Lesson 61: "They Zealously Affect You, But Not Well. . ." (Galatians 4:17)

Galatians 4:1-20

Paul's Missionary Journey Epistles.     This is lesson #61. Welcome again! The Judiazers had strongly persuaded the Galatian disciples; but, the Judiazing doctrine was in error. In our last lesson (Gal. Ch.3), Paul emphasized that the inheritance, i.e. heaven and all spiritual blessings in Christ, come through that promise god made to Abraham and through Abraham's seed which was Christ (v. 16). The inheritance did not come by keeping the law of Moses. Paul said the law was added because of transgressions (or sins), i.e. it was added as a temporary measure until the time was right for Christ to come. Paul emphasized in v.25; that when Christ came and that system of faith was instituted which we call Christianity; we are no longer under the law. The law had fulfilled it's purpose for which it was added. Remember? Jesus said, He came to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). Because the Judiazers emphasized the keeping of the law and were trying erroneously to continue that system under Christianity; Paul throughout the rest of his writings in the New Testament puts much emphasis upon our freedom from the law of Moses. Not only does Paul emphasize freedom from the law of Moses; he continually emphasized that we are either under one system or the other. You cannot be under both. Don't mix up the two! Are you trying to serve God under the system of faith that God instituted through the promise to Abraham which was Christ; or are you trying to serve god under a system of law? You can't do both! The inheritance came by promise and by faith (3:18). In Rom. 8:2, Paul said: "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Please recognize here in Rom. 8:2, this is still Paul's Galatian argument expressed in different words. How ever, there, Paul referred to faith as "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Thus, in one sense this is a law you see. In contrast to the law of life, Paul there referred to the Mosaic law as "the law of sin and death."   Learn to recognize Paul's argument.
Alright, let me take a moment to review a couple words that might help here. What about the word "work(s)?" This word is from the Greek word "ergon" meaning simply an act or a deed that is done by putting some effort into it for the purpose of obedience. It can be works of the law or works of faith. Our faith is expressed through "works" not our words. James said: "Faith without works is dead." (Jas. 2:20). Another term is "child of God" or "children of God" as used in 3:26. It simply means one who obeys God and is in covenant relationship with God; i.e. to be saved or to receive the inheritance as expressed in Gal. ch. three, hi Mark 16:16, Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Up in 3:7, Paul used "children of Abraham", (same thing). This applies to every person in an individualistic way. Someone has said: God has no grandchildren. Either you are a child of God or you are not. Get away from legalistic thinking. Good Parents, good and faithful grandparents will not help you or me God has no grandchildren. Children of God are children of faith. Do you remember back in John's prologue (John 1:12), John said: "as many as received him {i.e. as many as believed in God{, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." Sons of God is another way of saying children of God. The word "heir" H-E-I-R here in the last verse of Gal. Ch. 3: means the same thing as a child of God; i.e. one who will be saved when Christ returns in contrast to one who will be lost. Now, how does one become a child of God? V.26 in our test said: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." You must believe in King Jesus. Then, v.27, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." When a child of faith submits to baptism; it's like putting on a new robe when you are adopted by the king. The old life or old relationship ceases and the new relationship begins. One is baptized INTO Christ. The word is "into", I—T-O, meaning to pass through the door and over the threshold and be inside of something in a corporate sense; the church in this case. So, baptism is the point at which one puts on Christ. Study v.27 real close. Then look at v.29: "if you be Christ's", in other words, if you through faith have been baptized into Christ; then that makes you a child of Abraham and an heir according to the promise God made to Abraham.     There is no biological or legal requirement for this adoption.     Faith and baptism is accounted for righteousness. Faith and baptism puts one in covenant relationship with God and Christ and makes them an heir according to the promise.   One becomes an heir without circumcision and without keeping the law of Moses. This is the message Paul was directing to the Judiazers. This righteousness accounting business does not come from any thing we do. It does not have to do with our goodness or our kindness or our excellence., You can forget that! Faith is counted for righteousness. James said: "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness..." (Jas. 2:23).    To impute means to reckon or to account as acceptable, mathematically speaking.   In the verse before that, James said Abraham's faith was wrought with or by his works. In the verse following that (to stress his point) James said: it was "not faith only," Paul went over this point at the beginning of Rom, ch., 4; again using Abraham as the example. Do you remember on the day of pentecost, Acts 2:38, after the Jews had asked "Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"Peter told them what? "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ {what for Peter?} for the remission of sins." In other words by their faith (which they had already expressed) and by repentance (i.e. by making their actions consistent with their faith), and by being baptized into Christ; God would reckon or account righteousness to them. Their sins would be removed and they would be received as righteous. Now listen to the next verse, Acts 2:39, Peter said "For." What does "for" mean? For means "because" or for this reason. Alright, what's the reason Peter? Now, are you listening?   Peter said: "For the PROMISE (what is that Peter? THE PROMISE} is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." The promise did you get that? Now, how does the blessing of Abraham, called the promise, come? Look at Gal. 3:14; we receive the PROMISE of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14). Back in Gal. 2:16, Paul used the word "justified". He said: "a man is not JUSTIFIED by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ", i.e. we ARE justified by faith in K:ing Jesus. That word "justified" means acquitted, i.e. to remove all guilt. The bottom line is: Peter and Paul taught exactly the same thing.
Let's read Gal. Ch. 4, Remember now' Paul is continuing the same arguments. Have you got it? Let's read v. 1-7; put your eyes on it! Here we go: "Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Alright, what is Paul saying? Tuneintov.4! "God sent forth is Son..." Paul, why did God send forth his son, Jesus Christ? Look at v.5? "To redeem them that were under the law..." What does redeem mean? Redeem means to buy back, i.e. purchase again that which you once made or possessed. This goes back to the time when Adam and Eve sold out to the devil. Up in v.23, of the last chapter, Paul said: "before faith came, we were kept under the law..." Here Paul is saying that when Christ came, by virtue of his coming, by virtue of his redeeming quality, man's relationship to God, the Father, was changed. Oh! Those under the law were heirs or could be heirs according to the promise; but, before Christ came that relationship "differeth nothing from a servant." That's v. 1!   "But when {v.4, WHEN}...God sent forth his Son...to redeem them under the law {5}..."   Why did he redeem them Paul? Look at it now! "That we might receive the adoption of sons."    Thus, before Christ came that relationship is represented as a servant, i.e. slave, "in bondage" is the phrase used in v.3. This relates back to that schoolmaster illustration (3: 24-25).   In contrast to that relationship, a Christian is here spoken of as an adopted son (v.5). To adopt means for one to take the child of another and bestow upon that child the same treatment, rights and privileges that one's own children receives. In Rom. 8:17, Paul applied the same illustration; Paul said "if children, the heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, 'i.e. if we are willing to accept adoption through faith and baptism; or as Paul said it there in Romans "if so be that we suffer with him.." hi other words, this is conditional upon our obedience.   Christ paid the price to redeem us when he died on the cross. But, nevertheless, we have a part in accepting this adoption process. The Jews said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO/" Acts 2:37. Further, down in v.40, it   says   Peter   testified   and   exhorted   saying,   "Save YOURSELVES from this untoward crooked} generation." As I said, it's conditional; don't ever forget it!   Verse 6 (here) means that Christians, by virtue of this adopted son relationship can speak or pray to the heavenly Father just as a son would and should speak to his father. Now, re-read these verses again. Paul's illustration is a contrast {now get this}, a contrast between the law of Moses AND the law of Christ. In case you're interested, the first few verses in the 10* ch. Of Hebrews uses a different figure to make this same contrast.

Let's get going with v.8. We'll read down through v.20. Have you got it? Beginning in ch. 4:8, let's read! "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after you have know God, or rather are know of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of when 1 travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you."
Alright, our times is short; but, notice what happened here: Paul after presenting the faith principle and after discussing it, illustrating it and contrasting it with the law of Moses; Paul then, in the verses we just read: makes an appeal or more correctly warns against returning to bondage, i.e. return to the old law. This appeal was directed by the apostle to the Christians of Galatia that were being persuaded by the Judiazers to be circumcised and keep the old law. V.8-20 is not directed to the Judiazers; but to their converts. However, down in v.21, Paul made his appeal directly to the Judiazers. He said, "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law...", i.e. the Judiazing teachers. We'll get to that in our next lesson. But, right now what did Paul say to these drifting disciples? Remember now, many of the Galatian disciples were gentiles and once had worshiped idols and heathen gods before being taught and baptized into Christ.   That's the idea in v.8. Then look at v.9! "After that ye have know God...{i.e. after become Christians and being adopted as sons, Paul has a question, HOW, OR WHY} desire again to be in bondage?" In other words, now that you have been freed from your ignorance of the past and by faith in Jesus Christ and Have been adopted as sons of the true God; WHY would you want to return to an inferior system? In v. 10, where Paul said: "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years," Paul was referring to the feast days and ceremonial days like the Passover, Pentecost and the feast of tabernacles that were part of the law of Moses. Furthermore, this shows that such days were not carried over into the Christian system. The only day Christians observe is the first day of the week; the first day of every week. Easter, Christmas, All Saints day, Lent and all of that stuff is not part of the Christian system. There are no special days or months or weeks in the Christian system.   The Galatian brethren here, under the influence of the Judiazers, were trying to mix it all up like many today are doing. If it was wrong then, it is wrong now. If not, why not? Notice that Paul said: "I am afraid of you..." Paul feared they were going to be lost, to put it mildly! You mean Bro. Horsley, it's that wrong to mix into Christianity a few goodies from the old system and invent a few more holy days for us to observe? Well read the text! Why did Paul fear he had just wasted tune on the Galatians? You anser the question! You've got a copy of the same Bible I have! What's Paul's point" In v!2, Paul said: "ye have not injured me..." That's like saying don't apologize to me! It's God, your adoptive Father, you have injured!   Not Paul. Have you ever been in Paul's situation? Someone was riding in my car not long ago and they started cussing real big and suddenly they caught themselves and said: Oh excuse me reverent. Well first of all, I'm not a reverend: I'm not R-E-V-, have you seen that? I think it means Rest, Eat and Visit. But, anyway, I told them: don't apologize to me: it's the man up stairs you need to be concerned about. Paul said, you haven't hurt me.   You treated me wonderful when I was there. I think you would have done anything for me. Then v. 16, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?' Again, most of us can identify with Paul. Have you ever had someone get mad at you because you try to teach them the gospel? And try to help them save their soul? It's not uncommon! Then v. 17, Paul said "they zealously affect you..."   Who were they?   The Judiazers, the false teachers. Have you ever seen the way some people go after false teachers? Paul was dealing with the real world. I'm sure you can handle v. 17-18-19-20 without my help. Hurry back to the next lesson and have a good day!

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