Don’t Be Brought into Slavery

Galatians 2:4-5 ESV

“Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.”

Now, in context, this is specifically dealing with Judaizers who were trying to convince Gentile Christians that they must be circumcised and must follow some of the Jewish and Old Covenant ceremonial and liturgical laws that the Jews of the Old Covenant were required to follow, but which we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are not required to follow. We must just follow Jesus and do what he says to do and what his NT apostles taught us in how to live.

But the larger context goes beyond just the Judaizers but to anyone professing faith in Jesus Christ who is trying to convince Christians to do what God does not require, or to not do what God does require. They are any people who say they are Christians but who distort the gospel to their own advantage in order to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh, which can be shown in false religion and/or in willful defiance of the Lordship of Christ.

The whole object of the “spying” appears to be hostile in nature with the intent to inflict some type of harm or to damage one’s reputation. It is to observe someone secretly with covered (clandestine) and evil motives to do another harm, either to bring him/her down spiritually or morally or to destroy one’s reputation through lies and false accusations, etc. The purpose is evil, and the intended results are not for that person’s welfare.

The person doing the spying professes faith in Jesus Christ but he/she is not in a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus for he/she has halted or has put to death the movement of the Holy Spirit in his/her life. He/she is not dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, but he/she is dead to the Spirit of God and is alive to sin and wickedness while professing to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. So, there is no love of God in his/her life.

And whether the person is trying to lead you into sin (or back into sin) or is trying to find a way to trip you up in order to accuse you (like they did with Jesus), or whether the person is trying to find something in what you said that he/she can distort in order to accuse you, you must not yield to that person and to his/her intimidation. But you must remain steadfast in faith and in your walk of holiness and righteousness, by the grace of God.

Matthew 18:7-9 ESV

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.”

God will judge those who try to lead others into sin or back into sin and to disobeying the Lord and to a false faith and a false religion and away from the true gospel of our salvation. And he will judge those, too, who come against his servants and messengers to try to destroy them so that they will stop speaking the truths of God’s word and the truth of the gospel of our salvation from sin. So, don’t be one of those.

For, Jesus Christ died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, and not just to promise us heaven when we die, but he died to free us from our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin so that we will now walk in obedience to our Lord in holiness and righteousness, free from the control of sin. And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, by his grace, and in his power and strength.

Jesus Christ shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now be God’s possession and so that we would now honor God with our bodies (with our lives). And he died on that cross so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who died and was raised back to life so that we can now die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

So, if you are being told that you can “believe” (undefined) in Jesus, have your sins forgiven, and be guaranteed heaven when you die, no matter how you live on this earth, then you are being lied to. For the Scriptures teach that if we live to the flesh and if sin is what we practice and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God and we don’t even know God.

Therefore, you must die with Christ to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer enslaved to sin but now as a slave to God and to his righteousness. Your old self must be crucified with Christ in death to sin so that you can now live to God and in his righteousness and holiness. For if you remain a slave to sin you are not a child of God, and you will not inherit eternal life with God. So, get rid of your sin.

Get Rid of Them!

So, if there are things in your life which are leading you to sin, then you must rid your life of those things. If you can’t control your lust, and if pornography is your downfall, then don’t own anything that gives you private access to the internet and to a whole world of evil at your fingertips in the privacy of a corner in a room, even a crowded room. Cut off all access to anything that has been your downfall. And walk in freedom!

Or if chat rooms or social media or videos or books or music or whatever are what are leading you into sin, then cut those out of your life. Or if hanging out with certain people, or if going to a specific “church” gathering where they are teaching you that you can sin freely without guilt, if that is your downfall, cut off those relationships and hang out with people who are walking in holiness and fellowship with Christians who are living righteously.

But, I will say here, if your heart does not change, and you do not change directions and forsake your sins and go with the Lord wherever he leads you, you can cut out half the world out of your life and it won’t change your heart or how you live. The heart has to change first. Behavioral modification can only take you so far, but it is the grace of God and a humble heart willing to surrender to Jesus everything that will make the life change for the better.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Nearer, Still Nearer

Lyrics and Music by Lelia N. Morris, pub. 1898

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”

Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.

Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee!

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