian lives the Christian life perfectly, I John 1 teaches us.  However, as we confess our sins to God,  He forgives us and cleanses us, restoring the fellowship that was broken by sin, and  enables us to walk in obedience to Him.

God help us to be grounded in the doctrine of salvation so that we bring glory to God by our lives. May God protect us from ever being led astray by a false teacher or even by an angel who would appear to us and pervert the Gospel of Christ.  May we be anchored firmly in the Gospel of God’s grace that delivers from the power and the consequences of sin.  

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September 8, 2007 - Posted by | Freedom

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