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Read Introduction to Galatians

 

“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”

 

Paul now describes the danger of caving to the Judaizing demand for circumcision (Ga 5:2-4). 

You ran well.

The image of this verse is of an athlete running in a race (Ga 2:2; 1 Co 9:24). When the Galatians first became Christians, they lived clearly under the principle of grace. 

When the Galatians became Christians, they ran with the principle of grace. They did not walk; they ran with grace. The Greek indicates that it was their pattern to go with grace.

The word “well” indicates that their running in grace was honorable and becoming. There was a sense of excellence in their attitude about grace.

Who hindered you

The Christians at Galatia ran with the principle of grace, but then something “hindered” their running in grace living. The word “hindered” means to cut into, impede. They allowed legalists to come along and break up their road of grace by placing rules and regulations along their path.

from obeying the truth?

If we are not careful, we can misunderstand the word “obeying.” Fundamentally, the word means commit, entrust, or trust. Sometimes, “obey” in the New Testament carries the idea of believing, being persuaded, or listening to. The idea is not submission to authority but action that comes from persuasion. “Obeying” is the outward result of an inward belief. It is the conviction of believing God. The Galatians at one time came to such a conviction about the grace that they relied on it and trusted in it. The Greek indicates that the Galatians themselves broke their stride in grace living.

“And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19).

Principle:

We get off the road of grace when we descend into the belief that we can impress God with what we do.

Application:

Persuasion of truth results in faith. Persuasion produces an actual and outward result. Truth is far more than something we academically accept; it should grip our lives.

Satan’s method is to bring Christians to think they can impress God with their works. If he can influence us to believe we can amass brownie points with God, he has us where he wants us.

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