Gal. 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Gal. 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
Gal. 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Have you ever had some bad advice before? Everyone at one time or another I’m sure has, but sometimes it can be very costly depending on what you are dealing with. Wrong advice is never good, but it is especially damaging when you actually think that what someone told you is true and you don’t realize that it is not. This is what we are warned about many times over in scripture, and especially in the last days.
Here in Galatians the apostle Paul addresses this subject with the church in Galatia. After Paul had come and taught them the whole counsel of God, others came in after him and began to lead the people astray with improper doctrine. Notice what Paul states in verse 7, that it was a who that hindered them from obeying the truth. Three key things to mention here, first of all it is not a what that hinders us, it is a who. Listening to or being influenced by the wrong people.
The second key thing to note here is that they were being hindered from “obeying the truth”. What these others were telling them was not in line with the truth, the Word of God. Because they were listening to these false teachings, this led them to not obeying the truth. There is much being said today that is in fact doing the same damage to people’s lives that as a result is leading them to not obey the truth. Paul states that anyone who is hindering you from obeying the truth, that such a persuasion is not from God.
The third thing Paul pointed out here was that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. People don’t realize that if they start listening to heresy’s and false teachings, these will begin to effect what they believe in many areas of their walk with God. Don’t get seduced by the crowd who don’t want to talk about such teachings as these, which clearly the apostle Paul was warning the church about. Unfortunately there are those today who want to discard such things from our pulpits, but 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture, not some scripture, all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for the believer. The problem with some of the modern day teachers is that they want to pick and choose what scriptures they like, and they often want to overlook scripture which is written to help us avoid the traps and snares that satan has waiting for those who are not “obeying the truth”.
A very important point here about obeying the truth that seems to be overlooked or pushed aside today is the fact that no one who truly understands what Christ has done for us believes that we work “for” our salvation. There is no doubt that we receive this gift of salvation by grace, through faith. What seems to be left out though is the fact that once we are “born again” through the grace of Christ Jesus, we are to now work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
These types of verses are all throughout the New Testament. Paul is clearly speaking to the beloved, those born again, that they have obeyed what he had taught them and they are to work out, not work for their salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to fulfill His will and good pleasure. He does so as we obey His Word and work out our own salvation. We do spiritual work as believers, learning how to overcome sin, and fulfill the call of God on our lives because we are saved, not for our salvation.
This is not a common nor popular subject today because most of the false teachings today are not a form of religion, but are more a form of humanism. Humanism focuses attention on the human being, and it places all of its value on the human itself. Yet scripture reveals quite the opposite. Our value is not to be based on who we are as humans, but instead who we are in Christ. This is one of the reasons why the body is becoming so weak. They are being taught that their value in life comes from who they are humanly speaking. This is why there is so much emphasis through these false teachings of looking to self.
Heb. 12:2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
We are not told in scripture, as humanism teaches, to look to self and find our value in self; but in fact we are to look away from all such distractions and look to Jesus with undivided attention as the source of who are faith is based on. Humanism will often then lead to secularism, which is what many churches have become today, secular churches. Such teachings are based more on the philosophy of the one teaching instead of the scriptures. They begin with scripture, but then begin to add their own philosophy with it. That is secularism.
Such teaching leads to tickling people’s itching ears and what they want to hear. In doing so you begin to focus on what people want to hear, not what the Bible says. This is a result of ministers who actually fall prey to a form of covetousness, which can be a desire for something other than money. Often people only look at covetousness as wanting money or things. But to covet means to set your heart upon something that is forbidden. It is obvious we are not to set our hearts upon money or things, but what about the approval of others?
2 Pet. 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Pet. 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Pet. 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Take a look at these verses carefully for they are a warning to not allow the heresy or false teachings of the day to get into your life. Notice in verse one that Peter tells us there will be false prophets and teachers who will bring into the body of Christ destructive heresies. Why do we not hear ministers who are rock star level warning people about such things? Heresy is simply a belief not based on the Word that one propagates as truth. Heresy is destructive, not constructive. The problem is when people believe heresy they don’t even realize the damage that is being done.
Notice Peter goes on in verse two and says that “MANY” will follow their destructive ways, because the truth of God’s Word is being blasphemed. This simply means they will show little regard for the truth of God’s Word. You see this all to often in today’s times. You show people what God’s Word says about something that is hurting their lives and they will either deny the truth, or they will tell you, “That is your belief but not mine.” It doesn’t matter what you believe, what matters is what the Word of God says, period.
Such people if in a church that teaches the truth of God’s Word and does not put their own philosophy on it, will often leave because they want to feel like they are okay with God; so they will go and find a preacher who will agree with their lifestyle and tell them what they want to hear. Such heresies are again destructive. These false teachers we are told in verse three above will exploit people by covetousness. Simply put, people will continue to listen to them, and give to them because they tell them what they want to hear. The minister themselves will continue to do so because of covetousness. What are they coveting here? One of the things they covet is for people to “like them”.
If you covet for people to like you as a minister you are going to tell the multitudes what they want to hear. If you don’t tell them what they want to hear, there are those who won’t like you. So if you covet, desire something forbidden, the approval of man, then you are going to continue to teach things that are not in line with scripture.
Jesus said some pretty direct and difficult things that not everyone wanted to hear. For example in John chapter six He said they would have to eat His body and drink His blood if they wanted to abide in Him. It tells us that many of His disciples were not happy about this for it was a hard saying. Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?” Then many of His disciples left Him and followed Him no more.
Don’t fall for the modern day heresy and false teachers. Be willing to hear and receive all that the Word of God has for us. Doing so will help protect your life from destruction and you will not be hindered from obeying the truth.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker