A Viable Hope

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A Viable Hope

A Viable Hope

Galatians 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

In verse 5 Paul was directed to point out that the saved person is made righteous by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that it is the Spirit that guides the saved person in the hope of righteousness. Paul was directed here to contrast the false teaching of the Judaizers with the truth. The truth is that the saints do not trust in works. True saints trust in Jesus Christ the righteous. That is what gives us the assurance of salvation. If salvation is dependent on man’s works, there can be no assurance of salvation. We have already seen that those who trust in their works are not saved. Those who trust in Jesus Christ’s finished work for salvation, have been given eternal life.
Verse 6 tells us that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any benefit regarding salvation. It is faith that matters. It is putting complete faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Part of God’s gift of salvation is imparting His love into the life of the saved person.

I John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

Adam rejected the love of God and he accused God and his wife for his sin. He had self-love which is not the love of God. God’s love is the love that is willing to step into the path of the lost and offer them the only way of forgiveness and hope. Those who are saved love others and are willing to be ridiculed for showing the love of God to others.
It is because of faith in Christ, that we have His love and are motivated by His love in all things.
In verse 7 Paul pointed out that the Galatians had begun the race of life well. They had turned to God in salvation. They had trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. They had understood that law keeping was never a way of salvation. They had believed the truth and been saved. Paul was asking them what had changed? Who had hindered them from walking in the truth?
The saints needed to see what they were actually doing. They had believed the truth and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them. Having trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, who had then convinced these saints to deny that faith and trust in works rather than truth?
We know from Galatians 1 that the saints had listened to some smooth talkers who had perverted the Gospel. Our ears like smooth talkers. We like someone who will say things we want to hear. Our spirit hungers for truth if we are saved. We want to know the truth.
I recall some years ago attending a Bible conference where the main speaker had come from Japan to preach in that conference. The man was from North America but he had spent many years in Japan, and thus his English was not very good anymore. He struggled to find the words to speak. I remember sitting in my chair and complaining to God during that first session about having to “put up” with a man who could not even speak English properly. God rebuked me right there and showed me that I needed to get right with Him and let Him speak to me through His servant. I listened to God and confessed that sin to Him and I was pleasantly surprised that I could be blessed by this man who was having difficulty finding the words to speak in English. I was no longer distracted by the language issue. This man was not a lazy man who just did not care. He had given his life to serving the Lord in Japan and he had immersed himself in the language of that country to be able to communicate well with them. I could receive a blessing from this man even though his English was lacking.
The point is that my flesh wanted a smooth talking person whose words would flow easily and smoothly. God showed me that I needed to open my heart to hear the truth and if I did that, the language barrier would not hinder me from hearing what my spirit needed to hear.
Those who live in Canada need to learn to communicate in the main language of the land. That language is English. There are people in this country who have come from different parts of the world. If a person’s ministry is to a certain group that is new to this land, learning their language would certainly be a benefit. As a child I learned English and German. Over the years I have lost much of the German I once knew because I have not needed to use it. For a time I pastored in an area where there were many German speaking people. I wanted to reach out to them and so I purchased a German/English dictionary and used the internet to relearn the German language so that I could communicate the Gospel to those people in a way they could understand it better. I wanted them to know the truth.
We need to be careful to listen to the message and make sure we are getting the truth, rather than something that is pleasing to our ears. The apostle Paul stated in II Timothy 4:

II Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Paul realized that someone was able to get into the ear of the Galatian believers and lure them away from the truth. They needed to realize they had been deceived. They needed to get back to the liberty they had been given in Christ.
In verse 8 Paul reminded them that the message they were believing did not come from God. God is not the author of confusion. God is truth. He speaks truth. He does not tell us that we are saved by grace through faith and then turn around and say we are saved by works. It is important for saved people to walk humbly with God. It is important to believe what God says. It is important to reject those who want to twist what God says for their own benefit.
Jesus told the Jews in John 8 that the truth shall make you free. The truth is still important today. God’s Word is truth. Don’t let anyone take you away from the truth once you are saved. Get into a good church that can help you to stand strong and true in the truth.
Pastor Bartel

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