081819.ca_.logo_.jpg
a

Expository Studies

Learn More To Love More To Share More

Latest Video

Daily Encouragement

Rejoice in the Lord Jesus Today

March 31, 2012

Back to Basics

Part Thirteen

Spy Out Our Liberty

Galatians 2:3-4, Page 1820

    In chapter 2 of Galatians, Paul recalled a visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus.  Apparently, a faction of false brethren in Jerusalem, calling themselves Christians in the church, tried to impose the Old Testament Law of Moses upon Christians.  As we have seen in Chapter 1 of Galatians, Paul refuted every attempt to impose the Law of Moses upon any believer, whether Jew or Gentile.  In our study today, we will look at the methods and motives of men who sought to impose the Law of Moses upon Christians.

Galatians 2:3, Page 1820

“But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.”

      Titus the Greek.   In Galatians 2:3, page 1820, we read that Titus was a Greek.  In 2 Corinthians 8:23, page 1813, we read that Paul considered Titus his partner  (“κοινωνὸς“) and fellow worker (“συνεργός“) among the Corinthians.   Paul addressed Titus as his true child in a common faith (“γνησίῳ τέκνῳ κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν“).  Paul sent Titus on missions, and Titus had an earnestness (“σπουδὴν“) for God (2 Corinthians 8:16, page 1812), and whose coming to Paul produced comfort (2 Corinthians 7:6, page 1811) and joy (2 Corinthians 7:13, page 1811).   Titus served Christ on the ministry team with Paul.  As a Greek, Titus had not been circumcised. 

       Compelled To Be Circumcised.  In Galatians 2:3, page 1820, Paul explained that no one in Jerusalem compelled (“ἠναγκάσθη“) Titus to be circumcised.  In the Old Testament, way back in the Book of Genesis, God gave Abraham the sign of circumcision, the cutting of the foreskin of the man’s penis.  Although the mere cutting of foreskin produced no spiritual result by itself, God intended this physical mark to be a spiritual reminder of God’s covenant relationship with man, particularly the descendents of Abraham by  promise  (Genesis 17:9-14,   page 23; compare Romans 4:9-13, page 1763).    The physical cutting of skin only made an outward statement of the inner faith of the man in the Covenant God of Israel. As a Jew, Paul himself had been circumcised the eighth day (Philippians 3:5, page 1838).  Notice that God commanded in Genesis 17:13, page 23, that circumcision would be an everlasting covenant (“לִבְרִית עוֹלָם“).  According to the Law of Moses, anyone who did not receive this circumcision must be cut off from his people for breaking the covenant with God (Genesis 17:14, page 23; compare Romans 2:25-29, page 1761).  Therefore, you can see how the false brethren in Paul’s time seeking to impose circumcision upon Christians had a powerful argument from the Old Testament to require Christians to be circumcised, whether Greek, Gentile, or Jew.  Yet, Paul noted that no one of reputation required Titus, the Greek, to be circumcised while they visited Jerusalem.  At this point, we ought to stop and think about the great changes that have taken place with the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.  Through His redemptive death, Jesus Christ freed us from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13, page 1822), and brought the full righteous of God into our lives for eternity.  As we see in Galatians Chapter 3, God completely fulfilled His plan to take care of the sins committed before the death of Christ, and with the appearing of Christ, a new era began in the program of God upon earth. 

 

Galatians 2:4, Page 1820

“But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.”

       False Brethren Secretly Brought In.  In Galatians 2:4, page 1820, Paul identified certain false brethren (“ψευδαδέλφους“).  Paul used this same term “false brethren” in 2 Corinthians 11:26, page1816 , to describe people putting him in danger.  In the context of Galatians, Paul identifies these false brethren as accursed, for preaching a doctrine different from the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-9, page 1819).  Notice too that a group, apparently distinct from the apostles, brought in (“παρεισῆλθον“) these false brethren.  Yet, the initiative for the destructive action of the false brethren lies within the false brethren themselves and their false teaching.  These false teachers themselves came to “spy out” (“κατασκοπῆσαι“) the liberty of the believers with Paul.  As we read in 2 Peter 2:1, page 1901, false teachers (“ψευδοδιδάσκαλοι“) will secretly introduce (“παρεισάξουσιν“) destructive heresies into the church.    The false teachers, like the false brethren, ply their trade of sin and destruction in the church secretly, and not openly.  We must remain ever vigilant to oppose them from the Bible, by the power Christ working through the Holy Spirit to resist them and remove them from the fellowship.  Part of basic Christianity means that not every doctrine must be accepted in the church.  Some false brethren teach heresy that must be stopped and expelled, along with the false teachers themselves who must be identified as false brethren.

       Liberty Which We Have in Christ Jesus.  In Galatians 2:4, page 1820, Paul explained that the false brethren have a particular target of their spying.  They look directly at the liberty (“ἐλευθερίαν“) Christ Jesus gives to His true children.  In this case, Paul and Titus had liberty from the requirements of the Law of Moses, because Christ had come and freed them from the bondage of the Law of Moses.  False brethren will always spy out your freedom in Christ Jesus.  They are walking around your local assembly today, seeking to quash any freedom you have in Christ.  They hate freedom and love bondage.  In Jerusalem, the false brethren sought to persuade true believers that they must all keep the Law of Moses, and keep its commandments like circumcision.  Paul, as we will see, firmly opposed all such efforts to impose bondage.  The motives of all false brethren and false teachers is simple: they want you to live in bondage to sin and forsake your freedom in Christ.

      Bondage.  In Galatians 2:4, page 1820, Paul penetrated the secrecy of the false brethren and highlighted their intent to “bring us into bondage.”  This term “bring into bondage” (“καταδουλώσουσιν“) indicates that the false brethren tried to move Paul and his companions away from the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The false brethren secretly and deliberately sought to impose bondage.    In 2 Corinthians 11:20, page 1816, Paul identified the Corinthians as people who had become enslaved (“καταδουλοῖ“), referring to the fact that they had tolerated the foolish gladly, and been hit in the face, taken advantage of, and devoured by ungodly men.  Whenever we allow anyone to enslave us, we act like slaves, instead of believers living in the freedom of Christ Jesus.    Are you living in bondage today, having been chained in the bondage by false  brethren in your local assembly?  Check out the word of God and see if the false teaching in your local assembly actually squares with what Jesus said and taught in the Bible.  We avoid bondage by rejecting and removing false brethren and false teachers in the church.  Otherwise, we end up enslaved, devoured, hit in the face, and living in sin.  We thank God, however, that He gives freedom to all who ask, and restores believers to freedom in Christ everyday.

        So we learn more about avoiding bondage today.

     ●  False believers love to spy out our freedom in Christ Jesus, and secretly introduce false teaching in local assemblies.

    ●   False believers come in secretly, and try to bring you into bondage. 

     ●   Christ Jesus  will always oppose false brethren, and seek to expose them and expel them from the local assembly, so that every believer will live in His freedom for eternity, starting right here on earth, right now. 

Application for Today

        As I walk through life today, I will be on my guard against false brethren spying out liberty and trying to enslave believers.  In Christ, we will expose them and expel them, so that all of us will not live in bondage to sinful practices, but to live in the freedom of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 
 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.