Galatians 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
What is the purpose of the church? I heard a man say that most Baptist churches miss the purpose of the church. This opinion comes from a man who does not even know what a church is. This man comes from the fictitious position of the universal church. I spoke with another man who was trying to witness to those going by him. He was giving out walking sticks. I decided to stop and pick up a walking stick. He had 5 beads on a leather string with a small piece of paper attached to it. This was attached to the stick. He wanted a couple of minutes to explain the beads. One of the beads was black. He explained that bead stood for sin. He then stated something that is quite common of most people. He stated that we all have a little sin in our lives. The Bible declares:
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
God says there is nothing good in man. This man missed the mark completely. I know where this man was coming from. He did not want to offend anyone, or seem to be “judgmental”. I do not agree with his position, but I can understand it. The flesh is afraid of truth. The devil plays with the flesh. What we must understand is that it is not up to us to judge whether a man is desperately wicked or not. God has already declared man to be desperately wicked.
The Bible does tell us we can tell a tree by its fruit. Again, we did not invent the fruit. God declares what the fruit is. God requires that man believe Him and build his life on God. Every person needs to know the true God.
In our text Paul was directed to challenge the Galatians and us to stop and think about what we claim to believe. The Galatian saints were being drawn to go back to law keeping. They had been saved by hearing the preaching of the cross and turning to God in repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. As we noted in yesterday’s text, Paul questioned the validity of the testimony of those in Galatia who were being drawn back to law keeping.
It is important to note that true Christians are not people who have no rudder and no direction. True Christians did not become Christians by keeping some law. They were saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. That trusting in Jesus Christ includes repentance toward God. Jesus told Nicodemus:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Notice in this passage that a person cannot see nor can he enter the kingdom of God without being born again. Man’s heart needs to be fundamentally changed by God in order to see the value of God’s way. Unless man sees the value of God’s way, he will never enter that way.
As we look at our opening text, Paul was directed to challenge those reading his letter to stop and honestly consider the law.
Paul then gave a very practical illustration. Paul did not pull his illustration out of thin air. He stated: “it is written”. The Galatians could have known what Paul was now going to remind them of. They could have read it before. They did not have access to written material as easily as we do, but it was still there for them to consider. The Galatians were not well read. They were not well informed.
There are many professing Christians today who are not well read. They are not well informed. They claim to have read the Bible once or they have heard something somewhere, but they are not really informed of what they claim to believe and say. Paul was not talking about reading some book on heresy. He was not talking of reading some secular book. He was talking of the Scriptures. Every born again Christian should be reading their Bible every day.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
There should be a hunger for the Word of God in every born again Christian. In fact there WILL be a hunger for the Word of God in every born again Christian. Those who do not desire the truth, prove they are not saved.
Paul was directed by God to challenge the current position of these people. They needed to stop and think more rationally about what they were thinking. Many people claim to believe something, but they have never bothered to stop and examine what they believe. Does it make sense. Where does that thought pattern take you? Are you sure you want to pursue that path?
We know that the Judaizers never stopped to think through what they believed. They could not even live by their wicked ideas. They demanded that others believe what they “said”, but they could not live by what they said.
Jesus confronted the Pharisees with their lies and called them hypocrites. He called them whited sepulchres. God’s truth, which is the only truth, starts right and ends right. It is right all the way through. It is the only way to think and live. Man will never come to see that until he listens to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in his heart and agrees with what God is telling him. When a person is “born again” by the Spirit of God, he is fundamentally and eternally changed.
We will carry on with this next time. Take some time to evaluate what you are thinking. Where is that taking you? Are you sure it is taking you where you want to go? We are not talking about money and things. We are talking about eternity. Where will you end up for eternity?