Take A Hard Stand
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! — Galatians 5:7-12
Ok, I love this little section. Because sometimes, I think we get the impression that Christian leaders should only be soft, thoughtful, and meek. Yet nowhere in this letter does Paul sound that way. He comes out of the gates at full bore with his pedal to the metal. And right here, he revs the engine up a notch. Therefore we get to see his drive, grit, and determination as a man of God. And he is going to say some tough things. For example, he basically tells the opposition that if they want to enforce circumcision, they shouldn't stop there "they should go ahead and cut off their junk." But don't be confused. He didn't take this tone in defense of himself but in defense of the gospel message and its grace for all men.
So I want to be straight with you today. I think these words are an indictment of two groups of men. First, to any man or teacher who ever adds anything to the gospel of God's grace. God's saving grace needs nothing more from us. Yes, God wants us to be obedient. But our obedience adds nothing to his saving grace. Second, I think Paul's tone and approach here are also indictments of men who have been too soft on standing up for the gospel truth. This includes men, husbands, fathers, leaders, and pastors who are complicit in being soft by avoiding specific texts of the Bible or interjecting their ideas into the Bible. When we do this, we castrate the gospel of its truth. And this is a heinous crime against a God who extends grace to all men. And honestly, you don't want to get into a battle with God. You will lose.
So fellas. We need more men like Paul in our time — driven, gritty, and determined men. But the only way to be this man is to do what he did. You have to get into the gospel truth. And then you have to live out as God requires. And as you get to know God's grace and truth, you'll be able to take a stand for him.
ASK THIS: Where in your life as a man, husband, father, leader, or pastor have you been too soft on the gospel?
DO THIS: Declare it below, and let's pray for truth and courage together.
PRAY THIS: God, give me the courage to believe your truth precisely as it reads. And then give me the courage to stand for your truth.
PLAY THIS: Stand In Your Love - Josh Baldwin
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.