Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Churches Of Galatia

Temple Baptist Church - 2-11-2009

Galatians 1:1-5


A. Galatia – the highlands of modern day Turkey which were inhabited by the Gauls. It was a Roman province which included Antioch, Lystra, and Derbe.

B. During his first missionary journey (46-48 A.D.), Paul together with Barnabas had the opportunity to establish several churches in the Roman province of Galatia (Ac 13:14- 14:23). On his second trip (49-52 A.D.), Paul and Silas visited them again (Ac 16:1-5). In Acts 15:1-22, the apostles and elders at Jerusalem gave charge to the Apostle Paul and Barnabas concerning treatment of this false doctrine.

C. Paul had preached the Gospel to the Galatians in all of its wonder and purity. Many received Christ and churches were established. False doctrine soon found a “toehold” in the churches and Paul quickly addressed the theological issues at hand. Some Jewish Christians came in and began teaching that Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses (similar to what happened at Antioch of Syria, cf. Ac 15:1).

Acts 15:1-2 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. (Paul and Barnabas fervently confronted these false teachers! Today’s preachers tend more to accept them under the premise: “Lets agree to disagree agreeably!” Then let us fellowship around the things that we can agree upon.)

D. As we go through the Book of Galatians, it will immediately become evident that this overlooking compromise of “Let us agree to disagree agreeably” is neither the will of God nor is it acceptable to God! There are several things that we need to note at this point about doctrinal impurity and its consequences.

1. Doctrinal Impurity Is Satanic In Nature (Satan uses an undiminished attack to discredit or change the Word of God.)

2. Doctrinal Purity Is Ridiculed In Religion (Ecumenism and acceptance are “politically correct” in Christendom while non-conformity is maligned.)

3. Doctrinal Purity Is Essential In Propagation (True Christianity is always one generation from extinction. It is “faith to faith.”)

4. Doctrinal Purity Is Necessary In Salvation (If faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God; if salvation is by grace through faith alone; if Jesus is the only way of salvation; then salvation must come through belief in the truth of the gospel.)

E. The word “doctrine” is basically a New Testament word. It is found 55x in the Bible with only six of these times located in the Old Testament. Doctrine is both important and imperative in its nature.

1. There Are Two Forms Of Doctrine – True and False

a) True Doctrine Which Is Of God - Job 11:4 For thou hast said, My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

b) False Doctrine Which Is Of Satan – 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

Ephesians 4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

2. False Doctrine Is Hated Of God - Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Psalms 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Psalms 119:128 Therefore I esteem all [thy] precepts [concerning] all [things to be] right; [and] I hate every false way.

F. True doctrine brings about spiritual growth while false doctrine brings about deception and destruction. Most Christians have been falsely taught that other denominations who preach false doctrine are to be accepted under the premise of love. At this point, I want you to understand that it is the false doctrine that is hated and not the person! The rebuke that Paul gave was within the churches. He reasoned with the false believers outside of the churches.

G. There are two major areas of false doctrine that Paul will deal with here in the Epistle to the Galatians and these two doctrines work hand-in-hand:

1. The way of salvation is partly by faith through grace and partly by works and obedience to the Law: Law vs. Grace. **Galatians 1:6

2. The security of the believer depends upon good works and obedience to the Law: Works vs. Faith. **Galatians 3:1-3

H. What makes these two areas of false doctrine so “socially” acceptable?

1. This theology is widely accepted because it is satanic in nature. 2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2. This theology is widely accepted because it tends to make sense in human reasoning. Isaiah 55:9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

1. We Are To Continue Steadfastly in Sound Doctrine - Acts 2:42 And they continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2. We Are To Guard Against False Doctrine - 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide stil at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.

3. We Are To Teach Sound Doctrine - 1 Timothy 4:13, 16 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.

4. We Are To Rebuke False Doctrine - Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (Notice that this not a casual or loving rebuke. It is to be done sharply! False doctrine is a devastator and must be dealt with as you would a rattlesnake or black widow spider.)

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

5. We Are To Separate From False Doctrine - 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourself from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railing, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: for such withdraw thyself.

2 John 10-11 If there come any unto you, bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (In our day, false teachings are fostered by misplaced hospitality!)

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