403 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 34 - Galatians 4:15 - 5:11

403: Galatians 4:15 – 5:11 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 34

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 34

GALATIANS 4:15 – 5:11

It’s always so nice when the mail runs, because we look forward to hearing from you. You don’t have to apologize when you can’t afford a love offering. We love your letters anyway. We don’t open our mail to see how much money is sent, although it does take money to pay these TV stations, but our first concern is what’s on your heart and mind, and we just thank the Lord for every one of you.

Now in the last lesson we had just come out of Chapter 4 and the allegory of Isaac and Ishmael. Remember Ishmael stood for the Law and legalism whereas Isaac was a picture of the freedom that we have in Grace because of the promises of God. Now that’s what it all really boils down to. God has promised that if we will believe for our salvation what Christ has done for us in the finished work of the Cross, then we are His for eternity. It’s just like the Lord Jesus said, in John Chapter 17-

John 17:9

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”

That was a different setting than the Church Age believers, but yes that holds for us as well. We are literally God’s gift to the Son in response to His obedience to the work of the Cross. All right these next few verses are going to shock a lot of people – they have in the past and I’m sure they will again in the future if we continue on. Where Paul writes now to you and I as well as to the Galatian believers –

Galatians 5:1

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty (or the freedom) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Because the yoke of bondage has been done away with, but yet people will just go to all lengths it seems to pull that bondage back into their lifestyles. They think they have to have some kind of a works religion to satisfy the ego. It has to be the ego because when you’re saved by Grace there’s no ego. There is no pride because we deserve none of it, and I know that I have to ask the Lord constantly, “Why have you seen fit to pour out such Grace on Iris and I?” I feel that the Lord has just blessed us so abundantly, but not because we deserve his Grace and blessing. We don’t deserve a nickel’s worth of it.

But, oh, the liberty that we have in Christ because of what He’s accomplished on our behalf. I think at this time we need to look at a verse in Colossians Chapter 2. It’s a verse that I use quite often and I love it because it just rings like a bell.

Colossians 2:13-14

“And you, (believers as members of the Body of Christ) being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, (as Gentiles we were just as lost as anybody could be) hath he(Christ) quickened (or made alive spiritually) together with him, having (already) forgiven you all trespasses; (how many? All of them from start to finish.) 14. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

Now isn’t that a beautiful way of putting it? He took the Law and all of it’s demands, and all of legalism, and just literally jerked it away and nailed it to His Cross. Picture that in your mind. As He hung there and was crucified for the sins of the world, the Law was crucified with Him. And it is now a dead system, and oh, the human race is constantly pulling it back out of the grave. Have you ever fooled with something that’s been dead for a while? It’s not pretty is it? Listen, that’s the way we must feel about legalism, and this is what Paul is trying to hammer home with these Galatians and people today. “Why do you go back with that weak and beggarly stuff that’s been done away with?” It’s been crucified. That thought reminds me of Romans Chapter 7, and let’s look at verse 4.

Romans 7:4-6

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; (or the work of the Cross) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5. For when we were in the flesh, (that old Adam. We were spiritually dead) the motions of sins, which were by the law,(remember all the Law could do was condemn. The Law always made whoever was trying to keep it, guilty. And yet that’s the very thing that people somehow like to resurrect and bring back into their lifestyle) did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Remember the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. That’s the two opposites) 6. But now (as a result of believing in our Gospel) we (believers) are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Do you see how plain that is? We’re not to be laboring under that old system of Law which is now crucified as far as God is concerned, it’s dead, it’s gone, and oh we saw that especially in our letters to the Corinthians. You remember that veil that was never taken away for Israel? They could never understand that the Law was now finished and done and that’s why they’re still trying to keep it today. But you and I know better. We know that the Law has been satisfied, set aside, crucified and put to death. Now back to Galatians Chapter 5. Also remember when I speak of the Law I’m not just talking about the Ten Commandments and Temple worship, BUT RATHER I’M TALKING ABOUT ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN ATTACH TO THE BEAUTIFUL GOSPEL WE BELIEVE FOR OUR SALVATION. THAT’S LEGALISM! Legalism is anything that you can make up your mind that you’re going to do and then go and do it.

Now when I speak of legalism I recall that Iris and I read a little book that took place back in southwestern Missouri. In fact every time we drive out east and cross that river we say, “Hey this is the river where that little fellow was the main character of the book we read.” But I’ll never forget the little fellow in the book was about 12 or 14 years old and he’d been kind of a little rascal, and he said, “Well I guess if I really want to please mama I’d better go and join the church.” Does that sound typical?

Now we say that with a smile, but listen how many adults today come to that same place? Well maybe it’s time I quit sewing my wild oats and I’d better settle down and I’d better go join a church.” What is that? That’s legalism. That’s doing something that you can make up your mind, “This is what I’m going to do!” Others will say, “Well I guess I should go and get baptized!” That’s the same thing. It’s still something that you can do, it’s a works religion, it’s legalism, and you could just as well take your sacrifices to some imagined temple someplace, because your accomplishment is the same end. Now reading on.

Galatians 5:1-2

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2. Behold, I Paul (now he always emphasizes his apostleship. We saw that in the Corinthian letters.) say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, (for salvation now remember) Christ shall profit you nothing.”

Now you’ve always got to remember in the context, what was the point of legalism that these Galatian believers were being subjected to? Well circumcision, because that was the main point of legalism in Judaism. So circumcision was the big point then – today we’ve got other things. Circumcision is not the point today that will lead people astray, but here at Galatia this was the crowning mis-teaching that they were being subjected to. And Paul says, “If you’re going to practice the Jewish rite of circumcision as a part of salvation then my Gospel how that Christ died for you and rose from the dead for you will profit you nothing!”

Now I’ve shaken people up over the years – I know I have when I say now don’t just limit that to circumcision. You can put anything in there that a man or woman can do when they add anything to Paul’s beautiful Gospel for salvation, I don’t care what it is. I’ve had people call and say, “My pastor said that unless I speak in tongues I can’t be saved.” Well let’s just put it in there so you can see, and this is no malice toward anyone.

“Behold I Paul say unto you that if you speak in tongues as a requirement for salvation then Christ shall profit you nothing.” Now I’ve got you thinking haven’t I? All right let’s use another word, baptism! Yeah, I see heads nodding all over the place.

“Behold I Paul say unto you that if you are baptized in water as a requirement for salvation then Christ shall profit you nothing.” If you have to tell God that you have to be baptized in order to be saved, then God’s going to tell you, “Sorry I’ll have nothing to do with you.”

Now that’s strong language and I know it is, but listen that’s what the Book is talking about. If you say, “Well I’m going to go and join a church,” and if you’re expecting that to somehow be part of your salvation then immediately you cancel the work of the Cross. That’s what the Book says, it’s not my idea. It would be great if we could do things like that for salvation. I wish I could tell people, “Go join a church and you’ll make it to heaven.” I remember an old neighbor of mine years ago and we were talking across the fence, and one of the local pastors had come out and told him if he would just come in and join his church and give $5.00 a year, he’d go to heaven when he died. And the old boy told me, “Now even I know better than that.” Well thank God there are still people a little smarter than these others. But listen the world is full of these crazy ideas, but they reject the simplicity of the Gospel. Now verse 3.

Galatians 5:3

“For I testify again (what does that imply? Hey, he’s said it more than once before) to every man that is circumcised, (in other words if you’re going to use this legalistic rite of circumcision as part of your salvation plus my Gospel in what Paul is implying) that he (that man) is a debtor to do the whole law.”

Now how many men have ever done the whole Law? Only one and that was Christ Himself. No one has ever been able to keep the whole Law as it’s impossible. So when people think they can, they’re just barking up the wrong tree. You cannot somehow or other gain salvation by doing something, and you’re not going to gain salvation by saying, “Yes I believe Christ died for me and rose from the dead, but I’ve also got to do this and that in order to finish the work of the Cross.”

If you do that then Christ shall profit you nothing. Why? Because God is a jealous God, that’s why. God is jealous of what He has accomplished on our behalf, and what is that? That at the Cross He finished every single demand of God on a sinful person. He would take all that guilt away from that person the moment he believes that Christ died and rose from the dead for his salvation. Now listen, when you really analyze it, isn’t it logical? When God has done so much, when God gave the very best that all of heaven and the Godhead had to offer. When God sent Him to earth, and put Him through the rigors of 33 years of life among sinful men. Then He went to the Cross, suffered and died, and then through the power of God rose from the dead, and then we say, “Well that’s still not enough!”

No wonder God gets upset, no wonder God can consign unbelievers to Hell. I had a call this morning and the person said, “How can God send good people to such a horrible place?” I said, “Look, you wouldn’t ask that question if you had a concept of how much God gave to save sinful men.” See it’s those who cannot understand the work of the Cross, and how much God literally gave up on our behalf, and then when it’s spurned He has every right that you can imagine to consign people to a lost eternity. That’s why. Now I hate to see people lost. I hate to think of a loved one as being lost, but I can’t make excuses for them because I know that God suffered to such an extent for the salvation of everyone that when they spurn it there’s nothing else that God can do. His hands are tied – He can’t come back and say, “Well I’ll give you a second chance.” That’s why it’s appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. And we’d better take what the Scripture says and believe it. Now verse 4. Boy this just keeps piling it on doesn’t it? It doesn’t get any better, it keeps getting worse.

Galatians 5:4a

Christ is become of no effect…”

Now think about that. Here we go through all these different things to somehow earn salvation by doing this and that, but we’ve never had any faith in the Gospel, and what’s the end result? Christ is become of no effect.) now that’s sad isn’t it? But it so true.

Galatians 5:4a

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law;…” (or legalism, or works)

A Scripture just came to mind in Romans Chapter 3 so let’s turn there for a moment. I guess that’s where we were this morning on the Inspirational Network wasn’t it George? Oh let’s look at it again. Verse 23.

Romans 3:23-24

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely (without a cost) by his grace through the redemption (or the process of buying us back) that is in Christ Jesus.” Now I’m going to skip verse 25 because of that great big word “propitiation.” I haven’t got time to explain it again in this lesson, but anyhow come down now to verse 26.

Romans 3:26a

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, (or fair) and the justifier (or the One who will declare that sinner justified) of him which (joins the Church? Speaks in tongues? Gets baptized? All these other things? No, but which) believeth…”

Now, I’m not an easy believer, and I never teach easy believeism, but what I do maintain is that when we totally believe that Romans 3:23 is speaking about us and that we’re sinners by virtue of us being sons of Adam. And when we believe that with all our heart and that the work of the Cross has done everything we need for salvation – then at that point God justifies us, He saves us, He declares us righteous, He places us into the Body of Christ, He sanctifies us, He glorifies, He forgives, He has His own system of baptism by the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 12:13a

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,…”

He does all this simply because we believe the Gospel for our salvation. See there’s no legalism tied to that, that’s pure Grace. Now let’s come back to Galatians Chapter 5.

Galatians 5:4

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; (or works) ye are fallen from grace.”

Now I know a lot of people think that they’ve been in Grace and fell out. No, that’s not what the apostle Paul is talking about. You haven’t been in and fell out, but what he’s really referring to is this. If you’re going to put all these attachments and amendments on the Gospel, then you have literally turned your back on Grace. You’re saying, “Thanks but no thanks I’ll work for it, I’ll take my chances;” and then you’re not in Grace. Grace is when we just simply throw ourselves at His feet. Grace says that there’s nothing that I merit. Grace says there is nothing that I can do.

When we talk about Grace I always like to talk about Israel on the shores of the Red Sea with the Egyptians right behind them, mountains on the left and right and the Red Sea in front of them. The Israelites are trapped with no place to go. Did God scream at Moses, “Tell the people to do something.” No, but rather God said, “Stand still!” Why? God would evidence His power. And as Israel by faith stood still, and didn’t try to do anything, but rather just waited for the Grace of God to open the Red Sea. And listen that’s where we are today. We are up against impossible odds of escaping. We are surrounded by the enemy, with a formidable Red Sea in front of us, and what does God say? Do nothing but BELIEVE the Gospel and God opens everything up. God breaks the chains of satanic power. God makes us a whole new person. Now verse 5.

Galatians 5:5

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”

Now I don’t want someone to misconstrue the word “Hope.” Hope in Scripture does not mean “I hope it rains tomorrow because we could use some.” No that’s not the hope of Scripture. The hope of Scripture is believing in an absolute fact or truth. And that is that the Gospel is true, it’s secure, and when we believe it we can claim all the promises that God has given in His Word. It’s not something like, “Well I hope I can get there.” We know that we have eternal life. So this whole idea through the Spirit is not just the hope of righteousness but it is that bonafide assurance that when we believe the Gospel the righteousness of Christ was imputed to us, it literally became that clothing of righteousness that Adam and Eve experienced, and what we find in Isaiah 61:10:

Isaiah 61:10

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,…”

402 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 34 - Grace Through Faith Plus Nothing - Pt 2

402: Grace Through Faith Plus Nothing – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 34

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 34

GRACE THROUGH FAITH PLUS NOTHING – PART 2

Now let’s pick up where we left off in the last lesson, and although we started in Galatians Chapter 4, we ended up in the Book of Genesis Chapter 21. Now Paul is going to use the two sons of Abraham as an allegory, and maybe we should go back and look at Galatians Chapter 4 for just a second as a kick-off point.

Galatians 4:22-24

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; (remember God had nothing to do with that birth) but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24. Which things are an allegory; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.”

Paul is going to use this allegory now in this age of Grace so keep all this in mind as we go back now to Genesis and pick up the account in Chapter 21. First we have the conception of the boy Ishmael by the slave girl Hagar and his birth. And we find that Hagar taunts Sarai because she was with child and Sarai wasn’t, and we find that Sarai just literally kicks her out, whereupon the Lord sent her back. Why does God send her back? Because we know 18 years later she’s going to go back to that same desert. But you see God’s always got the big picture in mind. God doesn’t look at the here and now necessarily, but He can leap thousands of years in Scripture as though it were a day, and that’s exactly what He did here.

I think this whole scenario in the episode of these two sons, one by the slave girl and the son of promise was programmed by God so that Paul could use it as a tremendous lesson for you and I today. Now that’s the way I look at Scripture. None of this comes by accident. All right, as we carry on, we find Isaac is 5 years old and is weaned, and Ishmael is about 18 and again that same attitude of rebellion and taunt come in and now we find in verse 9 of Chapter 21-

Genesis 21:9

“And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.”

In other words Ishmael was simply teasing that little 5 year old Isaac. And you know what teenagers can do with little `tail-enders,’ that’s what we call them. Ishmael was just making life miserable for little Isaac, and of course Sarah, who by then was 95, just couldn’t take it, and says –

Genesis 21:10

“Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.”

Have you got the picture? Get him out of here. Now I always make the point – does she say move them next door? Does she say “send them down the trail a half mile?” No sir, but rather, “out of sight, out of mind.” Now we know in reality that Isaac and Ishmael did come back together for the funeral of Abraham. But spiritually speaking we know that there was no union between Ishmael. Isaac of course continues on in the spiritual line, and gets a wife from the relatives up in Syria. Ishmael on the other hand marries an Egyptian, just a total diversion of the genealogy of these two young men. But the part that I really want you to see back here in Chapter 21 is what the Scripture says –

Genesis 21:10b

“…Cast out this bondwoman and her son for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son even with Isaac.”

Now remember this is more than just the thought of a mother or a woman, this is now the Word of God. “Cast out this bondwoman.” Now I think we’re ready to go back to Galatians Chapter 4, and put the whole allegory into common sense interpretation. Why did all this happen? Well of course there is more than one reason. But one of which was so that Paul could use this very typical setting in that Middle Eastern desert economy of these families, and now he can bring it to such a lesson for us today. Now let’s come back again to verse 24 of Galatians Chapter 4. These two boys, one born after the flesh, the other born as a result of promise –

Galatians 4:24

“Which things are an allegory: for these (2 young men) are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.”

So in reality what is spoken here as bondage. The Law! In fact come on over to Chapter 5 for a moment. We’ll be there later this afternoon in another lesson.

Galatians 5:1b

“…and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Now let’s see what the apostle Peter said about the Law. Come back to Acts Chapter 15, and pick up the text at that great Jerusalem counsel. This is when the Judaisers and the Jewish leaders, and that included Peter and the eleven, were coming down hard on the apostle Paul. Remember his message for teaching the Gentile believers was faith in the finished work of the Cross + nothing. But these at Jerusalem were trying to convince him that these Gentiles also had to practice circumcision and keeping the Law for them to be saved. (Acts 15:1-5) And we know that Paul adamantly refused to accept that.

And finally Peter wakes up, and I think the Holy Spirit gave him a big push, and he realizes that – “Hey, years ago up there in Caesarea, God used me to take the Word to a Gentile by the name of Cornelius.” We know that Peter witnessed the salvation of that Gentile, and again God had the long term in view, not the near, so God had Peter all primed and ready to come to Paul’s defense by using something that took place 12 years earlier. It doesn’t say 12 years here but chronologically that’s what it was.

Acts 15:7

“And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them. Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” Now look how Peter describes the Law in verse 10.

Acts 15:10

“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples (the believers up there at Antioch who had become believers of Paul’s Gospel) which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

Now goodness sake what was the yoke? The Law! The Law was a yoke of bondage. I’ve always made the point that living under the Law was severe. For example if the poor old High Priest goofed in one little detail, what happened? He was dead! I don’t know how much truth there is to it, but you’ve all heard the account that the High Priest actually had a rope around his ankle when he went in behind the veil. Now if that be true I can see why, because if he would have goofed with any part of that ritual on the Day of Atonement, he was a dead man. And of course the Jew realized that was always a possibility so they had a rope on his feet to drag him out. They certainly couldn’t go back behind the veil and carry him out. But the point I’m making here is that the Law was SEVERE! It was like a yoke on the neck of an oxen, and a yoke is never an easy burden to bear, and that’s what the Law was. All right now coming back to Galatians Chapter 4 once again. Paul is using that same analogy, that the Law was the flesh, it was like a yoke, it only brought in bondage. Now verse 25 of Galatians 4.

Galatians 4:25a

“For this Agar is (typically now in the allegory) Mount Sinai in Arabia,…”

Now I guess you’ve heard me teach that I felt the apostle Paul spent three years at Sinai. What one great event do you always associate with Sinai in Arabia? The Ten Commandments. Now, that’s what Paul says. Hagar is a picture of the giving of the Ten Commandments on Sinai. Now let’s go on.

Galatians 4:25b

“…and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.”

Now here is where you have to know chronology. You’ve got to know history. What is the date, approximately, of the writing of Galatians? About 60 AD. When was the Temple destroyed? 70 AD. So ten years before the Temple is destroyed, what is going on in Jerusalem? Temple worship! Sacrifices every day. Hundreds and hundreds of them. The Temple was the very center of all Jewish activity at the time that Paul is writing Galatians. Am I making myself clear? So that is why Paul can say that Hagar speaks of the Law as it was given at Sinai, which was still indicative of Temple worship at the time that Paul was writing this letter to the Galatians. It all makes sense if you understand the timing.

Galatians 4:25b

“…and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.”

Now what is that referring to? The heavy hand of the Law! They were still under the demand of bringing sacrifices, of circumcising their children and all these things. The Law was full speed ahead in Jerusalem. Now verse 26, and what’s the first word?

Galatians 4:26a

“But…”

One lady wrote and said, “That’s your favorite word.” Well, I guess maybe it is because it constantly shows that flip side. Whereas on the one hand Jerusalem was under the heavy hand of the Law and sacrificial worship and the Temple and all that and the flip side is what has now begun since Acts Chapter 9? The GRACE of God, without the Law. Now, you see they’re running in consort. That’s why I tell people constantly when they call me, “Look, for goodness sake don’t use the Book of Acts as a doctrinal base. The book of Acts is not a doctrinal book, it’s transitional from an historical point of God dealing with Israel to His turning to the Gentiles. That’s the Book of Acts. And just as soon as you try to go in there and dig out doctrine, you’re going to have problems. You take your doctrines for us to believe, Romans through Hebrews or Philemon, which are Paul’s letters and that’s where we get our basic doctrines. Acts is merely a book of transition. If I could just get people to see that! That answers so much confusion. The two economies are going to be running side by side for a period of time until the one drops away and the other takes over.

You’ve heard me say it on the program, I don’t know how many times, it’s just almost compared to a transition from one presidential administration to another. And I always like to use, because of their differences of ideology, Jimmy Carter’s administration and then Ronald Reagan’s. These two had totally different ideas and yet worked under the same Constitution. And so as soon as Ronald Reagan had won the election in November, up until the inauguration day in January, what’s going on in Washington? Are they passing a bunch of laws? Is there a lot being accomplished? No! Nothing! Everything just sort of comes to a standstill until we can make the transition from one administration to another.

Now, that’s the same thing that’s happening in the Book of Acts. You’re moving from that Jewish program, Temple worship, the Law, that Jesus was the Christ, the King, the Redeemer of Israel, and we’re moving over to Paul’s gospel of Grace through faith plus nothing. What a difference! Contradiction? No! Just a change of program. Now the same way, coming back to my two political administrations. Did they have to change the Constitution? No! Carter operated under the same Constitution that Reagan did. And so always take this into account that you don’t use the Book of Acts for a doctrinal book because you’re going to get thrown a curve almost every time. But you come into Paul’s letters and now that’s what follows the word “BUT” in verse 26.

Galatians 4:26

“But Jerusalem which is above (not the earthly Jerusalem where the Temple is still cranking out her sacrifices, but now we have a spiritual setting in the heavenlies) is free, which is the mother of us all.” Now, come with me back to Colossians, Chapter 1 and then we’ll go to Philippians Chapter 3.

Colossians 1:12-13

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet (or has prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13. Who (speaking of the Father) hath (past tense) delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Now where is the kingdom of His Son? Well, it’s in heaven. So we have now a heavenly base of operations. The Head of the Body is in heaven, and we are citizens of heaven. Now let’s go to Philippians Chapter 3. I hope you can tie all this together. The Temple at the time that Galatians is written is full speed ahead, I put it. The sacrifices are being offered, the Temple ritual is being followed, the priests are fulfilling all of the rituals every day. But at the same time since Paul has had his revelations, we have this total freedom of grace. Now let’s look at what Philippians says.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (citizenship. And where is it?) is in heaven;…”

How did it get there? When we’re translated into that kingdom of His dear Son, we became a what? A citizen of it. So where is our citizenship? Heaven! See the difference. It’s the Jerusalem which is above. Now let’s go back to Galatians Chapter 4.

Galatians 4:26

“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

For us Grace Age believers, we’re not tied to the Temple worship in earthly Jerusalem, we’re tied to the heavenly Jerusalem which is above and it’s free. FREE!! With total liberty. Now verse 27 and this where we come back to Ishmael and Isaac. After all, that’s where the allegory rested.

Galatians 4:27

“For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.”

Now my idea here is that this is speaking of Sarai, because she was the one who had never had childbirth. She was the one who was barren. Now the last half of the verse I have to feel, is speaking of Ishmael as being spiritually desolate. That has to be a reference to Hagar. And then again, look at the real world. Who ended up with far more progeny. The offspring of Ishmael or the offspring of Isaac? Ishmael did! The Arab world outnumbers the Jews today 50 to 1. And so it’s perfect. She that had a husband, which would have to refer to Sarai and Isaac, had far fewer in number than she who didn’t.

Galatians 4:28

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”

What kind of a promise? I’ll tell you what the promise was. That when Christ finished the work of redemption, what did God promise Him? That everyone who put their trust in what He had just accomplished would be His for all eternity. And God made the promise, that every believer would be His for all eternity. He didn’t die in vain. He’s not going to get near as many as we think He should, but the multitude that have become believers are His and no one can ever take them from Him.

Galatians 4:29

“But as then he that was born after the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (Isaac.) even so it is now.”

Has anything changed? No. It’s still the same. The unbelieving world outnumbers us, and I’m not going to put a percentage on it, but it’s by a tremendous amount. And what do they do? They are constantly trying to put us down. We’ve seen that in just the last few months. How that when a group will adhere to the Scripture, what does the world do? They just scream and holler. It’s always been that way. And it’s not going to change.

Galatians 4:30-31

“Nevertheless (in spite of everything) what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; (why?) for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

The part that I want you to remember as you go to bed tonight, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son because” what are they a picture of ? Legalism!! If I’m not known for anything else by now, it’s that I hate, I detest legalism, because God does. And so the whole admonition of Scripture now is, that once you understand this Gospel of Grace, what do you do with legalism? You cast it out, just exactly like Abraham and Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael into the desert. It was a beautiful picture. He didn’t build them a tent next door. He didn’t say, “Well let’s have consort even though we may not be in the same building.” No Sir! There had to be a total break between grace and legalism. And if you don’t remember anything else today, remember that. Cast out the bondwoman and her son for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Then Paul puts the cap on it in verse 31.

Galatians 4:31

“So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Paul just kept right on writing and so after he makes his point with the allegory, what does he say next?

Galatians 5:1a

“Stand fast therefore (because of what he has just shown us) in the (what’s the next word?) liberty…”

We Americans understand that more than any other people on earth, don’t we? Now, liberty isn’t license. It’s turning into that, sad to say, but it was never intended for liberty to be license. But nevertheless we stand now as free men and women under Grace and never, never give in to the horrors of legalism.

401 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 34 - Grace Through Faith Plus Nothing

401: Grace Through Faith Plus Nothing – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 34

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 34

GRACE THROUGH FAITH PLUS NOTHING

Our goal is to just simply teach the Word of God. We don’t want you to just sit and let other people throw stuff at you and you not know whether it’s right or wrong. I always like to give this example – I’ve been told that when a new employee goes to work for the US Treasury Department in view of going against counterfeit money, for the first 6 months all they do is study legitimate American bills. Well the idea is that if you know what the legitimate looks like, a counterfeit will be easy to spot. Well you can also use that same analogy with the Word of God.

If folks would just know what the Bible says, and know it forward and backwards then when this counterfeit stuff comes along you’ll see it right away. So that’s really my main purpose of teaching. Be able to separate the Scriptures between Law and Grace. Separate what was written to the Jew and what’s written to the Gentile Body of Christ. Be able to separate the writings of Paul the apostle to the Gentiles and the rest of the Scriptures. Then you’ll be able to see the Scriptures you can claim for your own, and the Bible will become exciting and just open up to you.

Now in our last lesson we got down to Galatians Chapter 4:15 so let’s just pick up where we left off. Now remember that the Book of Galatians is Paul proving that we’re not under the Law, but rather we’re under Grace. And Galatians is so appropriate even today. I think after our teaching today that you’ll agree with me that we’re totally under that beautiful freedom of Grace.

Galatians 4:15

“Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”

Now what’s Paul saying? That there was such a bond of affection between these pagan Galatians who had come under Paul’s Gospel, and the transforming power of it. These Galatians love the man in spite of his physical inadequacies, and they would have given their healthy eyes to replace his sickly ones. Let’s turn to II Thessalonians for a moment and I think this is typical of all of Paul’s converts with the exception of some of the Jewish believers. Whenever Paul went into a pagan community it was all steeped in idolatry, but when they heard his Gospel message here are the results –

I Thessalonians 1:9

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”

Now doesn’t that say it all? He came into this strange city with no fanfare, no trumpeting introducing him and he merely began to confront people with the Gospel of the Grace of God, how that Christ had died for their sins, and had been raised from the dead And they believed it, and they turned from their idols to the true and living God. Now in Galatians it was the same way. They had entered into such a joy of their salvation realizing that it was all of Grace.

And then just like it happens all the time today, I see it over and over how that when we have a new believer who comes under the power of the Gospel and they’ve come away from all this other stuff, and they enter into salvation by Grace, what happens? Oh they start getting bombarded with all of the pressure to come back to all that stuff. I had a phone call just this morning where the poor man was just beside himself because he’d come out of this false teaching, he had seen the truth of the Word the way we teach it, and believed it for salvation. But oh, the constant pressure to come back to where he was before. Listen this is not new. The Galatians were under the same thing. Paul had told them that they were in such a state of blessedness, that they would have plucked out their own eyes for him…and now –

Galatians 4:16

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

Can I show you what the truth did? Turn to II Timothy Chapter 1 for a moment. Now listen if you think you get discouraged sometimes and wonder why you or I or anybody else cannot have the results that we’d like to have, listen it’s always been that way, and that’s why I don’t get discouraged. My lands, when you come to Noah’s flood with probably a few billion that were on the earth at that time, how many were saved? Eight! You get to Jesus at the end of His 3 years of ministry in the area of Jerusalem and how many true believers were there? 120. Just 120 people. Hey that’s next to nothing. That’s the way it’s been all the way up through Scripture. So here again, look what happened to these converts that Paul had brought out of paganism. Now remember Galatia was in Asia Minor. Always remember geography when you read Scripture because geography and history all fit together with the overall working of the Holy Spirit. So look what happened here in II Timothy.

II Timothy 1:14-15

“That good thing (the Gospel) which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15. This thou knowest, (in other words it wasn’t just Paul’s idea. Even Timothy and Titus and his other helpers realized it.) that all they which are in Asia (and that would include Galatia) be turned away from me;…”

In other words how much effect did the letter have on the Galatians in the long term? Well almost none. Oh this little letter is so good for us, don’t get me wrong. It’s part of the Word of God, but so far as it’s impact on this Galatian congregation, it evidently fell on pretty much deaf ears because several years later when he writes to Timothy in the verses we just looked at he has to say by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.” Well you know what I think they did? They all succumbed to legalism, and consequently none of those churches survived. There isn’t one of those cities left today, they’ve all fallen into the dust of history, and all because they refused to stay with Paul’s simple Gospel of Grace. Now that’s sad isn’t it? But listen the world hasn’t changed a bit, it’s still the same way today. Oh they just almost ridicule this concept of Faith + Nothing? Just where in the world are you coming from? I’ll tell you where I’m coming from, the Book! Now back to Galatians Chapter 4 and looking at verse 16 again.

Galatians 4:16

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” That hasn’t changed either. Usually people don’t like the truth do they? Now verse 17.

Galatians 4:17

“They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.”

Now in order to explain that verse, let’s let the Scriptures do it for us by coming back to Chapter 1. See a lot of these verses are kind of hard to comprehend. Just what is the apostle driving at? See, what he was driving at was that they were beginning to believe these Judaisers who were coming in and demanding circumcision, and Law-keeping over against Paul’s pure Gospel of Grace. And what does he call it?

Galatians 1:6

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel;”

The Grace of Christ is what brought them out of their idolatry, but what were they slipping into? The influence of another Gospel. Now verse 7.

Galatians 1:7

“Which is not another; (it’s not something that is totally different, but a perversion) but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

And the perverters finally succeeded evidently, otherwise Paul wouldn’t have written to Timothy, “that all they which be in Asia have turned away from me.” Now coming back to Galatians Chapter 4. Now we’re going to see how the apostle Paul is going to miraculously use the Scripture to teach us a lesson. If the Galatians didn’t catch it at least let’s hope that we do. Now verse 18.

Galatians 4:18

“But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.”

In other words, when Paul was in their physical presence they could evidently hold everything pretty much together. But as soon as he left, then in would come the false teachers like hungry wolves, and they would just simply tear these little congregations apart. Now verse 19, and here is one of my very favorite portions of Scripture. I’ve always told my classes here in Oklahoma if you’re ever put on the spot to have a devotional for your Sunday School or one of your men or women’s group, then here’s the best one you could use. Oh this is a dandy, and it’s so easy to present.

Galatians 4:19

“My little children of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”

In other words, Paul is saying? “Just like the mother’s birth pains of bringing forth that beautiful innocent baby,” Paul felt these pagans who also had been transformed and had made a regularly burping process into the eternal things as a result of his Gospel. And Paul was thrilled by that, but now they were in trouble. They were listening to false teachers and he says –

Galatians 4:20

“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; (or raise my voice and get your attention so that you hear what I’m saying) for I stand in doubt of you.” Why? Because they were falling for this stuff. Now verse 21.

Galatians 4:21-22

“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, (you who desire to want to do something in addition to the Gospel) do ye not hear the law? 22. For it is written (in the Old Testament)that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.”

Now of course most of you know what’s he talking about, but there may be some out there that have never heard this before so for their benefit we’re going to go over it again, and that takes us back to the Book of Genesis Chapter 16. Now this is written within a couple of chapters of the Abrahamic Covenant, but years have been rolling by chronologically, and so Abram, as we still know him here, has already been waiting 36 years for the promises in Genesis 12 to be fulfilled. And that is that he would have a son, and out of that son would come a special race or nation of people.

Now as we read this don’t get too impatient with the old fellow, because I think most of us would have felt the same way, that God had forgotten that He had given him this promise. 36 years is a long time in any period of time in human history, and no child. Sarai has no signs whatsoever of ever being able to have a child. So finally she’s the one that gives up first in Chapter 16. Now, I’m not going to be able to finish this lesson in this half hour so the conclusion will come in the next lesson. Now as we read, Sarai and Abram’s names will not be changed to Sarah and Abraham until some time later.

Genesis 16:1-2

“Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.”

Now when we teach this I always make the point, who is totally lacking in this conversation? Well God is. God hasn’t said a word yet. All God has said back in Chapter 12 was:

Genesis 12:2a

“And I will make of thee a great nation,”

Now all this had to start with a son. But here in this conversation in Chapter 16, God hasn’t said a word, and that’s why when we get back to Galatians this whole scenario of Hagar and Ishmael is called, “after the flesh.” This is after the flesh, and when Isaac comes along it will be the, “promise of God.” Can you see the difference? God isn’t involved here at this time. Now I know sovereignly He is. I know that the Sovereign God had to be somehow or other controlling the flow of all these events, but nevertheless so far as the text is concerned God has nothing to say about having a child by the slave woman after the flesh. Now don’t forget that. Now verse 3.

Genesis 16:3-4

“And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. (so that she could have a child by him, and of course she does in verse 4.) 4. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.”

Now in verse 5, I guess we have to understand the female of the species, and we have to under the customs of the day, and according to the laws of the old Babylonian czar, if a wife could not have a child physically then it was perfectly moral and upright in their culture to have a child then by a servant or slave girl, and that’s what they practiced here. They were not going against morality of their day, but on the other hand God has not told them to do it this way. But they did it in the energy of the flesh, and now is with child, and looks what happens in verse 5.

Genesis 16:5

“And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom: and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised (that enters into the make-up of the species) in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.”

Now all of a sudden Hagar was literally making a fool out of Sarai, simply because Hagar was able to bare a child and Sarai wasn’t. And it just infuriated poor Sarai and she said, “the LORD judge between me and thee.” Now verse 6.

Genesis 16:6

“But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand: do to her as it pleaseth thee. (and bingo, what happened? Sarai kicks her out. Let’s just put it in plain English.) And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.”

Because after all Sarai was the boss I guess we’d say, she was the mistress, and so Hagar the Egyptian slave girl fled. Now remember Hagar hasn’t had her child yet. Now verse 7.

Genesis 16:7-9

“And the angel of the LORD (this was Christ or God the Son in His Old Testament appearance) found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”

Now that was a command from God. “Go back to Sarai and Abram.” No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Now verse 10.

Genesis 16:10-11

“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, (that is coming out of Ishmael) that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.”

So Hagar goes back to the tent of Abram or Sarai, and let me explain that. Iris and I had the privilege many, many years ago of visiting a Arab Sheik (I hope I’m pronouncing that right) out in the desert of the Negev and it was a very interesting situation. He served us in what he called his tent, and there really wasn’t much there. But out behind his tent were 4 smaller tents. While he was making coffee for us and we were sitting there on the ground, all of a sudden here come 24 of the prettiest little kids you can imagine. They were all pretty much the same size, and they just about smothered Iris. They tried to get the rings off her fingers and were looking at her hair, and she was just having a ball, and all of a sudden the old fellow just made one bark like a dog and those kids were gone. Well, after we’d had our coffee and we were able to roam around a little bit we saw those 4 tents out behind his tent and we found out that those were his four wives. So if you divide 24 X 4 then they had an average of 6 kids. But it just immediately set the setting for this lesson here.

Now when we speak of Hagar coming back and dwelling with Abram and Sarai, they weren’t in the same tent. The women had their own individual tent out behind Abram’s (and that’s evident when you read a little later when the Lord comes and says that they’re going to have a child). And then Sarai was standing in her tent door as the Lord was dealing with her. You know the account. Just picture that in your mind. Now come on over to Chapter 21. Ishmael is now nearly 14 years old, a typical teenager.

Genesis 21:1-3

“And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. (now remember Sarah is 90 and Abraham is 100) 3. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.”

Alright, do you see the difference? This child is a result of God’s promises. God has said you’re going to have a son, and you’re going to call his name Isaac which means laughter. So now we find that the promised child is finally making his appearance. The child of the flesh, Ishmael, is still with them, because that’s where God told Hagar to go, but now you see it’s coming to a head. Now reading on.

Genesis 21:4

“And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8. and the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.”

Now I always make a point that chronologically now Isaac has to be 5 years old when he’s weaned, and that of course makes Ishmael about 18 or 19.

400 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 34 - Galatians 4:1-14 - Part 2

400: Galatians 4:1-14 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 34

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 34

GALATIANS 4:1-14 – PART 2

We hope you’re taking your Bible and following along with us.

Acts 17:10-12a

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12a. Therefore many of them (Bereans)believed;…”

So now let’s begin our study in Chapter 4 and let’s just drop right down to verse 10. Remember how we closed the last lesson. These Galatians believers were turning back to the weak and beggarly things which tells you what the Law really was from man’s point of view. The Law was perfect from God’s point. It was absolute, it was righteous, but from man’s point of view it was weak and beggarly because it had no power to help people keep it. I hope that everyone understands that. The Law had absolutely no power to help people keep its demands, but this Gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is empowered by the Person of the Holy Spirit, and He is the One that now sets us in the right direction, so, consequently, we do not need the Law, we’re not under it because the Holy Spirit takes up where the Law leaves off. So now then verse 10, and Paul says that this is all a sign of their weakness by going back under legalism.

Galatians 4:10

“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” Now what group of people did that? Well, not only the pagans but also the Nation of Israel. The whole Israeli economy was based on the new moon, and on the Holy days, the high Sabbath, as well as the regular Sabbath, and everything was regulated according to the moon, signs, and so forth. And Paul says, “You’re going back under that same stuff? Listen we’re not under any particular day, or feast day or celebration day.” Now reading on in verse 11.

Galatians 4:11

“I am afraid of you, (he’s beginning to doubt the veracity of their profession of faith) lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”

Now what does Paul mean by that? I stressed, especially when we studied the two Corinthian letters, how much the apostle Paul suffered and deprived himself so that the Gospel might go to these Gentile communities. And now Paul says, “If you’re turning your back on everything that I have taught, that I have proclaimed and preached to you, and now you’re turning back under the Law, did I do all that in vain?” Well, listen it was bad enough in vain for Paul, but oh, how much worse in vain for what Christ had done.

You know I’ve been stressing that for the past several months. What a waste when Christ has already accomplished everything that needs to be done for every human being, and then they walk it under foot. People go on their merry way totally unconcerned and indifferent, and the Blood of Christ is counted as nothing. Oh indeed it was in vain for those who never believe. But for those of us who believe the Gospel for our salvation all of His suffering wasn’t in vain. Now look at verse 12 where he says is almost identical to what he said to the Corinthians and Philippians.

Galatians 4:12a

“Brethren, I beseech you, (Paul is not commanding here, because that wouldn’t be Grace, but rather he’s begging them, and he’s begging you and I tonight.) be as I am;…”

Now Paul was an apostle, but was he beyond the reach of the ordinary believer? No. Paul was a sinner saved by Grace just like you and I. So he says,

Galatians 4:12b

“…be as I am; for I am as ye are;…”

Paul didn’t put himself above the rank and file. He says, “I’m nothing more than a sinner saved by Grace like the rest of you.” Oh, granted these Galatians had come out of paganism, but what had Paul come out of? Judaism. And in the final analysis how much difference was there? None. They were all, as Paul says in Romans Chapter 3, without God – they are all on their way, and the fear of God was with none of them. So Paul goes on to say in verse 12 –

Galatians 4:12b

“…ye have not injured me at all.”

They couldn’t touch him, but he wanted them to do as he had taught them. Paul wanted to be their example. I want to come back to what Paul says early on in I Corinthians Chapter 4. A lot of people don’t even know this is in their Bible, and if they do know it they don’t like the fact that it is. But here in Corinthians there are a couple of verses that say the same thing regarding Paul’s example for us. Paul wrote this to all of his churches that they were to follow his example. Now today most people say, “We’ll follow Jesus.” But that’s not what the Holy Spirit writes through the apostle Paul. Paul says we are to follow him, because who is Paul following? He’s following the ascended Christ, and we follow Paul.

I Corinthians 4:16

“Wherefore I beseech (beg) you, be ye followers of me. (Do you see how plain that is?) 17. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, (Timothy) who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”

Remember everything that Timothy knew, he learned from Paul. So everything is going out from this one apostle. Barnabas, Silas, Titus and all of Paul’s helpers learned everything from this one apostle. So he says –

I Corinthians 4:16

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”

I Corinthians 11:1

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

Now come all the way over to the Book of Philippians Chapter 3. Now remember Paul had a real warm place in his heart for the Philippians. Never a word of criticism in this letter, and these Philippians had loved the apostle so much. Remember Paul nearly died in Philippi, and they nursed him back to strength. But, look what he says –

Philippians 3:17

“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”

They had experienced God’s saving Grace, and they had suffered for the sake of the Gospel, and had given up so much for the Gospel and so Paul tells them to “to be willing to follow me for the sake of the Gospel.” Now as we come back to Galatians 4 let’s look at verses 11 and 12 again.

Galatians 4:11-13

“I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 12. Brethren I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. 13. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14. And my temptation (testing) which was in flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.”

So they immediately recognized that the apostle was the emissary of Christ. Now come back with me to II Corinthians and I emphasized this in our Corinthian study, but I don’t want you to forget it. As I said in an earlier lesson, Paul is castigated, he is rejected, and ridiculed many times, but look what he says in II Corinthians 11:5. Remember this theme runs all the way through his epistles. This is why he is the major writer of the New Testament. There was someone recently who sent me an article with the argument that Luke was a Jew. I’ve always put it on the idea that when Paul said that Israel had more advantages than any other group of people because unto them was committed the Word of God.

Romans 3:1-2

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”

Well I’ve always used those verses as the basis for my claiming that Luke must have been a Jew because otherwise Paul couldn’t have written that. Because when you take the gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts that is a goodly portion then of the New Testament, and Luke wrote them both. Well if Luke was a Gentile then Paul could not have rightly written by inspiration Romans 3:1-2. Luke had a Roman name but so did Saul. Saul was a Jewish name, but what was Paul? That was a Roman name. So there were many Jews of that time that had Jewish and Roman names, so Luke was probably one of those. But anyway that was just something that I happened to have thought of although it does fit with this lesson. Now II Corinthians Chapter 11 and verse 5. Look what Paul says again.

II Corinthians 11:5

“For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.”

I don’t know what the average person thinks, but when you read that term “the very chiefest apostle,” who do you think of? Peter. Of course Peter was the spokesman and leader of the 12 disciples for the Nation of Israel. And when you go back into Acts Chapter 2 and 3 when those Jews sold all their goods and transferred it into cash, at who’s feet did they lay it? Peter. So Peter was the spokesman, he was the authority of the Twelve. So I’m sure this is what Paul is relating to especially since some in the congregation thought Peter was the only authority.

So here in verse 5 Paul says, “I was not a whit behind Peter in authority.” Not very long ago I had a thought that I’ll share with you. These various opposers of Paul and his apostleship – I’m sure their argument always was, “But Peter and the others had 3 years with Jesus. They spent 3 years with Him going up and down the roads of Palestine, you didn’t.” Paul may not have spent 3 years in Palestine, but he spent 3 years with, I think, a private tutor from the Lord Jesus Himself in Arabia. So again even in time spent with the Lord, he’s not one whit behind Peter. And that’s why it had to be 3 years at Mount Sinai, because surely it didn’t take that long just to learn the things that he was going to be preaching. So in order to give him the authority with the full time spent with the Lord, I think now that’s what he spent 3 years in Arabia for. Now let’s look at verse 23.

II Corinthians 11:22-23

“Are they (Peter and the eleven) Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? (to be a son of Abraham this was the crowning bragging rights of a Jew) so am I. (so they have nothing on Paul there.) 23. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.”

Then Paul goes on to show how much he had suffered for them and us tonight. I’m sure he told them, “You mean I went through all of this in vain?” And look at what he suffered.

II Corinthians 11:24

“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.”

Which was 39. Now listen, if you understand scourging which this was, usually a man could not take 39; he would die. So usually they had to stop short of 39, but he took the 39 on 5 different occasions without benefit of antibiotic or hospital care. So how this man suffered.

II Corinthians 11:25-27

“Thrice (3 times) was I beaten with rods, (that was sort of like the American kid they caned in one of the foreign countries a few years ago. And remember the outcry that it was brutal and inhuman, but this apostle went through that 3 times.) once was I stoned, (and we know the account of that up there in Asia Minor) thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, (the man was human. He got tired just like we do. He hurt, he ached, of course he did.) in hunger and thirst, in fastings, often, in cold and nakedness.”

Then Paul comes down to Chapter 12 and repeats again why he can write the things that he writes and we can just literally rest on them.

II Corinthians 12:11

“I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles (and again I think he’s making reference to Peter.) though I be nothing.” Now reading Galatians 4:13 again.

Galatians 4:13

“Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.”

Paul is always bringing up the fact that he passed on to them that which he had received first from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul also brings up the fact that he is at the head of that long line of sinners saved by Grace that comprised the Body of Christ as we see in I Timothy.

I Timothy 1:15-16

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (or first. Chief here is like the chief of a tribe, or a governor. It means first not the worse.) 16. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Now back to our text in Galatians. Let’s read verse 14 of Galatians 4.

Galatians 4:14

“And my temptation (I think the word testing is a better word here) which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.”

Again go back to II Corinthians Chapter 12. We may have new listeners who have never heard this before. What was the apostle Paul’s testing? That three times he asked the Lord to take it from him. But the Lord didn’t heal him, but the Lord answered him. The setting for this was in Asia Minor at Lystra when Paul was stoned and left for dead 14 years earlier, and was caught up into the third heaven right into the abode of God. He then wrote that eyes had not seen or ears heard the things that God has prepared for them that love Him. So now he comes back from that experience and says –

II Corinthians 12:6-8

“For though I would desire to glory, (or brag. We have no idea what Paul saw in glory) I shall not be a fool; (God had told him he couldn’t tell about the experience) for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, (withhold telling about heaven although the pressure was beyond imagination) lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be or that he heareth of me (can you see the danger of knowing someone who had actually been to glory and could tell what he saw? My goodness the world would beat a path to his door. So that’s why God had to tell him that he couldn’t reveal or share what he had seen.) 7. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, (lest Paul should get boastful and puffed up, not for what he had seen in glory, but even for these tremendous revelations that God had given him. This was enough to give anybody the big head.)there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, (and for what purpose?) lest I should be exalted above measure. 8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”

We don’t know exactly how all of this came about, but we do know that God permitted Paul to suffer an affliction, much like he did Job. God didn’t inflict it, but rather He permitted Satan to do it. Paul asked the Lord three times to take this affliction away from him. Now I’m sure it must have been an eye affliction, and I’m sure some will disagree with me. I think his affliction was a typical middle eastern eye disease. It would matter, and flow, and it was awful to look at, so the apostle must have literally said, “Now Lord how can people stand to look at me? How can I stand up and preach to these people when I look so awful? ” But God says what?

II Corinthians 12:9

“…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness….”

I’m sure God says, “Now Paul that’s when I can use you.” You know I’ve always pointed out that Moses is a good example of that. God took Moses to the back side of the desert and there he was a sheep herder for 40 years. Have you ever been around sheep? They don’t smell very good. Also there weren’t many people around him, and on top of that Joseph of Egypt made it so plain to the brethren when they came down to Goshen for them not to tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds, because a shepherd in the eyes of an Egyptian was an abomination. In other words for all practical purposes Moses was an Egyptian, at least that’s the culture he had been raised in for 40 years. Then to look at himself and smell himself and say, “I’m nothing but an abomination.” Then God says, “OK Moses now we’re ready to use you, let’s go to Pharaoh.”

So here you have the same thing in Paul. He would have liked to have been something nice to look at. Paul probably would have liked to have been a big handsome Jew like King Saul was, but he wasn’t. But look what God told him.

II Corinthians 12:9

“…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

So it was in that weakness with this affliction of the flesh when Paul thought he was unfit to go into these pagan sophisticated people, especially when he was in a place like Mars Hill when he was among all the big wheel philosophers, and here he is with this affliction that was not very nice to look at. So he must have pleaded with the Lord to please take this away from him so at best people would not be turned off by what they see. But God says, “Paul, that’s not the name of the game. The name of the game is your message and the power of my Spirit.”

399 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 34 - Galatians 4:1-14

399: Galatians 4:1-14 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 34

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 34

GALATIANS 4:1-14

Now back to the Book of Galatians Chapter 4 and we’ll pick up with verse 6. Now remember what we just saw in the last lesson, that when God, at the proper time, at the exact moment, made of the woman, came into the human experience at His first coming and went the way of the Cross that He might redeem not just Israel, but the whole human race. And now there is not a soul living that hasn’t gotten the opportunity for salvation.

Here in this verse he’s going to come back to show these Galatians, as well as ourselves, the opportunity that we have as believers. Now he’s not talking about salvation, but rather our position after salvation, and what a great thing it is to enjoy these doctrinal truths even short of glory itself. You know I’ve said so often that salvation isn’t just a fire escape, but most people think of it as such. They want to get saved so that they won’t go to Hell. Well that’s all part of it, but that’s not the most important part. The most important part is God is with us here and now, and He can help us avoid all the pitfalls of life. My goodness, I’ve told you before that I’m not a counselor, but people call and you wonder how can they get into such horrible circumstances.

Well it’s because they evidently never understood that the answer to all of life’s dilemmas are right here in this Book. It’s all in here, and all we have to do is be obedient to the things of God and we’ll avoid most of those. I won’t say we’ll avoid them all because after all we’re flesh and human, but we can avoid so much if we just understand our position as believers. And as the Lord said in His earthly ministry that He came to give us life and so that we might have it more abundantly. And that holds, this is still His whole concept that we can have eternal life, but even in the physical we can have it more abundantly.

Galatians 4:6

“And because ye are sons, (sons of whom? Well sons of God – we’re now the born ones as a result of our salvation. And since we’re sons) God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

When it comes to the spiritual, God is the One who precipitates all the action. We don’t! You know recently I had a chance to visit with an Orthodox Jew and it was a thrilling experience (with his black robed clothes, steeped in the Law of Moses). My we just had a royal time. I’ll never forget that I brought him up in his memory to when Israel stood on the shores of the Red Sea, and I asked him how much could those Israelites do? Well he just sort of looked blank. I said, “They did nothing! The Egyptian army was behind them, mountains on the right, obstacles on the left, and the Red Sea in front of them. And did God say, “Well hurry up and do something?” No. He didn’t even tell them to get down and go through some rituals and gyrations and all of this, but rather all He told them was what? “Stand still, don’t do anything.”

Just wait for the power of God. And what happened? The Red Sea opened up, and He led them through on dry ground. You see it’s the same way today. People try to do this and that, they work, and they attempt to please God, and they try to keep the commandments, and they want to do, do, do, but God keeps saying, “Stand still.” Don’t do anything but believe the Gospel for your salvation, that it’s all been done for you. So here again because of our position after believing faith, God is the One who precipitates the action.

Galatians 4:6b

“…God hath sent forth the Spirit (the Holy Spirit of promise) of his Son into your hearts, (notice it’s the heart, and not the denomination or church building. In other words, you don’t pick up the Spirit when you walk through the door on Sunday morning, but rather the Spirit is in the heart of every believer.) crying, `Abba, Father.'”

Now we have that full privilege of approaching God as our heavenly Father. The unsaved world can’t do that. Oh they can but they won’t accomplish anything by it. But you and I as believers can come right into the throne room now and call Him Father. As Paul teaches we can come with all of our petitions, and requests. Nothing withheld, not on our merit, but because of that finished work of the Cross. So here we have our position as born ones because of our salvation and then immediately God does the doing by sending forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts and in response to that, through the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, we have every right in the world to call Him, Abba Father. Now look at verse 7 –

Galatians 4:7

“Wherefore thou art no more a servant, (slave) but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Remember how many times Paul likes to use that word, “wherefore.” I don’t think you ever find that word in Peter’s preaching, or even in the Lord’s ministry. But Paul uses it over and over. Why? Because Paul’s is a progressive revelation. He is constantly building and so when he’s covered this ground he says “wherefore” or “therefore.” And he’ll go a little further and he’ll stop and will say, “wherefore” or “therefore.” Well, here’s another one. Now then he says “wherefore,” because of all he’s unveiled in these previous chapters. He says you’re not even a little child that’s under tutors, but a what? A Son. A full-blown son in full partnership with the Father.

Now again I think I did this in the last taping. I’ll never forget one of the first times we went to Israel, and this goes back a few years. Iris had a lot of souvenirs to pick up for friends and relatives. So she waited until we got to this one huge souvenir store and there were very few customers in there that day. In fact, we were the only ones in there that day. Here was this little 12 or 13 year old boy behind the counter and Iris had all of her stuff collected and so they start adding up. And she begins to bargain. And let me tell you she is the world’s best! And she kept bringing that kid down and down and finally he just put his hand on the counter and said, “That’s it.” I could tell that the father was sitting over there in a little room, through a door. And so I was seeing all of this go on and I was being amused. So I go back to the old gentleman and said, “Do you speak English?” And he said, “Oh yes.” And I said, “Are you going to let that little fella do that?” And you know what his answer was? He said, “He’s never lost a dime yet!”

He knew what he was doing. He had become a full partner in the business and the father just let him go, even though he was up against a pretty good bargainer. And so here it is. We’re no more a little kid under tutors now as believers, we are in a full-blown position as the final tutored son of these parents. We are a full heir. And if you’re in that place of maturity that adoption has placed you, then you’re an heir. Can you imagine how many young people just almost revel at the fact that they are an heir of some wealthy rich grandfather and they are almost sub-consciously waiting for the old gentleman to pass on, so that they can cash in on all of his wealth because they know they are an heir.

But listen, we’ve got something far better! I don’t have a rich uncle or anybody that I can wait for them to die. But listen, I can be anticipating this one. Because I am a joint heir. You as a believer, are a joint heir with God Himself. Now let’s go back to Romans Chapter 8, and this isn’t a slip of Paul’s pen. He says it over and over that this is part and parcel of Pauline doctrine. And here it is in Romans. You see, I like to use more than one portion because I’ve accused people sometimes of building all their doctrine on one or two verses. There isn’t any thinner ice anywhere in the world than to do something like that. That’s why I try to use as much Scripture as possible. This wasn’t just a unique point in Paul’s writing. It’s everything else that he’s written.

Romans 8:14

“For as many (or all of you) as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Listen, that’s very exclusive to us. I get a kick out of the Biblical Archeological Review letters of the editor. Because some of these people write in and condemn people for being exclusionists. Of course we are, because the Bible is! And what’s it excluding here? Lost people are not led by the Holy Spirit. They’re out there on their own under the power of the god of this world. But believers are led by the Spirit of God. That’s one of the indications that we have true salvation.

I had a letter the other day and it was a good question. “How can I know that I’m truly saved?” It’s a good question. I wrote back and said, “There are several ways: 1. Do you have a hunger for the Word of God? If not I doubt if there’s any true salvation because it just follows like daylight following dark, that when we become a child of God we hunger after His word. 2. Do you enjoy being with God’s people? If you don’t, then there’s something wrong and I would re-examine my so-called salvation experience. 3. Do you enjoy prayer time, and taking your needs to the Lord? If not, I doubt if there’s any relationship there.”

But whatever, it’s a thing of the heart and I can’t look on the heart nor can anyone else, but you can self-examine. And I think it’s Peter who wrote, “make your call and election sure.”Well, what did he mean by that? Don’t work a little harder, but just simply on the light of Scripture, examine yourself. Are you just depending on something that you have done, or are you depending on a solid faith in the Gospel wherein the power of God has been exercised? And when that happens, here it comes, as we saw in Galatians and now here in Romans, the Holy Spirit comes into our life and He begins to lead and guide and direct to the place where we don’t have to have rules and regulations. The Spirit does that. Now here again, if we’re led by the Spirit of God then we are the sons, or the born ones of God. That’s one of the proofs of footing. Now let’s go to verse 15 and again he’s talking to believers here.

Romans 8:15

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to (what?) fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.”

Believers don’t have to walk around in constant fear. We have respect for God and we revere Him, but we don’t have to fear Him. Because we know He loves us. In fact, I’ll never forget, and I think I mentioned this on a program a long time ago, somebody sent me a tape of their pastor’s Sunday morning sermon. I learned a bunch from it. And that was that in John Chapter 13, where Jesus was dealing with Martha and Mary and Lazarus, all through that chapter, it wasn’t how much Lazarus and Mary loved Jesus, but what was it? How much He loved them! And it was an eye-opener! And this is what people have to realize. It isn’t dependent upon how much I love Him, although we’re certainly going to love Him. But you see, the thing that’s important is that we realize how much He loves us! Enough to die and suffer for us. Now then, when we have that kind of a salvation, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.

Now do you see how that flies in the face of these people who say you can never really know? They say you can hope so or you can try and do the best you can, but you’ll never really know? That’s not what my Bible says. My Bible makes it so plain and mine is no different than anybody else’s. But it makes it so plain that we can know that we have passed from death unto life. And here is another one. It’s the witness of the Holy Spirit that we have that salvation, we have that we are children of God. Now let’s look at verse 17.

Romans 8:17

“And if children, (true sons of God by virtue of our saving faith) then heirs; (not of some rich grandfather, or of some corporation president with millions and millions of shares. We’ve got something far greater) heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

That’s just what it says in Galatians. We are heirs of God and now to bring it even tighter, we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Now, I don’t have to tell adults like you what it is to be a joint-heir. If any of you own a home or property and both of you are owners, what are you? You’re joint-heirs. You both have rights to that property. If one of you pass off the scene, the property belongs to the one that’s left behind, regardless of which one goes first. Now the whole concept of joint heirship is part and parcel of the Christian experience. We are heirs of God because we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. That may mean we will suffer with Him and we may also experience that glorification with Him. Now back to Galatians once again. And verse 7 is in complete agreement with Romans Chapter 8.

Galatians 4:7

“Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” We are a son. A one in full heirship – an heir of God through Christ. Now verse 8.

Galatians 4:8

“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are not gods.”

Now I’ve stressed, especially since our time in the Mediterranean last spring, that as we re-traced so many areas in which the apostle Paul labored in, and we saw the gross idolatry, the gross mythology, these are the places where Paul earned his converts, and how the man must have been constantly subjected to all the immorality of that ancient world. It’s beyond me. And yet he never slowed down or stopped proclaiming the Gospel and out of that gross immoral pagan world, he got trophies for God’s Grace. I was explaining this to someone Sunday afternoon, we had a group of college kids, and they had a long list of questions.

And one of the points that I made was, isn’t it amazing that these new converts of Paul’s Gospel came out of the immorality of the pagan worship of gods and goddess. They came into a salvation experience and almost immediately had to be martyred for their faith. Now think of that. They hadn’t been saturated for 50 years in Christianity like you and I have been. But even as new believers just recently saved out of all that background and they died for their faith. They didn’t go back into their paganism although I think it would have been awfully easy to do.

But you see, if you look at that and then compare that with Christianity today, how many professing Christians today, even after having been taught and tutored for 25 -40 years, if that kind of persecution came that their life was on the line, how many would stay with it? You ask yourself, how many? Next Sunday morning when you’re sitting in church and I don’t care what church it is, and I can do the same thing with mine, you look out over that congregation, how many, if all of a sudden a heavy hand of persecution would fall and we would have to literally give up our life for our faith; how many of that congregation would go with us? I think we would be kind of surprised.

But you see this is what Paul is talking about, that all of his converts not only in Galatia, but also in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Rome and any other place that Paul ministered and had these converts out of paganism, they immediately came under the pressure of persecution. We covered that when we were back in the Corinthian letters. This is the main reason that he didn’t really encourage marriage because it’s so much easier to die for your faith if you’re single than if you have a loved one to worry about. I think that was his only reason for being against marriage. But here look at it –

Galatians 4:8b

“…when ye knew not God, (they were steeped in pagan darkness Paul says) ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.” See, they worshipped these pagan gods who, by nature when you boil everything down, they weren’t gods at all. They were nothing but a piece of wood or stone, but now verse 9, and here is another one of my favorite words.

Galatians 4:9

“But (they’re no longer in that paganism, they’re no longer worshipping wood and stone, but) now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, (God knows them personally now because they’re His. They’re His children and Paul says if you are in such a glorified position ) how turn ye again to the weak, and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”

Now what does it mean to be beggarly? Well just exactly what the word implies. It’s to be just sort of groveling, and just begging for mercy. And that’s all these things were, they were beggarly, and weak and had absolutely no power to lift these people out of their bondage, and out of their paganism. Then why turn back to something that is no good? Now we’ve been studying the Book of Hebrews in our Muskogee class, and all through the Book of Hebrews, what’s the comparison? The things that were good, and they were. But we’ve got things that are so much better. A thousand times better, and so here Paul is responding, “Why, when you’ve had it so good, you’re feet have been planted on something solid, you’re an heir with God, you have the Holy Spirit to direct you, then why turn back to that which is beggarly?” Well what’s he talking about? The Law, legalism, and legalism is beggarly. It is a dust groveling system, and if people could see that. Legalism is just putting people literally crawling in the dust, and begging that, “Somehow I can make it.”

You know just before we left for Indiana last week I had quite an experience. In our mail was the sweetest letter from a dear lady who had come out of some of the most rigid religious background and I won’t even name it here. This lady lives in Pennsylvania and she had just gloried now in the Grace of our message. So while in Indiana I was sharing some of the points of the letter with my crowd in Indiana and who should walk up at break time but this very lady who had come clear from Pennsylvania. Now you talk about somebody that was now living in such freedom, and such Grace, and such joy, she was so excited, and I’m excited for her.

But listen, this was just the opposite of what the Galatians were doing. The Galatians were going back into that stuff, if I may call it that. And they were giving up their freedom and joy and letting themselves get wrapped up again in legalism and Law-keeping. Paul says how, “can you desire again to be in bondage?” It is hard to understand that isn’t it? And yet that’s the human race. Even tonight the whole human race for the most part is just simply groveling in legalism, and good works trying to keep the Ten Commandments, and not realizing that when Christ died, He paid it all. And all that I can hope for is for God to open the hearts of people to the fact that Christ has paid it all.