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Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16
Paul did not gain great popularity when he rebuked the Galatians for turning away from their first faith in Christ. Human nature hasn’t changed much—we still get angry when we’re scolded. But don’t write off someone who challenges you. There may be truth in what he or she says. Receive his or her words with humility; carefully think them over. If you discover that you need to change an attitude or action, take steps to do it.
Many folks today don’t want the preacher to tell the truth from the pulpit. They would much rather he would say something complimentary that would smooth their feathers and make them feel good. We all like to have our backs rubbed, and there is a lot of back-rubbing from the contemporary pulpit today rather than the declaration of the truth.
Paul was still preaching the same message, earnestly contending for the truth of the gospel. If this made him their enemy, then their position was dangerous indeed, while the Galatians were turning against the Lord, the gospel of grace, and the messenger who brought them the news of justification by faith.
But Paul was now being treated as an enemy. Why? The only possible reason would be that the Galatians didn’t want to hear the truth. The Galatians needed to realize that they were in real danger of believing a lie rather than the truth of the gospel.
The false teachers were claiming to be religious authorities, but they had selfish motives. They were anxious to win people’s favor, but their only desire was to win the people over to their side—and at the same time alienate the people from Paul and thus from Christ. Once the Galatians became committed to the false teachers, the roles would be reversed, and the Galatians would be forced to pay attention to and even provide money and lodging for them. They would be in bondage to the false teachers and all their wrong teachings.
Those who told people what they wanted to hear became popular through their flattery. Those who love the truth would always point out that the flatterers were not concerned for their hearers’ good; those who told them the truth openly were those who loved them.
Lord Jesus, help us to know the truth and set us free from the bondage of sins. We would like to be humble and meek in our characters so that we are more teachable by Your truth. Amen.

Daniel Ooi

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