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KJV and NIV in Gal Temptaton vs illiness

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John W. Worley, Ph.D.

04/05/01

Research done on the following quesiton:

In Galatians 4:14 what is the difference between

“Illiness” in the NIV & “Temptation” in the KJV?

Answer: None!  They are the same word in the Greek New Testatment.

However, I strongly you read everything I have listed below. It will give you a good understanding of what temptation/illiness really is all about.

 

King James:

 

3986 peirasmos { pi-ras-mos’}

from 3985; TDNT - 6:23,822; n m

AV - temptation 19, temptations 1, try 1; 21

GK - 4280 { peirasmov" }

1)  an experiment, attempt, trial, proving

1a) trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Gal. 4:14)

1b) the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy

1b1) an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances

1b2) an internal temptation to sin

1b2a) of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand

1b3) of the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness

1b4) adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness

1c) temptation (i.e. trial) of God by men

1c1)   rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves[1]

Verse fourteen. The best Greek texts read your, referring to the Galatians, not my, referring to Paul. Paul’s illness was in a sense a temptation to the Galatians, in that its nature was such that a normal reaction to it would be in the form of loathing and disgust, which attitudes would be followed by the rejection of the afflicted one. The word despised is from ekptuo (ejkptuo) which means “to spit out, to reject, to spurn, to loathe.” Rejected is from exoutheneo (ejxouqeneo) which means “to hold and treat as of no account, to despise.” There was something in the physical appearance of the apostle that tempted the Galatians to reject him and his message.

Instead of spurning Paul, these unsaved Galatians had received him as an angel of God, even as Jesus Christ. The reference is probably to the occasion of the healing of the lame man at Lystra. In their excitement at this miraculous healing, the Lycaonians thought that Barnabas was Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods, and that Paul was Hermes, the messenger and the interpreter of the gods. Paul looks back to the day when these Galatians had received him as a messenger of the gods, even as the son of God. This was, to be sure an outburst of native superstition and pagan religion, and was repudiated at the time with indignation by Paul. However, these converted Galatians could look back at all this and thank God with a feeling of grateful joy that they had not welcomed the Greek gods of Olympus, but messengers of the living God who had made heaven and earth. There is an echo of this same incident in Paul’s words in 1:8, “But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that we have preached unto you.”

Translation. And the temptation to which ye were subjected and which was in my flesh, ye did not loathe nor utterly despise, but as a messenger of God ye received me, as Christ Jesus.[2]

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5. peirasmov" has been found so far only 3 times in profane Gk.: Diosc.Mat. Med. praef.: tou;" ejpi; tw`n paqw`n peirasmouv", “medical experiments”; Cyraniden: kivndunoi kai; peirasmoi; e[n te gh`/ kai; qalavssh/, peirasmov" being synon. here to kivndunoi, ® n. 35; Syntipas: uJpo; peirasmw`n tou` kovsmou stenocwrouvmenoi.[3]

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The only other instances of the plur. peirasmoiv in the NT are at Lk. 22:28 and Ac. 20:19, also 2 Pt. 2:9 as a vl. acc. to a

  • 69 al syh. On Lk. 22:28 ® 35, 20 ff. In Ac. 20:19 Paul refers to the peirasmoiv to which he was exposed in his missionary work. The meaning here is almost that of “danger,” which seems natural for peirasmoiv in the plur. and for which we have other examples, ® 24, 12 f. The element of temptation is not ruled out, but it should not be automatically included wherever the word occurs. Cf. in the OT Dt. 7:19 and 29:2, where we read of the peirasmoiv (plagues) which smote Pharaoh. At Ac. 15:26 DE we find the addition (ajnqrwvpoi" paradedwkovsi ta;" yuca;" aujtw`n) eij" pavnta peirasmovn. Here peirasmov" even in the sing. can only mean “danger.” God is perhaps regarded as the author of sufferings in Wis. 3:5 f. (® 26, 13 ff.), which was perhaps known to James and Peter. The testing of the righteous is a proof of divine grace, Sommer, 13.[4]
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3986 peirasmos { pi-ras-mos’}

from 3985; TDNT - 6:23,822; n m

Temptation 19, temptations 1, try 1; 21

GK - 4280 { peirasmov" }

II.   Theological Use of the Terms.

1.    Man is Tempted.

a. In 1 C. 10:13 Paul describes the difficulties into which a Christian can be brought by the peirasmov" to which all are exposed. In this connection he has to point out to the Corinthians that they have not yet borne the full weight of temptation. Thus far they have been under only human temptation, i.e., that which the nature of man can bear, ® I, 366, 28 ff. The test can in fact be a much greater one. Paul adds, though it hardly fits the context, a word of consolation and promise: su;n tw`/ peirasmw`/ God will give a way of escape so that they may bear it. He is not here reflecting on the origin of temptation. One can hardly say that it is just a divine test of faith (® 25, 2–23), nor that Satan is the author (as in 1 Th. 3:5 and 1 C. 7:5, ® 32, 5–12). Elsewhere, too, Paul simply issues a general warning against temptation, e.g., in Gl. 6:1: skopw`n seautovn, mh; kai; su; peirasqh`/". When we admonish our neighbour, we must do so in humility; otherwise we who give the admonition may ourselves be tempted and fall. Hence it is not possible to say precisely who is the author of the human temptation in 1 C. 10:13. Paul is rather warning the over-strong and self-confident Corinthians against falling, a possibility which they obviously do not take seriously enough. He is also consoling the weak; they should not be too worried about their capacity.

b. One passage in the NT expressly forbids us to call God the author of temptation, Jm. 1:13 is directed against Christians who are in danger of taking temptations too lightly, and who even seem to be disposed to make God responsible for their sins. James opposes this view. In so doing he makes a statement about the nature of God which we do not find elsewhere in the Bible, namely, that He cannot be tempted to do evil and that He Himself does not tempt anyone, i.e., lead anyone into sin. Jm. makes the point even more plainly in v. 14. The author of temptation, and hence also of sin, is one’s own ejpiqumiva, the evil impulse which is in every man, ® III, 171, 22–24. Where this comes from, he does not, of course, say.

Jm. 1:2 f.: pa`san cara;n hJghvsasqe …, o{tan peirasmoi`" peripevshte poikivloi" …, does not seem to fit in too well with this. Here we have a completely different use of the same word. A similar expression occurs in the materially related verse 1 Pt. 1:6: ajgallia`sqe … luphqevnte" ejn poikivloi" peirasmoi`". Both passages leave us in no doubt but that sufferings for the sake of the faith are implied by peirasmoiv. In Jm. as in 1 Pt. sufferings are a reason for joy and serve to prove the steadfastness of faith, cf. R. 5:3 f. But neither author even suggests that God is the author of the sufferings, so that there is no reference whatever to their educative character. They are tests whose aim and purpose is that of proving and demonstrating, ® II, 258, 7–259, 14. Jm. 1:12: makavrio" ajnh;r o}" uJpomevnei peirasmovn, o{ti dovkimo" genovmeno" lhvmyetai to;n stevfanon th`" zwh`", o}n ejphggeivlato toi`" ajgapw`sin aujtovn. We are reminded here of the Beatitudes; Jesus calls those who suffer and are persecuted blessed, Mt. 5:4, 10–12; Lk. 6:22 f. Jm. 1:12, however, seems to go much further than 1:2f. (® 29, 26 f.). The beatitude is more comprehensive. The crown of victory is promised to those who overcome every temptation and not just that which comes through suffering. In 1 Pt. 4:12, however, there is a stronger reference to temptation through suffering: mh; xenivzesqe th`/ ejn uJmi`n purwvsei pro;" peirasmo;n uJmi`n ginomevnh/, wJ" xevnou uJmi`n sumbaivnonto". Yet here, too, the main concern is not with the question as to the nature of temptation but with the nature and source of suffering. The answer is controlled by the understanding of Christ’s sufferings: kaqo; koinwnei`te toi`" tou` Cristou` paqhvmasin caivrete, 4:13. For the Christian suffering is participation in the sufferings of Christ, and hence in the last analysis it means joy. This does not mean, of course, that the sufferings of Christians do not also have the character of temptation or trial. One may see this from 4:17, where sufferings are regarded as a judgment (® lines 22 ff.) which begins in the house of God, ® III, 806, 6–38.

c. The association of temptation and judgment occurs in other parts of the NT quite apart from 1 Pt. Thus in Mk. 13:22 and par. Jesus points out that in the last time, before God’s judgment day, yeudovcristoi and yeudoprofh`tai will arise pro;" to; ajpoplana`n, eij dunatovn, tou;" ejklektouv". In Mk. 13 and par. we read not only of seductive signs and wonders but also of the trial of sufferings in the last time. Nevertheless, the word peirasmov" is rare in this connection. In the letter to Philadelphia we find in Rev. 3:10 the promise of deliverance ejk th`" w{ra" tou` peirasmou` th`" mellouvsh" e[rcesqai ejpi; th`" oijkoumevnh" o{lh", peiravsai tou;" katoikou`nta" ejpi; th`" gh`". peirasmov" here is not so much the temptation of the individual; it is rather the total eschatological terror and tribulation of the last time. But it can also be the temptation of the individual, of. the prophecy to the church at Smyrna in Rev. 2:10: ijdou; mevllei bavllein oJ diavbolo" ejx uJmw`n eij" fulakh;n i{na peirasqh`te. The aim of the diavbolo" (® II, 79–81) is to overthrow Christians. The more urgent, then, is the admonition to be faithful (Rev. 2:10b, cf. Jm. 1:12) and to rest in the assurance that the Lord will protect those who are His: oi\den kuvrio" eujsebei`" ejk peirasmou` rJuvesqai, 2 Pt. 2:9.

d. From early times the meaning of the 6th petition of the Lord’s Prayer has been debated. Though Mt. 6:13 and Lk. 11:4 are the same in all the MSS: kai; mh; ajfh`/" hJma`" eijsenecqh`nai eij" peirasmovn, Marcion already reads: kai; mh; ajfh`/" hJma`" eijsenecqh`nai eij" peirasmovn. He takes the petition to be a request for God’s protection against temptation. The petition is not related to Ps. 139:23, which asks God to try the heart. If it were, it would have to be the direct opposite: Lead us into temptation. What is at issue here is in no sense a test. The Lord is rather teaching His disciples to ask God not to withdraw His hand from them, but to keep them against temptation by ungodly powers. On the other hand, it is a mistake to think that the petition is grounded only in Jesus’ imminent expectation of the end or to regard it merely as a request for preservation in the great eschatological tribulation. Though it undoubtedly refers to this, a more general application to all affliction yields a better sense. It should not be forgotten, of course, that every affliction, and therewith every peirasmov", is an eschatological tribulation or temptation according to the total understanding of the preaching of Jesus, ® III, 144, 32–146, 20. Lk. 8:13 is to be taken in the same sense. In the exposition of the parable of the Sower Lk., as distinct from Mk. 4:17 and Mt. 13:21: genomevnh" qlivyew" h] diwgmou` dia; to;n lovgon, has Jesus utter words of warning to those who pro;" kairo;n pisteuvousin kai; ejn kairw`/ peirasmou` ajfivstantai. This interpretation is perhaps secondary. Nevertheless, Luke’s substitution of peirasmov" for diwgmov" or qli`yi" dia; to;n lovgon shows what he understands by the term. For him peirasmov" consists in persecution and oppression for the faith. There can be little doubt that he took the 6th petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the same way.

In Mk. 14:38 and par. (in Lk. cf. also 22:40) Jesus says to the three disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: grhgorei`te kai; proseuvcesqe, i{na mh; e[lqhte eij" peirasmovn: to; me;n pneu`ma provqumon, hJ de; sa;rx ajsqenhv". The verse is related to the numerous NT passages which exhort to watchfulness, ® II, 338, 28–339, 2. Here, however, the reason offered is not the imminence of the last events (cf. Mk. 13:35–37 and par.; 1 Th. 5:6; Rev. 3:2 f.; 16:15) but the weakness and susceptibility of the flesh (® savrx). In content the warning corresponds to that of 1 Pt. 5:8: nhvyate, grhgorhvsate: oJ ajntivdiko" uJmw`n diavbolo" wJ" levwn wjruovmeno" peripatei` zhtw`n tina katapiei`n: w|/ ajntivsthte stereoi; th`/ pivstei. There is also a close connection with the 6th petition of the Lord’s Prayer; watching consists in prayer in view of our defencelessness in temptation.

e. The personification oJ peiravzwn is very rare in the NT. Outside the story of the temptation in Mt. 4:1–11 (® 34, 13 ff.) we find it only in 1 Th. 3:5, where Paul asks concerning the faith of the Thessalonians mhv pw" ejpeivrasen uJma`" oJ peiravzwn kai; eij" keno;n gevnhtai oJ kovpo" hJmw`n. oJ peiravzwn here means Satan, whom Paul more commonly describes as satana`", and whose work according to 1 C. 7:5 consists in the peiravzein of believers. This is how we are to understand the work of Satan in Paul even where he is not called the author of peirasmov". Nevertheless, we must beware of schematisation. Each passage has to be taken in context. Perhaps the difficult saying in Gl. 4:14: kai; to;n peirasmo;n uJmw`n ejn th`/ sarkiv mou oujk ejxouqenhvsate, means that Paul rejoices that the Galatians did not fall victim to the tempter, who sought to exploit the apostle’s sickness. But we do not have to take it thus, for the general interpretation: “You did not succumb to the temptation to despise me because of the weakness of my flesh,” is an adequate rendering of the verse. Rather weaker is 1 Tm. 6:9, where those who would be rich are warned against the peirasmov", pagiv" and ejpiqumivai to which they can easily fall victim. Here, too, one may easily think of Satan as the author of the snare and lusts as well as the temptation, ® V, 595, 7–10.(See note below in red) But there is no explicit reference.

pagideuvw.

This word occurs only in the LXX, Test. XII, and NT. It is thus newly minted by the koine. Indeed, since it has not been found on pap. either, it is perhaps coined directly by the LXX. pagideuvein is strictly a hunting expression, “to lay a snare,” “to set a trap,” “to entice into or catch in a trap.”

The LXX uses it only twice at 1 Ba". 28ò9 and Qoh. 9:12. In the former it means “to set a trap.” The witch of Endor sees a threat to her own life in the king’s request to conjure up the ghost of Samuel from the underworld, since the king himself had set the death penalty for witchcraft. In Qoh. 9:12 the metaphor of being caught is used for being overtaken by misfortune.

In the other renderings ÆA has pagideuvein in Ez. 13:20, 21 for being enmeshed in magical snares, i.e., for the destruction of souls which are caught like birds by false prophets. S has pagideuvesqai (pagideuqhvsontai kai; sullhfqhvsontai) at Is. 8:15. Israel and the people of Jerusalem are snared and caught by the gins and traps laid for them. The vivid metaphor refers to the destructionwhich comes from God. At Prv. 6:2 S uses pagideuvesqai of the tongue: ejpagideuvqh" ejn rJhvmasi stovmatov" sou. Q has the word in a similar connection in Prv. 11:15: misw`n pagideuqh`nai pepoiqhvsei, i.e., he will not willingly be caught in the snare of too great self-confidence.

In Test. XII cf. Test. Jos. 7:1: e[ti de; hJ kardiva aujth`" e[keito eij" to; kako;n kai; perieblevpeto poivw/ trovpw/ me pagideu`sai.

The word occurs only once in the NT at Mt. 22:15. The Pharisees are trying to get Jesus in their power. They consult together how they can lay a trap with a (specific) saying and thus ensnare Him in His own words about paying taxes to the Roman state. Jesus will then be broken in this conflict with Rome. The phrase o{pw" aujto;n pagideuvswsin ejn lovgw/ brings out very well the crafty and destructive aspects of the action.[5]

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III.               The Temptations of Jesus.

1. Among the NT epistles Hb. emphasises with particular urgency the fact that Jesus was tempted during His life on earth. If it does so chiefly in passages designed to strengthen the readers in their temptations and conflicts, there is still no doubt that the life of Jesus is here understood as a life in temptation. 2:18: ejn w|/ ga;r pevponqen aujto;" peirasqeiv", duvnatai toi`" peirazomevnoi" bohqh`sai. 4:15: ouj ga;r e[comen ajrciereva mh; dunavmenon sumpaqh`sai tai`" ajsqeneivai" hJmw`n, pepeirasmevnon de; kata; pavnta kaqÆ oJmoiovthta cwri;" aJmartiva". These sayings, especially the second, make it plain that the 1st century was already asking whether Jesus could be tempted, and that the author of Hb. was answering this question in the affirmative. Otherwise he certainly could not call the temptation a peiravzesqai kaqÆ oJmoiovthta, for his whole point was to emphasise that the temptation of Jesus is like ours. In other words, it carried with it the possibility that He might fall, ® V, 190, 1–3. Nevertheless, Hb. also recognises a distinction from us. Jesus remained cwri;" aJmartiva" even in temptations. In this respect He was quite different from all other men. It is true that these two statements can hardly be brought into logical harmony. Two main points are made by them, first, that Jesus is in all ways like men who are tempted, and second, that He is completely unlike men who in temptations do not remain cwri;" aJmartiva". If one asks what temptations Hb. has in view, 5:7–9 refers us first to the hour in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the conflict which preceded His true passion, Jesus was here confronted by the terror of death, and then—kaivper w]n uiJov"—He learned obedience through suffering. Once again it may be seen that the content of temptation is the seduction into disobedience. That is to say, the temptation placed the Lord in a situation of open choice between surrender to God’s will and revolt against it. But the Lord came out of temptation victorious (teleiwqeiv"—cwri;" aJmartiva"). Hb. 2:18—pevponqen peirasqeiv"—also has in view the temptations which came upon Jesus in His suffering, ® V, 917, 10 ff. In 12:3 there is reference to the contradiction which He experienced at the hands of His opponents, and which did not wear Him down. The context compels us to see in this contradiction a temptation to grow weary, and consequently to fall; but He victoriously withstood it. It is impossible to say whether Hb. has in mind the attacks and tempting questions recorded in the Synoptics. The author might well have been familiar with this tradition. The Synoptists commonly introduce such questions with the verb (ejk) peiravzein, Mk. 8:11 and par.; 10:2 and par.; 12:15 and par.; Mt. 22:35; Lk. 10:25; 11:16 [Jn. 8:6]; cf. also the interpolation tiv me peiravzete in Lk. 20:23 AD. Nevertheless, Hb. does not speak of such temptations elsewhere; the temptation as Hb. sees it is always to avoid suffering. In the Synoptic passages we do not have temptation kaqÆ oJmoiovthta. It is also doubtful, then, whether the author of Hb. knew the temptation story (Mt. 4:1–11 and par.), to which he never alludes.

2. The Synoptic account of the temptation (Mt. 4:1–11 and par.), in which the peiravzwn comes to Jesus in person, is placed immediately after the story of the baptism of Jesus and just before the commencement of His public ministry. This order already underscores its significance. The peiravzwn (® 32, 5–22) attempts to turn Jesus from the task which God has laid upon Him in His baptism, and therewith to render His mission impossible. He exerts himself in every possible way to deflect Jesus from obedience to God. In this respect it makes no difference whether the temptations come at the end of the 40 days and nights (Mt. 4:2 f.) or whether they take place during this period (Mk. 1:13 and obviously also Lk. 4:2). Their essence remains the same, namely, that Jesus should be unfaithful to His Messianic task. The story presupposes, then, that Jesus is obedient. He is aware of His Messianic task, and the individual temptations are a threefold repetition of the fact that He remains obedient. These ideas already underlie the brief mention in Mk. 1:12 f., where we read: h\n … peirazovmeno" uJpo; tou` satana`, ® II, 79–81. They are worked out in Mk. 4:1–11 and Lk. 41–13. The peiravzwn (Mt. 4:3; Lk. has diavbolo") makes three attempts to reduce Jesus to disobedience. In the first he tests the power of Jesus, and tries to induce Him to use it for purposes which are not in keeping with His divine mission, ® 19, 12 ff. Jesus rebuffs him with the text Dt. 8:3b. The point of the answer lies in the reference to the power of God, to which alone Jesus yields, not turning from obedience to God by independent use of the power with which God has endowed Him. On the second occasion the tempter tries to get Jesus to invoke God’s help on His own behalf, and this time he, too, appeals to a text (y 90ò11 Ä.). Jesus again replies from Scripture (Dt. 6:16): oujk ejkpeiravsei" kuvrion to;n qeovn sou. It would be tempting God, and therefore acting contrary to His word and commandment, to seek His help for selfish reasons which are not in harmony with God’s will. The third temptation is the most comprehensive. The diavbolo" (Mt. 4:8; Lk. 4:6) is quite plainly seeking to induce Jesus to give up His obedience to God and to follow himself, Satan. The third time, too, Jesus answers with a text (Dt. 6:13): kuvrion to;n qeovn sou proskunhvsei" kai; aujtw`/ movnw/ latreuvsei", and He prefaces this refusal with the words u{page, satana`, Mt. 4:10. In each answer, then. Jesus confirms His allegiance to God. He remains in union with God, and does not abuse His divine Sonship, the authority of the Messiah.

Further temptation is seen by the Synoptists only in Gethsemane. Nevertheless, one must ask whether Lk. at least, when he concludes the temptation story with the words kai; suntelevsa" pavnta peirasmo;n oJ diavbolo" ajpevsth ajpÆ aujtou` a[cri kairou` (4:13), does not hint at renewed temptation by the diavbolo" in the life and work of Jesus. Lk. 22:28 especially seems to fit in with this. Here Jesus says to His disciples: uJmei`" dev ejste oiJ diamemenhkovte" metÆ ejmou` ejn toi`" peirasmoi`" mou. Here, however, it is more natural to take the plural peirasmoiv in the sense of “dangers,” “afflictions,” “troubles.” In the light of this passage one cannot suppose that in Lk. the life of Jesus is a long series of temptations. It is also not very clear how Jesus could say of His disciples that they stood by Him in temptations. We have referred already to the tempting questions and challenges of the opponents of Jesus, ® 28, 33–41. One can hardly regard these as temptations in the sense of Mt. 4:1–11 and par. This is also apparent from the fact that in the so-called question of the Pharisees (Mk. 12:13–17 and par.) the tempting purpose of the questioners is characterised as follows: Mk. 12:13: i{na aujto;n ajgreuvswsin lovgw/, “that they might trap him with an (incautious) word”; Mt. 22:15: o{pw" aujto;n pagideuvswsin ejn lovgw/ “to entangle him with a (specific) expression”; Lk. 20:20: i{na ejpilavbwntai aujtou` lovgou. In Mk. 12:15 and Mt. 22:18 Jesus prefaces His answer by the counter-question tiv me peiravzete. There can be not the slightest doubt but that this peiravzein is to be understood only along the lines of the corresponding words of introduction to which we have referred. There can be no question of an attack of Satan in and with the words of the questioners. At most one might perceive a temptation in the words of Peter after the first intimation of the passion, since Jesus here rebuffs him with the same words as He used to Satan in the temptation story at Mt. 4:10: u{page ojpivsw mou, satana` (Mk. 8:33 and par.). The continuation brings this out even more clearly: ouj fronei`" ta; tou` qeou`, ajlla; ta; tw`n ajnqrwvpwn. The remark of Peter is thus characterised as an attempt to turn Jesus from obedience to God. Elsewhere in the Synoptic Gospels, however, there is no express account of a temptation of Jesus between the temptation story and the depiction of Jesus in Gethsemane.

That the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane (Mk. 14:32–42 and par.) is regarded as a prayer in temptation may be seen from Hb. 5:7 ® 33, 20 f. Nevertheless, the word peirasmov" is not used in the story with reference to Jesus Himself. Jesus Himself, however, says that the hour was one of explicit temptation for the disciples: grhgorei`te kai; proseuvcesqe, i{na mh; e[lqhte eij" peirasmovn (Mk. 14:38 and par.), ® 31, 23–29. The passion of Jesus and the cry ejlwi>; ejlwi>; lama; sabacqavni in Mk. 15:34 enable us to appreciate once again the terrible nature of the temptation. But the term peirasmov" does not occur. As the Synoptists describe it, and in spite of Lk. 4:13, Jesus’ battle with the tempter in the wilderness represents His definitive decision for subjection to the will of God; every other decision for obedience flows from it.

Jn. has no express account of any temptations of Jesus. Neither the temptation story nor the saying of Peter, neither Gethsemane nor the cry of dereliction, is to be found in his Gospel. He does, however, report sayings of Jesus which indicate that he was not wholly ignorant of the temptation tradition. Cf. Jn. 12:27: nu`n hJ yuchv mou tetavraktai, kai; tiv ei[pwÉ pavter, sw`sovn me ejk th`" w{ra" tauvth", 14:30: e[rcetai ga;r oJ tou` kovsmou a[rcwn: kai; ejn ejmoi; oujk e[cei oujdevn. The last word on the cross acc. to Jn. also pts. in the same direction, 19:30: tetevlestai. Jesus dies when He has victoriously finished His work. These are, however, only obscure hints.[6]

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New International Version:

 

4:13-14. The last clause of verse 12 belongs with these and the following verses in which Paul related how he was received by the Galatians on his first visit to them (cf. Acts 13-14). At that time he labored under the handicap of an illness but remained until he had preached the gospel to them. Whatever his infirmity, the Galatians did not treat Paul with contempt or scorn as a weak messenger but rather received him as one would receive an angel or even Christ Jesus Himself.

 

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Verses 12-16

That these Christians might be the more ashamed of their defection from the truth of the gospel which Paul had preached to them, he here reminds them of the great affection they formerly had for him and his ministry, and puts them upon considering how very unsuitable their present behaviour was to what they then professed. And here we may observe,

I. How affectionately he addresses himself to them. He styles them brethren, though he knew their hearts were in a great measure alienated from him. He desires that all resentments might be laid aside, and that they would bear the same temper of mind towards him which he did to them; he would have them to be as he was, for he was as they were, and moreover tells them that they had not injured him at all. He had no quarrel with them upon his own account. Though, in blaming their conduct, he had expressed himself with some warmth and concern of mind he assured them that it was not owing to any sense of personal injury or affront (as they might be ready to think), but proceeded wholly from a zeal for the truth and purity of the gospel, and their welfare and happiness. Thus he endeavours to mollify their spirits towards him, that so they might be the better disposed to receive the admonitions he was giving them. Hereby he teaches us that in reproving others we should take care to convince them that our reproofs do not proceed from any private pique or resentment, but from a sincere regard to the honour of God and religion and their truest welfare; for they are then likely to be most successful when they appear to be most disinterested.

II. How he magnifies their former affection to him, that hereby they might be the more ashamed of their present behaviour towards him. To this purpose, 1. He puts them in mind of the difficulty under which he laboured when he came first among them: I knew, says he, how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto you at the first. What this infirmity of the flesh was, which in the following words he expresses by his temptation that was in his flesh (though, no doubt, it was well known to those Christians to whom he wrote), we can now have no certain knowledge of: some take it to have been the persecutions which he suffered for the gospel’s sake; others, to have been something in his person, or manner of speaking, which might render his ministry less grateful and acceptable, referring to 2 Co. 10:10, and to ch. 12:7–10. But, whatever it was, it seems it made no impression on them to his disadvantage. For, 2. He takes notice that, notwithstanding this his infirmity (which might possibly lessen him in the esteem of some others), they did not despise nor reject him on the account of it, but, on the contrary, received him as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. They showed a great deal of respect to him, he was a welcome messenger to them, even as though an angel of God or Jesus Christ himself had preached to them; yea, so great was their esteem of him, that, if it would have been any advantage to him, they could have plucked out their own eyes, and have given them to him. Note, How uncertain the respects of people are, how apt they are to change their minds, and how easily they are drawn into contempt of those for whom they once had the greatest esteem and affection, so that they are ready to pluck out the eyes of those for whom they would before have plucked out their own! We should therefore labour to be accepted of God, for it is a small thing to be judged of man’s judgment, 1 Co. 4:3.

III. How earnestly he expostulates with them hereupon: Where is then, says he, the blessedness you spoke of? As if he had said, "Time was when you expressed the greatest joy and satisfaction in the glad tidings of the gospel, and were very forward in pouring out your blessings upon me as the publisher of them; whence is it that you are now so much altered, that you have so little relish of them or respect for me? You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now any reason to think otherwise?’’ Note, Those who have left their first love would do well to consider, Where is now the blessedness they once spoke of? What has become of that pleasure they used to take in communion with God, and in the company of his servants? The more to impress upon them a just shame of their present conduct, he again asks (v. 16), "Am I become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? How is it that I, who was heretofore your favourite, am now accounted your enemy? Can you pretend any other reason for it than that I have told you the truth, endeavoured to acquaint you with, and to confirm you in, the truth of the gospel? And, if not, how unreasonable must your disaffection be!’’ Note, 1. It is no uncommon thing for men to account those their enemies who are really their best friends; for so, undoubtedly, those are, whether ministers or others, who tell them the truth, and deal freely and faithfully with them in matters relating to their eternal salvation, as the apostle now did with these Christians. 2. Ministers may sometimes create enemies to themselves by the faithful discharge of their duty; for this was the case of Paul, he was accounted their enemy for telling them the truth. 3. Yet ministers must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others and drawing their displeasure upon them. 4. They may be easy in their own minds, when they are conscious to themselves that, if others have become their enemies, it is only for telling them the truth.

 

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GOOD NEWS OF FAITH

Overview

In Galatians we have Paul’s first powerful defense of the Gospel. Some from the Pharisee party in Judea who had trusted Christ apparently retained their zeal for the Mosaic Law. They traveled to the churches Paul had founded, and taught that the Gentile Christians they must be circumcised and must keep the Law of Moses to be saved. In essence, they said that to be a true Christian a Gentile must become Jewish in lifestyle, and live by the Old Testament’s code.

Paul confronted this view, insisting that what these men taught was different gospel from the Gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Paul insisted that there can be no mixture of Law and grace in the Gospel of Christ without robbing the Gospel of its power.

Now, in the extended and carefully argued bulk of Galatians, Paul explained why the Law is not for Christians now. Paul’s argument emphasized three points: The Law is opposed to life (3:1–18). The role given Law in Scripture is a limited one (3:19–4:7). And, the Law is an inferior path which leads to spiritual disasters (4:8–5:12).

For further background on the New Testament’s view of Law as it relates to the Christian life, see Study Guide 126.

n   It will be helpful as you prepare to teach this important passage to read through a good verse-by-verse commentary like the Bible Knowledge Commentary, pages 596–606.

Life Versus Law

GALATIANS 3–5

Why isn’t the Law for us now?

I.    The Law is opposed to life (3:1–18). This is demonstrated by:

A.  Experience: How did you first receive and live your spiritual life? (3:1–5)

B.  Example: How did Old Testament saints receive spiritual life? (3:6–9)

C.  Exposition: What does the Scripture teach about how life is to be received? (3:10–18).

II.   The Law’s role (3:19–4:7) is shown in Scripture to be severely limited:

A.  In extent: It is temporary (3:19–20)

B.  In ability: It cannot make alive (3:21–22).

C.  In function: It was a custodian (3:23–24).

D.  In force: It is nullified today (3:25–4:8).

1.   Because we are “in Christ”

2.   Because we are now sons

III. The Law is an inferior way that now leads to tragic results for the believer (4:8–5:12). Law leads to:

A.  Dissatisfaction: It robs us of joy (4:8–19).

B.  Bondage: It robs us of freedom (4:20–5:1).

C.  Powerlessness: It turns us from expectant faith to hopeless effort (5:2–12).

Commentary

In Paul’s initial defense of his Gospel he reported a conflict which he had with Peter in Antioch. When even Peter was influenced by members of the Pharisee party, and separated himself from Gentile Christians, Paul confronted him.

“We who are Jews by birth,” Paul said, “know that a man is not justified by observing the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:15–16). Paul then pointed out that all the Law was able to do was to demonstrate that the one under it was a lawbreaker. There was no power in the Law to create holiness.

But the Christian is not under Law, because “through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live for God” (v. 19). That is, because of the Christian’s union with Christ the believer is legally released from the Law. How? By dying with the Saviour. For a person who is “dead” is not responsible to keep the Old Testament code, but is released from its hold.

Thus the Christian, as the old man who was crucified with Christ, no longer lives. But our union with Jesus was not just union in His death (Rom. 6:1–6). It was also union with Jesus in His resurrection. Now “Christ lives in me.” In fact, the daily life of the believer is the Christ life, lived “by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This is the key to understanding the Gospel. What the Gospel offers is not just forgiveness, but new life! And that new life is lived by faith, not by a return to the Law. And so, Paul concluded, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the Law, Christ died for nothing” (v. 21).

This powerful and wonderful affirmation of life in Christ, and of faith as the key to our experience of that life, is the background against which Paul now analyzed Law. The Law, while an expression of the holiness of God and good in itself, could never produce life, and indeed has nothing to do with life. If we think of the Gospel of God’s grace in terms of the new life it provides, and then understand the faith principle which enables us to experience the new life, we will see why legalism is futile.

In Galatians 3:1–5:12 we look at the first part of this spiritual equation: the futility of trying to link Law with life. Then, in Galatians 5:13–6:16, we see the second part: the secret of how to live our new life in Christ by faith.

©   Link to Life: Youth / Adult

Begin this session with sharing. Ask simply: “What has been the greatest help to you in learning to live a Christian life?”

Encourage each person to share.

When the sharing is complete, introduce the session with a brief review of Galatians 2:11–21.

Paul in Galatians rejected the “different gospel” of the Judaizers who would bring Law back into the believer’s relationship with God. The contrast that Paul drew between life and Law is the key that helps us trace his argument and outline this great book.

Why Not Law? Galatians 3:1–5:12

The major portion of Galatians, as reflected in the outline, is a devastating critique of looking to the Law for help in living the Christian life. Before we trace through each passage, let’s take a look at some of the particularly significant points Paul made.

Importance of faith (Gal. 3:10). Paul spoke in this passage to “all who rely on observing the Law.” He did not suggest that the Law itself is somehow bad or wrong. What he did insist was that the Law had never had anything to do with faith, and therefore that reliance on the Law, either as a way of salvation, or as a way to work out one’s salvation, was inappropriate.

Paul made an interesting point in verses 15–18. If the Law was so important, how did people ever get along without it? The Law wasn’t even introduced until some 430 years after Abraham’s day. Certainly Abraham and the other patriarchs had meaningful relationships with God!

Most important, however, is the fact that the principle of faith in God’s promise (v. 16) which was introduced in Abraham was never set aside by the subsequent introduction of Law. Faith has always been the way to God; God’s promise has never depended on keeping that latecomer, the Law.

Law for restraint (Gal. 3:19–29). The Law was introduced because of sin, and thus it relates to sin, not holiness. The Law was to be a temporary expedient, to function only until Christ came.

Picture, if you will, a raging tiger trapped behind bars. The bars were introduced because the tiger’s wild impulses make him dangerous to all. Would anyone expect the bars to tame the tiger? Of course not! That is not the purpose of bars; they are to restrain. What happens, then, if someone does succeed in taming the tiger, using a different principle than putting him in a cage? The bars can be removed! There is no longer any use for them.

This, essentially, is Paul’s argument. Now that faith has come and believers have been “clothed … with Christ” (v. 27), we have been truly tamed! How foolish, then, to insist that the tamed beast continue to live behind bars! Especially when all along God had affirmed His intention of removing the bars as soon as the new and living Way came (see Jer. 31:31–34).

Law as teacher (Gal. 4:1–7). Paul used another illustration to make the same point. It was common in the Greek culture of his day to place a young child under the supervision of a family slave, called a pedagogue (a word sometimes translated in Gal. 4:2 as “guardian,” “trustee,” “manager,” etc.). The pedagogue made sure that the child obeyed the parent, whether the child wanted to obey, or not. Until the children would “receive the full rights of sons” (v. 5) they were, in fact, no more than the slaves of a slave! They had to obey a slave who obeyed their father.

But then the great day came when a child was accepted as an adult. Now the father spoke directly to him. Now the son responded directly to his father. The pedagogue had no more place in their relationship.

The Law, Paul said, was a pedagogue. Jesus’ redemption act is that great event in history marking the transition from childhood to sonship. The Law, which up until Jesus had a pedagogue’s purpose, now had nothing to do with our relationship with God! “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (v. 7).

It is striking to see what happens when people, still fearing the tiger in them and unable to grasp the fact that Christ really does tame, seek to hide behind the bars of legalism. Such legalism seems at first to promise a certain kind of security. Its bars not only keep us in; they keep others out.

But Christ’s people are not made to cower in barred caves and cages! We have been shaped by God to live on the plains and in the mountains and, yes, in the jungles of the whole wide world. Jesus Himself set us the example. He stepped boldly from the security of heaven and was caught up in the rush and swirl, the joys and agonies of human experience. He entered the homes of publicans and sinners, enjoyed the wedding parties, reached out to touch and heal the hurting, and confronted the hardened Pharisees. Jesus was totally involved—yet uncontaminated. He rubbed shoulders with sinners—and remained pure. He lived with and like other men—and revealed God. His whole life was an adventure.

It is to just this kind of adventurous life that you and I are called today. Jesus did not come to bring a new set of bars for our cages. He came to tame the tiger in us and to release us, to live as He Himself lived in the world of men.

The meaning of our lives, the adventure of it, isn’t to be found in the cages that Christians make for themselves and decorate so attractively. No, meaning and joy for us are to be found in stepping outside the old cages, dismissing the no-longer-needed pedagogues, and setting out into the future to live as sons.

All too often, Christians draw back.

We fear.

We don’t realize that as God’s sons we now have His life. Like the Judaizers of Paul’s day, we hurriedly try to shape new bars as fast as God tears them down. In deepest agony Paul cried out to the cage-builders of his day, “How is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” (v. 9)

You will lose your joy there (v. 15).

You will lose your freedom (5:1).

You will lose your power (v. 3). You will lose all that Jesus died to make available to you as you live your new life in Him.

Falling away (Gal. 5:4). This verse has troubled many. It reads, “You who are trying to be justified by Law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” What was Paul saying?

It’s important to realize that here Paul was focusing on present-tense salvation, not on past-tense. What Paul meant when he warned against falling away from grace must be grasped from the context of the passage.

Paul had shown that the Law was a pedagogue. Once, Law was the avenue through which a believer experienced his relationship with God. But now that relationship is direct and personal, as with a child who at last receives the “full rights” of sonship (4:5). What, then, if a son keeps going back to his old pedagogue for directions? Clearly, he has alienated himself from the personal relationship. Such a fall from grace back into old practices and ways means simply that the individual is no better off than he was before! All the freedom, all the joy, all the adventure of the life a child of God is to live by faith, has been drained away—traded for something that is worse than nothing. “Christ will be of no value to you at all” means simply that being a Christian will not make the difference in daily life He intends it to. A person will be no better off than he was before being a Christian, as far as living the Christian life is concerned.

This seems a hard thing to say. No better off? Why, heaven has been won, at least.

Yes, but the Christian faith is not solely concerned with eternity. The Christian faith includes God’s affirmation that life now is important too—important to God, important to others, and important to you.

The wonderful life that God offers you and me in Christ is one which provides a solid hope for meaning, joy, and fulfillment today. And that life is appropriated by faith, not by trying to keep the Law.

©   Link to Life: Youth / Adult

Draw on the chalkboard the best tiger you can. Explain, as in the author’s analogy, that the tiger’s nature makes him dangerous. So we put bars around him to make a cage. Then set your group the task of coming up with predictions and guidelines. Predict: “What will happen if the bars are removed?” Guidelines: “Under what condition(s) will it be safe to remove the bars?”

After discussion explain that we are the tigers, the Law the bars of the cage, and that if our tiger-nature is changed, there is no need for bars.

Or use the illustration below, and explain the “pedagogue” role in biblical times, and the implications of Paul’s argument.

Then give each group member the outline, and ask pairs to read through Galatians 3:1–5:12, guided by it. Each pair is to (1) note every reason given why the believer is freed from Law, and (2) to put a check mark beside verses or phrases he or she does not understand.

Come back together after 15 to 20 minutes to compare observations and ask questions.

Law, the Pedagogue—Until Christ

Observations on the Text: Galatians 3:1–5:12

The Law is opposed to life (Gal. 3:1–18). Paul launched his argument against the “different gospel” of the Judaizers by expressing amazement. Their own experience with God was rooted in faith, not Law (vv. 1–5). “Did you receive the Spirit by observing the Law, or by believing what you heard?” It was not Law that brought them life; the key in their conversion was faith. “Are you so foolish?” Paul asked, that “after beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (v. 3) The Spirit actually had operated among these churches and worked miracles not through observing Law, but “because you believe what you heard.”

It is clear, then, from the experience of modern Christians that life in Christ is a matter of faith from first to last. If life is received and lived by faith, why then turn to the Law as an aid to spiritual attainment?

Not only has faith proven to be the key to modern Christian experience, but it was also the key to the experience of Old Testament saints (vv. 6–9). Abraham “believed God” and it was his faith that was credited to him as righteousness.

But why hadn’t the Law functioned in the spiritual experience of Abraham and all those generations after him whose relationship with God was rooted in faith? Because the Law and faith are contrary principles. Law condemns, bringing under its curse all who do not “do everything” written in it (v. 10). Christ died to release us from the “curse of the Law” so that we might relate to God through faith.

The Law, according to the Scriptures, is severely limited (Gal. 3:19–4:7). First, Law was not only added long after faith was introduced as the principle by which we relate to God (3:17–18), but was always intended to be temporary, in effect only until Christ (the Seed) came (vv. 19–20).

Second, Law never had the function of bringing life; that was the role given to faith (vv. 21–22).

Third, Law was merely a pedagogue, a family slave intended to watch over young children until “faith should be revealed.” Its goal was to “lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (vv. 23–24).

Finally, the Law is no longer in force as far as we are concerned (we are “no longer under the supervision of the Law”). In Christ we are now “sons” and as such not subject to a pedagogue. We all—male and female, slave and free—have received the “full rights of sons.”

The phrase, “full rights of sons,” reflects Roman law rather than Jewish traditions. In Roman law the father had authority over every member of his family. He was also considered to own his children’s property, and had the right to control their behavior, including the right to discipline. But the father was also committed to help his child, and as an heir, what the father possessed was considered to belong to the child as well. All the resources of God become ours as heirs of God, and we are able to draw directly on them to live our new lives.

This relationship is an immediate and personal one, and is not mediated through some go-between who, like Law, has no more standing than a family slave.

Attempts to live by the Law lead only to spiritual disaster (Gal. 4:8–5:12). What happens within when a believer tries to live as if under the Law rather than as a son with a direct, immediate relationship with God?

The person who tries to relate to God by rigorous legalism will, as the Galatians, lose his or her joy (see 4:15).

That individual will find himself or herself in bondage, living as a slave rather than a freeman (4:21–5:1). Paul considered a historical event a figurative expression of a basic principle (see. Gen. 21:8–21). Sarah, childless, had urged Abraham to follow contemporary custom and father a child with her slave, Hagar. The child of this “surrogate mother” would legally be Abraham’s and Sarah’s. Abraham had finally given in, and Hagar bore a son, Ishmael. But rather than joy, the child brought Sarah only pain. Hagar looked down on her mistress, for it was now clear that her childlessness was not due to Abraham’s inability to father a child. Ishmael thus became a constant reminder to Sarah of her own failure as a wife.

Later, when Sarah did have the child God promised Abraham, Isaac, Sarah’s resentment increased. By custom Ishmael would receive a major share in Abraham’s estate. Sarah wanted it all for her son, Isaac. She demanded that Abraham send Ishmael away.

At first Abraham refused. He not only cared for Ishmael, but in those days to reject Ishmael would be a crime against the boy.

But God intervened.

God told Abraham to expel Ishmael and Hagar, and God promised that He would Himself take care of Ishmael and bless him. Reassured but reluctant, Abraham did as his wife urged, but only at God’s command.

Looking back, Paul realized why God told Abraham to do something so foreign to his character. Sarah had been right, but not for her selfish reason when she said, “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son” (Gen. 21:10; Gal. 4:30). The principle of promise and of Law simply do not and cannot mix. Only the one who is a son on the basis of God’s promise can inherit God’s blessing. There is no hope for one who seeks relationship on the basis of Law.

Paul concluded his argument with a powerful statement. Anyone who lets himself be circumcised (that is, places himself under Law) finds that “Christ will be of no value to you at all” (5:2). What did Paul mean?

It’s as if you stood at a fork in the road, with one path leading to the north and the other to the south. You must choose one path or the other. You cannot choose both, for they lead in opposite directions.

The Galatian Christians, like you and I, stand always at just such a fork. We must either take the path of relating to God through Law, or of relating to God through the faith. We cannot have it both ways. If we are trying to relate to God through the Law, we are not living by faith. And if we are living by faith, we turn our backs on all that Law implied. Being a Christian will make no practical difference in our lives (“Christ will be of no value to you”). We who are called to live in the sphere of God’s grace will fall from that grace. Our hope for transformation now will be replaced by futile self-effort, for “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (v. 6).

As we go on in Galatians we will discover more about what it means to live by faith. But for now, we know one thing for sure. Focusing our attention on trying to keep God’s Law is not the answer, either for salvation or for the abundant Christian life.

There is something, something linked with faith, that provides a far better way.

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Hilde Houlding, coordinator of the Calgary Family Service Bureau's counseling division, describes an affair in this way:

An affair is often an attempt to find a little bit of paradise on the side, pursuing the belief that if one just finds the right sexual partner there will be instant happiness and everything will fall into place.  An affair is often able to fulfill this myth until it itself becomes a relationship that has to be worked at and looked at in a long-term light.

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  Probably no story better illustrates how the sweet, stolen water of adultery turns invariably sour than the story of Camelot.  In this epic tale, the relationship of King Arthur and Queen Guenevere is trespassed upon when Arthur's most renowned and trusted knight Lancelot gingerly slips his toe across the marital boundary.  It started with a look -- an innocent look, without premeditation or evil intent.  But it was a short, slippery step from a look to lust, from infatuation to infidelity.  The look eventually led to a touch.  The touch sometime later led to a kiss. The kiss, to adultery. and adultery, to tragedy.

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With Moses, it was murder.

With Elijah, it was deep depression.

With Peter, it was public denial.

With Samson, it was recurring lust.

With Thomas, it was cynical doubting.

With Jacob, it was deception.

See:  Heb 12:1-2 (especially KJV)

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   I live in a small, rural community.  There are lots of cattle ranches around here and, every once in a while, a cow wanders off and gets lost.  It's a big deal because if you happen to hit (as in "drive into") a lost cow, it's your fault and you have to pay the rancher for his cow.  (That is part of the rural culture -- we have to worry about nuclear destruction and runaway cows.)  Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, "Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence.  It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft.  The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost."

n     From the July 1988 issue of The Wittenberg Door

 G.H. Charnley, in The Skylark's Bargain, tells the story of a young skylark who discovered one day a man who would give him worms for a feather.  He made a deal -- one feather for two worms. The next day the lark was flying high in the sky with his father. The older bird said, "You know, son, we skylarks should be the happiest of all birds. See our brave wings!  They lift us high in the air, nearer and nearer to God."

But the young bird did not hear, for all he saw was an old man with worms.  Down he flew, plucked two feathers from his wings and had a feast.  Day after day this went on.  Autumn came and it was time to fly south.  But the young skylark couldn't do it.  He had exchanged the power of his young wings for worms. That is our constant temptation in life -- to exchange wings for worms.

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   Some time ago a scientific magazine published an article concerning a certain species of alligator.  Being lazy beasts, they seldom hunt for their dinner but just wait for their unwary victims to come to them.  They lie near the bank with open mouths, acting as if they are dead.  Soon flies begin to light on their moist tongues, and several other insects gather.  This crowd attracts bigger game.  A lizard will crawl up to the alligator to feed on the bugs; then a frog joins the party. Presently a whole menagerie is there; then there is a sudden "earthquake" -- WHAM -- the giant jaws come together and the party is over!  Here's the lesson:  don't be lured by large groups of people. Remember, the crown is always found on the "broad way." The "narrow way" of life admits only individuals, one by one. Most people take the easy, downward path.  You as a Christian must follow Jesus on the upward road; it is the only safe way.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Joseph Mallord Turner, English painter, invited Charles Kingsley to his studio to see a picture of a storm at sea.  In rapt admiration, Kingsley exclaimed, "It's wonderful!  It's so realistic!  How did you do it?"  The artist replied, "I went to the coast of Holland and engaged a fisherman to take me out to sea in the next storm. Entering his boat as a storm was brewing, I asked him to bind me to the mast.  Then he steered his boat into the teeth of the storm. "The storm raged with such fury that at times I longed to be in the bottom of the boat where the waves would blow over me.  I could not, however.  I was bound to the mast.  Not only did I see the storm in its raging fury, I felt it! It blew into me, as it were, until I became a part of it.  After this terrible ordeal, I returned to my studio and painted the picture." It is written of the Savior, "For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:18).

n     Told by Bishop Slattery

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[1]Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

[3]Kittel, Gerhard; Friedrich, Gerhard, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) 2000, c1964.

[4]Kittel, Gerhard; Friedrich, Gerhard, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) 2000, c1964.

[5]Kittel, Gerhard; Friedrich, Gerhard, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) 2000, c1964.

[6]Kittel, Gerhard; Friedrich, Gerhard, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) 2000, c1964.

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