Pastor Daniel's Letter (FBC Gallatin Warning from Galatians)
As we’ve been going through Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches, I’ve been struck by how these churches so quickly got off track when false teachers come to town. I mean, if the ministry of these churches were established by some less than competent Christian teachers to begin with, I can see how they might fall into error, but we’re talking about the Apostle Paul himself and Barnabas making an impact in these churches at their inception!
These men were not second-class teachers, but the cream of the crop. And even with their involvement in these new churches, the Christians in the churches quickly deserted and were foolishly bewitched and duped. And as we will continue to see this next month, these Galatian believers were not fake Christians in mere profession alone, they were brothers and sisters in Christ as Paul refers to them. Furthermore, as we’ve already seen, they had received the Holy Spirit in their conversions when they first believed, and were justified by faith alone in Christ alone by hearing this powerful Gospel at their conversions.
What should our church take from this about 2000 years later? Well, the primary lesson I think we must heed is that the Galatian problem should humble us. And when I say us, I mean me and pastor Wood first as the pastors of this church, as well as every other member of our church as well. We cannot presume that just because Christian ministry is being done at FBC and has been done for over a hundred years here, that we will all just continue along trusting the Gospel of Jesus Christ unhindered.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I hope we do, but I’ve seen truths in this letter that should humble us all and drive us back into the savior’s arms to trust the Gospel again and again and to not drift away to other things. So, each and every one of us should be humbled by this letter. If Paul could preach and the church could scatter away from the Gospel he preached, then the pastors of FBC, including every other pastor in the world, should not presume that Gospel teaching is going to stick into the hearts of every listener, and should not take for granted or assume the Gospel, but continue to preach it and point other Christians back to the Gospel week by week. And they must do this so that they might not be like the Galatians who began with the spirit, but then drifted and graduated on to being perfected by the flesh and substituted false works-based gospels instead of the real thing.
The good news that we have going for us is that we have the benefit of reading the Galatian problem ourselves, and diving into it in our series Gospel Centered Justification. I don’t want you to miss that we get the blessing of being able to learn from their problems in these churches, and to be pointed back to the Gospel by the Apostle Paul himself as we study and dig into his letter together. Let us all depend more on God’s word and expectantly approach it to receive truths that can not only save our souls, but also rescue us from being bewitched by the Devil like these early Galatians churches.
Pastor Daniel Pelichowski