“I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.”
Having stated the danger of reversion into legalism, Paul now asserts that he has confidence that the Galatian church will live by grace and not capitulate to legalism.
I have confidence in you,
Paul has confidence in the Galatian believers that they would not fall from the grace principle into legalism.
in the Lord,
We find the phrase “in the Lord” forty-seven times in Pauline writing. Paul’s confidence that the Galatians would continue in grace lies in the Lord, not in himself or the Galatian believers.
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6 ).
that you will have no other mind;
Paul is confident that the Galatian believers will keep the grace principle presented in this book of Galatians. They will come to a place where they recognize the evil of legalism.
but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment,
Paul laid the onus on the pusher of legalism, who disturbed Galatian confidence in the principle of grace. This ringleader will bear heavy judgment (Greek: heavy burden) for his false teaching (Ga 1:7-9). The “judgment” in this verse is not eternal judgment but the divine discipline of the believer. God will discipline in time Christian leaders who lead people into false teaching with a grievous burden of judgment. The issue is not the gravity of the person but the gravity of his faulty teaching.
The “judgment” here is ostracism. We must separate false teachers from the body of Christ, or the “little leaven will leaven the whole lump.”
whoever he is
Evidently, one person was the ringleader – “whoever he [singular] is.” It is essential to differentiate between the leaders and the led. Leaders always bear a greater judgment than followers because they deal with truth. There is always an individual responsibility to bear censure in this.
Leaders bear greater responsibility than followers for what they teach.
Leaders must take individual responsibility for what they teach and how they lead. God will discipline them if they are not careful in teaching His Word. The issue is not the gravity of the person but the gravity of his faulty teaching. Churches today need to throw out false teachers. The courage to do this is not there. We do not believe strongly enough about anything to take decisive action. We imbibe legalists without a problem. We live in a day of syncretism. We can merge doctrines and blur the truth because we do not hold on to the truth ourselves.
Trust in Christ’s cross plus anything is legalism. We do not hold that truth unalterable. We think it is Christ plus tears, Christ plus the Lord’s Supper, Christ plus walking down the aisle, Christ plus catechism, Christ plus repentance, Christ plus sincerity, Christ plus joining the church. All these things are legalism to curry brownie points with God.
A person under grace must junk all attempts to gain God’s approval by what he does to become a Christian or live the Christian life. The more religious we are, the greater an offense it is. The cross offends people because it does not cater to the pride of man’s self-righteousness. It humbles us to fall at the mercy of the grace of God.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:8-12).