Good Things Are Found In GodBro. David Chancellor
1/2/2005 6:00 PM
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Paul reminded these that they were Gentiles and had no earthly (fleshly) claim to Christ. At one time they were without hope and were far off. By the blood of Christ they were made to be God’s people.
Before Christ came both Jews and Gentiles needed a Savior and both needed to be reconciled with God. They were separate from God. They were separated from each other by religion. Separation is done away with when people are reconciled to God. Salvation sets people free to enjoy the same benefits, whether Jew or Gentile. Growing up knowing the Scriptures is beneficial when people have been reconciled to God.
Religion can divide, but, alone, can’t reconcile you to God. It matters what you believe. Come to know God as he is, and be reconciled to him. When we’re reconciled to God, we’re just one of his children.
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Paul wanted these to prosper in the Lord. God has people that we don’t know. It’s God’s will that they prosper in him. God has all the wisdom and knowledge. There’s nothing special and unique to us; God has it all. God can bring knowledge and understanding to people without them ever meeting us. No one has a corner on the truth. We can all find the same knowledge and understanding in the same source. We wall have the same access to it. No one holds the gospel such that you have to get it from them. If you have Christ, you have some truth. If you’re faithful to him, he can help you to grow in it. Man’s philosophy won’t make you more spiritual. Whatever else you read, compare it to the word of God. Bring it into captivity to the word of God. Know your Bible and be acquainted with it. We want to know what God approves of.
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.
The Galatians had been subjected to the teaching that if they didn’t observe the law, they weren’t Christians. Paul pointed out that while this sounded good, it wasn’t really. The things being pushed on these weren’t spiritual issues. They weren’t required for salvation.
Paul had a trial of bad eyesight, and it made things more difficult for him. At that time, tehse would have done anything to help him. Paul was trying to show them the truth. It’s to our benefit to check things out. In this lukewarm age, zeal seems like a good thing. Zeal, alone, isn’t enough. It needs to be partnered with wisdom and truth. Emotion isn’t enough. Paul was zealous when he started to Damascus, but it wasn’t a good thing. It’s good to be zealous in a good thing. Be settled with God.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye 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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
God has exalted Jesus, and he’s the one that we will give account to. Jesus needs to be our Lord now. We should honor him now. We need to obey God at all times. If you’re just trying to be like others, you’ll do differently when they’re not watching. It’s important to us to live for God at all times. Obey God whether you’re with others or alone. You can bring the gospel when you’re seemingly standing alone. The description of a "crooked and perverse nation" is still pretty accurate. The world needs a light that is blameless and harmless. Many who have had an impact have been this way. God needs those who can inspire others to turn to him. We want others to desire to be like God. We want them to have what we’ve found.