“I Can’t Believe He Said That” – One Year Bible Reading – September 19

Old Testament:  Isaiah 30:12-33:19

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Isaiah 30:12-33:19   Don’t Get ‘Gypt’d

Chap. 30:12-33   More on the destruction of the Assyrian army and a description of the Millennium.

Chap. 31:  Another warning against allying with Egypt.

Chap. 32:  The King (v. 1) will reign in the Millennium.  Women are warned who are women “of ease” (vv. 9-14, cf. 3:16-26, Amos 4:1ff.)   Isaiah loves the Millennium: verses 15-20.

Chap. 33: 1 -9  Another warning to Assyria to lay off Israel.


New Testament:  Galatians 5:1-12

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Galatians 5:1-12   I Can’t Believe He Said That

Salvation by grace is a major theme in Galatians.  It is not by law and it is not by works.  Paul is winding things up in chapter 5, saying Christ died to set us free.  Paul encourages the Galatians not to veer from the path of grace into a “yoke of slavery.”  Jesus tells us to be yoked to him (Matt. 11:28-30).

The problem in Galatia was that Judaizers had infiltrated the fellowship just as they had in Corinth.  They wanted Christians to follow the Jewish law.  They wanted Christians to be circumcised (v. 2).  Paul warns them against this practice.  He says that if they get circumcised, then they’d have to keep the entire law to be saved (cf. James 2: 10).

A controversial phrase is Gal. 2:4, “fallen from grace.”  Paul is not saying that someone can lose their salvation.  He is saying that anyone who tried to be righteous through the law has fallen from a life of grace.  He has already established that they are saved.  Remember in chapter 3:2-3 he said, “This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”  In Romans Paul said that if someone did not have the Spirit, they did not belong to him implying that someone did have the Spirit, they did belong to him (Rom. 8:9).  So the Galatians were saved.

In my blog on 1 Cor. 2-3, I explained that Christians can be saved but act like non-Christians (Attacked!).  I hate to say but probably many Christians today are carnal.  I explain the difference amongst carnal, spiritual, and unsaved in my blog.

Paul is not saying here (v. 4) that the Galatians will lose their salvation, he is saying that they are going to lose the rewards of living in the Spirit, in grace.  He says much the same thing in the passages that warn about the bema judgment for Christians.   (Are you sick of hearing me talk about that?  Good.  cf. Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10ff,. 2 Cor. 5:10).

To the Jews, circumcision was very important but to God in this era of the church, circumcision doesn’t mean anything (v. 5a).  Love, though, means a lot (v. 5b, 1 Cor. 13).

Paul is very concerned about the Galatians, just as you would expect a good pastor to be.  They were doing well but then had veered off-course (v. 7).  God didn’t do it (v. 8).

One bad apple spoils the whole barrel (v. 9, despite the Osmonds’ song).  Whoever is messing them up will be punished by God (v. 10).  Some might have accused Paul of continuing to preach circumcision but what was the logic in that?  Why was he being persecuted by Judaizers if he was still preaching circumcision? (v. 11).

Here’s one of those “I can’t believe he said that” things in Scripture.  Paul says he wishes that those causing all the trouble about circumcision would cut themselves!  Ouch!  And to think I get accused of saying things too strongly.  In my case, it’s always because I’m from New Jersey, they say.  I haven’t seen the Garden State in years!

Of course, good ministers probably would like to say that to a lot of people who are out there leading their flocks astray.  There are a smorgasbord of heresies floating around for Satan to choose as tools.  Legalism is one of his favorites.

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