Monday, January 31, 2011

Let him be accursed!

In these last couple weeks as we've been going through 2 Corinthians I have been getting a nervous excitement because I knew we were getting close to Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. I had this feeling like I used to get as a big fight approached. I would get this nervous excitement whether it was my fight, a friends fight or just a big pay per view fight. I know it sounds silly, but there's always been something about the fight game that gave me a rush. These four letters, in so many ways, are, for some, like the final battle ground for the lost. The information God gives us through Paul in these short letters are so to the point and clear cut that the receiving or rejecting of these Words will become evident almost immediately to the reader and to those around them.

With all big fights, the pre-fight hype is part of the overall experience. As I read some summaries of Galatians today there was one that left me with the pre-fight hype feeling; and before we get rolling I would like to share parts of it with you.

The Galatians having launched their Christian experience by faith, seem content to leave their voyage of faith and chart a new course based on works. In this letter Paul mounts a vigorous attack against the gospel of works, which is no gospel at all. Paul begins by establishing his credentials as an apostle with a message from God. Paul goes on to establish that the law declares men guilty, faith sets them free to enjoy liberty in Christ, but firmly establishes the point that this liberty is not license. Freedom in Christ means freedom to produce the fruits of righteousness through a Spirit-led lifestyle.

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

Notice how Paul said Jesus gave Himself for our sins. When I read this tonight it reminded me of something I read that one of the great preachers of history had said (I think it was Spurgeon):

If you have no sin to repent of, I have no Christ to preach to you.

His point was, until you are brought to the point of Godly sorrow over your sin, you are NOT ready to hear about The Savior who died for the sins of the world.

Further notice that Paul said “might deliver us”. We are not automatically delivered from the law of sin and death; which leads to eternal condemnation. I know that most people don't believe that because most pulpits won't teach that; but it is true. We are not God's children by default! The Bible tells us that we are by nature objects of wrath with the right to become children of God. The Bible also speaks of being adopted in to God's family. Let me ask you this: (if you have kids) How would your kids respond if you walked up to them and said, “Good morning son, today I am going to start the legal process of adoption. I love you and I want to adopt you.” If he is already your son, obviously it is beyond silly that you would adopt him. So, if you are already God's child, why would He adopt you?

Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Paul doesn't waste any time jumping right in to the problem.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Remember how this same issue came up in the Corinthian church?
2Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Before we look at the next 2 verses, let's take a look at a definition of a word....because Paul uses this word TWICE in 2 verses:

Accursed 1. Doomed to destruction or misery:

This is from the Greek word; anathema, which refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell

We looked at that word in 1 Corinthians,

1Corinthians 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!

now that we have reviewed, let's see why Paul is using it again:
Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Why do we not hear the FULL counsel of God from most pulpits today? Don't just breeze past that...consider it for a minute....why don't we hear the WHOLE Gospel in most pulpits?

Of course Paul knew why, and Paul also knew how his rebuke would be received by some; but Paul beats them to the punch:

Gal 1:10-12 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
 
Is your goal to please man or God?  Is your churches goal to please man or God?

1 comment:

  1. The sermon on my Church this Sunday was on this.
    God's timing is awesome. He wanted me to make sure I got the sermon.

    No sin to repent = No Jesus to preach

    Do I care to please man or God? God

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