I AM the God who saves you by faith, but faith might cost you Gal 4:8-20

What is the purpose of God’s word as being authoritative truth?

If, as some say that all roads lead to heaven, why would a “man of the cloth”

You lookin’ at me? You want some of this?

persecute, physically harm, make homeless, and cast families out of the tribe which they grew up in simply because our missionaries taught them the truth of faith in Christ as revealed in God’s Word?   It is because the preacher of this religion in the area was losing his grip of control over these people as they come to know the real truth of God’s word.  Just this week this head “mucky muck” of one religious group threatened the believers just because they left his religion.  He was going to burn down their houses and kick out the missionaries until at the last moment the police intervened.  Religion, which depends upon man trying to make God happy with them and creates lists of rules which prevent anyone from having a real chance at freedom in Christ.  Pride, power and control dictate to others what to believe in religions outside True Christianity.  As we see in this passage, the Galatians must have had some similar influences to contend with.  Notice the enmity that Paul experienced when he preached.  The demand for zeal for their cause, and primarily the lack of joy in their lives depicts many religions who are challenged by freedom in Christ.

Use this link for the NIV Gal 4:8-20 highlight the following verses.  9, 15- 17

As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God of truth.  My Word, which is absolute Truth, shows you who I AM.   I AM the living Word of God.  My truth shows you both My good, and points out your bad.  You can’t have truth without what it exposes, which is the nature of truth.  It is easy to be zealous for the aspect of truth which is easy and comforting and reassuring, but hard when it pricks your consciences and reveals where you are sinful, yet both aspects are needed for change and growth in your Christian character.  Sin pointed out to you should bring you to your knees so you can have God forgive and change you.  It is that aspect of truth which brings freedom from error and is usually accompanied with my joy as you walk in it.  If truth only pertains to pleasantries, then you will never feel the need to change.  Satan sees to it that cults and various religions teach that everyone is basically good and that things are not your fault.  They also tend to say that the truth of my word is narrow and intolerant.  Fine, but narrow is the way to heaven and broad is the road that leads to destruction.  Let my truth change you even though it hurts.  People who know that they are sick don’t fear doctors who tell them the truth, so you should not fear my truth when it reveals wrong in your life either.  When Satan confuses you with error, fear of truth fosters in your heart, and you break fellowship with anyone who exposes your error with truth.  He wins a battle when he alienates you from me.  People generally don’t like being told that they are wrong and that they are not the captain of their own fate.  They need to wake up and smell the coffee.  I AM the LORD and there is no other God besides me.  I do not take delight in religious traditions but true righteousness and faith displaying itself in love, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

People who know they are sick would rather know the truth

God’s truth sets prisoners free.  When the believers in the above mentioned tribe shared their testimonies of the grace and freedom given to them from God’s truth to the aggressive mob, they won the day and the religious “mucky muck” went away without any more fight.  We hope that is the last time he threatens the church.  If you know someone close who has been taken by a cult or religion contrary to the truth of God’s word, you may experience an enmity when you confront them.  God is the only one who can break through by his Spirit as you hold forth His Truth in integrity.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
This entry was posted in Religion, the book of Galatians and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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