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No Compromise

No Compromise

Words of Faith 6-4-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 4

        [12] I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. [13] As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. [14] Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. [15] What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. [16] Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

 

       These were not impersonal issues for Paul.  He was not arguing about theology. He was writing as a pastor, brother and friend.  Paul challenged the Galatians to become like him because he had become like them.  In other words-- "Become free from the Law as I am, for after my conversion, I became like the Gentiles, no longer living under the Law."  This was a defining core value for Paul, to say the least.  The great irony was that the Galatian Gentiles were now putting themselves under the Law!

        Don't miss the heart that is exposed here. Paul had the warmest of feelings for the Galatians.  He had been received with such kindness by the Galatians on his first visit to them, and he never forgot it.  At that time he labored under the difficulty of severe illness but had remained with them until he had preached the gospel to them. We don't know what that sickness was, but the Galatians had not treated Paul with contempt or scorn as a result.  His weakness as a messenger did not matter.  They treated him as one would receive an angel or even Christ Jesus Himself.

      The Galatians had received Paul with joy.  They congratulated themselves that the Apostle had preached in their midst.  So strong was their appreciation that they would even have made the sacrifice of their eyes for Paul.  Some think this is an indication that Paul had a disease of the eyes and that this may have been his "thorn in his flesh" described in 2 Corinthians 12:7.  This, we do not know.  Whatever the case, the Galatians esteemed Paul to the point that they would have given him their most precious possession if they needed to do so.

       The problem was that all this had changed! These dearest of Galatian friends no longer considered Paul's presence with them as a source of joy. Instead, they now acted as though he had become their enemy!  The only thing that Paul was guilty of was telling them the truth.  The Galatians were acting in a fickle way turning against the Lord, the Gospel of grace, and the messenger who brought them the news of justification by faith.

        What do we gain from this?

        We realize that there are times when telling the truth is more than just tricky.  When we tell the truth, people we have loved for a very long time may turn against us.  People that once worked side by side with us may abandon the cause simply because they do not want to hear the truth.  Paul had become an enemy for telling the truth.  It was a high price to pay, but he was willing to pay it because, indeed, there was no other way.

        We do not have the option of changing the Gospel just because it is unpalatable to some.  We cannot compromise the principles of the Gospel simply because someone we like a great deal disagrees with the plain truth.  Paul certainly did not give up.  He continued to plead his case to the Galatians.  But he could not compromise.

 

        Lord, show me the careful walk of telling the truth and proclaiming the Gospel even when it is costly.  Keep me close to You so that I do not waver even when there are those who reject Your Gospel of grace.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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