God Is Light, Darkness Is Lies

Join Andy as he continues his series through 1 John looking at 1 John 1:5-6.

The Great Sustainer

Colossians 1:16-17, “16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold...

The Strength of Meekness

I came across a manual given to college students on how to assimilate into the North American culture in the United States. Among the suggestions were the following: Never ask an American a direct question about their religion, age, money, salary, weight, or dress...

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund

The heart of God is at the center of the gospel message. His affections towards His people is not a great mystery that needs to be discovered but has been revealed in the person and work of Jesus. God’s heart towards His people is seen throughout Scripture. The Lord...

The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness

On today’s Warriors of Grace show continuing season two, Dave discusses the righteousness of God and the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth and the Word of God, and what union with Christ is and how it relates to spiritual warfare. What you’ll hear in...

Raised With Christ: Your Easter Story

Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with...
Receiving, Receiving the Word, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace
Receiving the Word

Posted On November 1, 2019

Galatians 4:12–14, “12 Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.”

If we misread Paul as we study his emotional plea in Galatians 4, we might come to think that Paul’s warnings about apostasy and re-enslavement to sin and death (vv. 8–11; see also 1:6) mean that the truly converted person can lose his salvation and turn away from Christ for good. The apostle is certainly clear elsewhere that God preserves to the end everyone He calls (Rom. 8:30; Phil. 1:6). But Paul could not read the Galatians’ hearts, and he warned them indiscriminately, not knowing who would cross the line but confident that the Spirit would use his words to keep the elect in the faith. Moreover, when Paul wrote Galatians, his audience had not yet fully abandoned Christ in favor of their own righteousness. His fear that his labor for them had been in vain was tentative (Gal. 4:11), for at the time, they had not yet shown his work to be useless.

Galatians 4:12 records Paul’s heartfelt plea for his readers to stay the course, begging them to become like him just as he became like them, probably a call for his audience to return to the legalism-free gospel he lived out among them. Paul, a Jew, became like the Galatian Gentiles by not erecting hurdles for them to jump in order to become members of the community of Christ (2:11–14). They were to imitate him and live in Christian freedom instead of accepting the lie that only those who become Jewish have a place in the Messiah’s kingdom. If the Galatians rejected the “higher” spiritual life based on the Law, satisfying themselves with being Gentiles declared righteous by faith alone in God’s grace, they would have proved their trust in the gospel and no longer risk apostasy.

John Calvin says that pastors must “consider, not what those who have wandered away may justly deserve, but what may be the likeliest method of bringing them back to the right path.” This is precisely what Paul has done in Galatians 4. Having presented the fool-proof biblical case for his gospel, the apostle has implored his audience to trust him that the Judaizers’ teaching is deadly to their souls, a trust grounded in their relationship with him. Thus, he has reminded them of their prior confidence in him as based on their knowledge of his character and fidelity to Scripture, not his outward, physical condition (vv. 13–14).

In our celebrity-oriented culture, it is easy to seek out pastors for their good looks, speaking styles, success in building large congregations, or other such factors. Scripture, however, commends for the pastorate those men who are faithful to the Word of God and exemplary in character and morals (1 Tim. 3:1–7). What are the characteristics you prize most in your pastor? Take time this week to thank your pastor for faithfully preaching and doing the Word.

Related Posts

Receiving, Receiving the Word, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

The Great Sustainer

Colossians 1:16-17, “16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold...

Receiving, Receiving the Word, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

The Strength of Meekness

I came across a manual given to college students on how to assimilate into the North American culture in the United States. Among the suggestions were the following: Never ask an American a direct question about their religion, age, money, salary, weight, or dress...

Receiving, Receiving the Word, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness

On today’s Warriors of Grace show continuing season two, Dave discusses the righteousness of God and the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth and the Word of God, and what union with Christ is and how it relates to spiritual warfare. What you’ll hear in...

Receiving, Receiving the Word, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Raised With Christ: Your Easter Story

Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share29
Tweet4
Reddit
Pin
Share