Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0234
PAUL’S CONCERN FOR CHRISTIANS
In reading again Galatians Chapter 1, I was struck by the words of Paul and his concern of numbers of Christians going astray from the straight and narrow way of Jesus Christ. This is what he wrote:
“I marvel (“to wonder, marvel, be astonied, to look on with wonder and amazement, to wonder, marvel at” – Bullinger’s) that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert (“distort; to turn about; to turn into something else, to change”) the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to ou than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed (“a thing devoted to destruction or given up to the curse”). As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant (“one whose will and capacities are wholly at the service of another. For Christian service it expresses the highest devotion of one who is bound by love” – Bullinger’s) of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation (“unveiling, uncovering; of facts and truths, disclosure, revelation”) of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:6-12, NKJV). (Take time to meditate on what is being said here).
If these things were happening in the Apostle Paul’s day ~ and they were ~ how much more should we be vigilant to make sure that what we believe is right in line with the teachings of the Scriptures. There is so much deception about these days, and all kinds of new beliefs are creeping into Christian and Church circles. This has been speeded up by people having access to the Internet where, in many cases, it is a mixture of religion, Scripture verses and winning personalities of preachers. If we do not know the principle of the Scriptures, then we can easily be led astray by these other teachings, etc. False teachers often have a very winning way about them that makes Christians think they must be right. We need to be like the Christians at Berea who “received the word with all readiness (“willingness, eagerness”), and searched (“to estimate carefully, judge of, sift”) the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-12).
- It is only the Scriptures that contain the full revelation of Jesus Christ, and that revelation has to be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
- We need to compare Scripture with Scripture and not take isolated verses out of their context to ‘support’ our beliefs.
- We have to totally change to be able to accept the true revelation of Jesus Christ in the Bible.
- That is why it is so important that we are born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Biblical Christianity is our conforming to God’s way fully ~ not our trying to get God to fit in with our ways.
THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
In Matthew 13:1-23 and Luke 8:4-15 we have the account of the Parable of the Sower. This is a challenging parable for every one of us, for it reveals how people can come to Christ, but then fall away through various happenings in their lives. Some let the devil get in and the seed of God was devoured in their lives. Others had stony hearts and the seed of the Word of God was unable to take root; the result was they withered up and died (spiritually). Then there were some who allowed thorns to grow in their lives. The result of that was the thorns sprang up and choked (“to strangle, suffocate”) them, and they became fruitless. 75 percent of the seed was wasted because those who received it did not deal with those other things in their lives that eventually robbed them of the true life of Jesus living inside of them. Praise God there were 25 percent who received the seed of God and allowed the seed to grow in good ground that produced much fruit. Jesus then made this statement: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9; Luke 8:8). We are to listen to what God is saying to us in this parable; see the dangers of being led astray from the simplicity which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus gave us another illustration of the importance of doing things God’s way, and not ours: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction (“waste, ruin”), and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult (“confined”) is the way which leads to life, and there are few that find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous (“plundering, pillage, the act of snatching away”) wolves” (see Matthew 7:13-29). Again we see that the majority of people do not subject their lives to the Lordship of Jesus, and finish up with all kinds of mixture that renders them powerless and useless in the purposes of God.
- Make very sure that what you are believing is confirmed by the principles of the Scriptures, and so enjoy the blessings and anointing of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Anything other than doing and living God’s way renders us powerless, makes us religious and takes us into bondage and deception.
We all need to seriously consider what is being told us by Jesus in His Word ~ and by the Apostle Paul’s concern of Christians being led away from the truth of the Gospel. If we wander off the path of truth, then we are opening ourselves up to all kinds of deception that leave us believing that we are alright, when really we have gone into a powerless religious state. It is vital that Jesus Christ is always Number One in our life, and that we know Him personally so we can follow His will and purpose for our life. Yield your all to Jesus today and you will know the benefits and blessings of knowing and walking with Him! He is the only true way to God and eternal life with Him. Sincerely in Him ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord, I come to You in Jesus’ name, and I ask You to help me to be more committed to Your plans and purposes for my life. Please deliver me from any and all mixture that has crept into my life. I do want to be a true disciple of You, Jesus. Please forgive me for any lack of commitment I have had towards You, and help me to rise above every obstacle that would hold me back from being totally committed to You and Your will being fully done in and through my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray these things, Amen.”