It occurs to me that if we are to go forward with declaring and defending the aletheia truth, then we must ensure we are following such truth. There are many doctrines out there about salvation and I want us to look at Biblical salvation. For if I am to reach Christians, I must ensure that is to whom I am speaking. Does this mean you can only receive these devotionals or join our venture in three weeks if you are a Christian? No, all who seek the aletheia truth are welcome.
But my focus is adding value to our lives and so those whom I approach must understand the foundational truth of Biblical salvation. As I said, there are many ways to Heaven according to man, but the Bible is clear there is only One.
The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue and no more forcibly than with the Galatian Church. Notice today’s verse:
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1)
First off, Paul has not violated Jesus’ warning against verbal abuse; the term “foolish” means spiritually dull. Paul is appealing to the Galatian Church in a personal way. When he preached Christ to them, he did it in such a way that they could see Christ crucified…it “was clearly portrayed among” them.
Second, our word aletheia is used here when Paul asks them, “Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?”. Paul considered aletheia truth as precious. When he prophesied about the coming Anti-Christ he warned against believing a lie and the strong delusion that would come to those left behind after the Rapture:
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
One caution must be made here; we cannot base our salvation on emotion and experience alone. Truth must be embraced; trust in Jesus must occur; and a transformed life must be in evidence. That being said, Paul reminds the Galatian church that they had experienced a true conversion and now the Judaizers had somehow confused and convinced, that is “bewitched”, them into believing that somehow their conversion was incomplete without circumcision. Paul was telling the Galatians, in the words of Matthew Henry, that this was folly:
Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord’s supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of His sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience to it? Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Which of these had God endorsed with tokens of His favor and acceptance? It was not the first, but the last. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from ministry and doctrine which was blessed to their spiritual advantage. Alas, that men should turn from the all-important doctrine of Christ crucified, to listen to useless distinctions, mere moral preaching, or wild fancies! The god of this world, by various men and means, has blinded men’s eyes, lest they should learn to trust in a crucified Savior.
This is why it is so hard for a lost soul to find true salvation because our very nature and far too many “churches” demand that you perform some sort of works to receive Jesus’ forgiveness and eternal salvation. Beloved, this is damnable by Christ Himself:
“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!’” (Matthew 18:2-7)
Dear Christian, are you a stepping stone or a stumbling block to the new Christians or possible convert? If the latter then woe to you.
Dear friend who has yet to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, has some teaching become a stumbling block to you, keeping you from Jesus? Is your own philosophy deluding your mind from understanding the concept of grace? Do you believe you must earn your salvation? Monday we saw all that we can earn:
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)
Understand that grace is a gift…you don’t earn a gift, you receive it:
“… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)
Oh dear friend, I understand you have a list of reasons as to why you believe you’re good enough to get into heaven. I had the same list. And then I came across this passage in the Bible:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You see, your list is your way of boasting. That is not an option in light of this passage.
But if you receive the gift of God, as a little child would receive a gift, gleefully and gratefully, then you too will have eternal life. You will have a know-so salvation instead of a hope-so salvation.
And then you will be blessed to your spiritual advantage.
Please receive Jesus today!
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers