Sep 8, 2019. Galatians 4:12-21, Zealous for What?

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ZEALOUS FOR WHAT? Galatians 4:12-21. 09.08.2019. #16. AM.

Galatians 4:12-21 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? 17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you. 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

  1. Paul changes his approach
    1. Up to this point Paul had emphasized the theology of what the Law was and what it was not (a teacher, but not a savior)
    1. Paul now speaks to the Galatians as a pastor admonishing his flock
      1. Uses “brothers” and “dear children”
      1. Expresses “concern” and he has his “doubts”
    1. Paul is baffled why his clear teaching seems unclear to the Galatians
      1. Basic doctrines on salvation. discipleship morality, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, heaven and eternity should be settled issues in the minds of believers
      1. No one should be able to deceive you concerning your faith (Paul had spiritually birthed them)
  2. Paul wants the Galatians to become like him
    1. Paul is not being prideful or claiming perfection (Philippians 3:14}
    1. I Corinthians 11:1 the Galatians should follow Paul as he followed Christ
      1. Mature believers should be worthy to imitate
      1. Paul was mature in faith, doctrine, and practice
    1. Paul should not have to re-disciple the Galatian believers
    1. Three bad results of having to re-disciple believers:
      1. Took unnecessary time away from other work
        1. Paul had to stop evangelizing, church planting, and discipling for the Galatians
        1. Paul had to use time and resources to correct errors that the Galatians made
      1. Errant believers cannot effectively witness
        1. Galatians should have been spreading Gospel
        1. Paul needed his efforts multiplied, but the Galatians had become a hindrance and burden
      1. Errant believers are bad testimonies, leading others into error and projecting a false image
    1. Paul stated that he had become like the Galatians culturally
      1. I Corinthians 9:22-24, became like the Gentiles to reach them
      1. Paul entered into their cultural world and showed interest in their concerns (identified with them)
    1. Paul states that the Galatians had not offended him
      1. His problem with them was not personal
      1. Paul was not affronted by their deviation. But his concern was their spiritual wellbeing
    1. Paul fondly remembered his first visit to them
      1. He was sick and they received him without scorn
      1. The Galatians had gladly received his message
      1. They treated him as if he were an angel of God
      1. They would have given Paul their eyes if possible
    1. Due to the relationship Paul had with the Galatians church. He was dismayed and fearful by their departure to legalism
  3. Galatians go from blessing and joy to enslavement to legalism
    1. Only commitment of genuine faith lasts
    1. Superficial commitment fails (I John 2:15-27)
    1. Only time will review true faith (Josh Harris versus. Justin Bieber)
    1. Paul states that zeal is good but only if for good things
      1. Zeal for fleshly things is evil
      1. Zeal for wrong and evil things is evil
      1. Zeal for good temporary things falls short
      1. Zeal for self and selfish things is evil
      1. Zeal for the Lord and righteous things is blessed
    1. Zeal and enthusiasm are not the same as righteousness