Galatians # 13 Gal 4-17 thru 5-5
We’re going to continue on the book of Galatians last time we took up what is called PAUL’S THRONE IN THE FLESH, because of what Paul had written in (GAL 4). The week before that we ended with (GAL 4:16) so let’s pick up from there.
I) GAL 4:17-20
A) In (V 17) where Paul says, “They zealously affect you, but not well…
1) The “THEY” in that V refers to the legalistic Judaizers.
(a) The legalistic Judaizers wanted to get the Galatians away from following after Paul’s teachings; they wanted to separate them from Paul.
(b) The NIV does a good job in translating this. It says, “Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.” (GAL 4:17) NIV
2) In (V 18) Paul says, “It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.”
(a) Paul is telling us that it is good to have a zeal in good things. Well, it’s good to have a zeal about the things of God.
(b) So often when we 1st get born again we have a zeal for the things of God, but after time our zeal begins to weaken.
(i) But Paul is telling us in this V that it good to have a zeal for the things of God, and we shouldn’t let it waver.
3) But notice the last part of (V 18) it says, “And not only when I am present with you.”
(a) Many times, when we have a guest speaker we get excited and on fire for the things of God, but only during the time that the minister is there, but as soon as he leaves our zeal begins to weaken.
(b) We should always be excited about the things of God.
B) Now in (GAL 4:19) Paul says, “My little children, of whom I travail (labor) in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”
1) If you were to read this over quickly you would think that Paul was TRAVAILING (which is prayer and intercession) for their NEW BIRTH, but that’s not what Paul is saying.
(a) The Galatians were already born again. So what did Paul mean?
2) Paul prayed and interceded for the Galatians ONCE for their SALVATION, but now he said that he is TRAVAILING AGAIN UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU.
(a) Paul prayed for them that they would be transformed into the image of Christ, that they would not walk as the world walks, that they would not do things that the world does things.
(b) Paul prayed that they would be separate, giving up their worldliness and walk the Christian walk.
(c) This should be a lesson for us today. When someone is born again into the family of God, that’s not the time to stop praying for them.
(i) Tests, trials, temptations, and the obstacles that the enemy throws up before us can overcome all of us and especially NEW BELIEVERS.
(ii) We need to pray 1 for another. Never give up praying for your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
3) In (V 20) Paul says, “I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.” kjv
(a) The NIV makes it a little clearer, it Say, “How I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!”
(b) In this letter Paul is not being gently with the Galatians.
(i) Sometimes love has to be tough.
(c) Paul uses some tough words in the book of Galatians, trying to get them to realize their error.
(i) In (Galatians 3:1) Paul says, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth.”
(ii) But listen to it from the PHILLIPS translation. “O you dear IDIOTS of Galatia, who saw Jesus Christ the crucified so plainly, who has been casting a spell over you?”
(d) Now in (GAL 4:20) Paul makes it clear that he doesn’t like speaking to them in that tone of voice.
(i) The only reason that he has done so is that he has some real doubts about their commitment.
II) GAL 4:21-31
A) To put this very quickly without spending a lot of time on it, Paul is speaking to those that wanted to keep the OT law and still be a Christian.
1) But so often in the book of Galatians Paul explains that that concept doesn’t work.
2) In (GAL 4:31) he says, “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
(a) He again explains that we are free from the LAW.
III) GAL 5:1-5
1) In the last chapter we saw that both Ishmael and Isaac were offspring of Abraham, yet each represents a totally different approach to God.
(a) Ishmael, the child of the flesh, represents the works of the flesh, while Isaac, the child of the promises, represents the grace of God.
(b) For a time both lived in the same household, growing up together in their father’s home.
(i) But there came a time when the child of the flesh was cast out in order to give way to the child of promise.
2) This illustration is revealed in the last part of chapter 4, but the illustration is of the LAW and the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, or the covenant of promise.
B) Just as Isaac was promised to Abraham and Sarah before the birth of Ishmael, Isaac, the promised son was born after Ishmael.
1) Ishmael represents the LAW, where Isaac represents the Covenant of Promise or the Abrahamic Covenant.
2) Abraham as given the Promise before the Law ever came on the scene.
(a) That’s why the LAW, the ILLEGITIMATE SON, (Ishmael), had to give way to the SON OF PROMISE, THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT which was a product of faith. (Isaac).
(b) Now Paul said, in (GAL 5:1) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
(i) Christ has made us free from the law of sin and death. What sense is it to go back to keeping the law? Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
3) In the next few Vs Paul again tells us that the works of the law do not profit, they are really works of flesh.
4) In (V 5) we see a little change in what Paul is talking about.
(a) He says, (Galatians 5:5) “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” KJV
(b) Basically what Paul is telling them to be patient; their righteous will be revealed, not by their attempts at self-righteousness, but through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who imputes righteousness.
Galatians#13 Gal 4:17-5:5.docx
WOLCC Thursday 6/12/1997