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The Early Critics of Christianity

Written by: John Sernaque

Call to Worship

Galatians 1: 6-7

1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Trouble in Galatia—

In almost every church there were some members who were Jews by birth. To these converts the Jewish teachers found ready access, and through them gained a foothold in the churches. It was impossible, by scriptural arguments, to overthrow the doctrines taught by Paul; hence they resorted to the most unscrupulous measures to counteract his influence and weaken his authority. They declared that he had not been a disciple of Jesus, and had received no commission from Him; yet he had presumed to teach doctrines directly opposed to those held by Peter, James, and the other apostles. Thus the emissaries of Judaism succeeded in alienating many of the Christian converts from their teacher in the gospel. Having gained this point, they induced them to return to the observance of the ceremonial law as essential to salvation. Faith in Christ, and obedience to the law of ten commandments, were regarded as of minor importance. Division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. {6BC 1108.1}

Paul’s soul was stirred as he saw the evils that threatened speedily to destroy these churches. He immediately wrote to the Galatians, exposing their false theories, and with great severity rebuking those who had departed from the faith (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 188, 189). {6BC 1108.2}

Creeping compromise in the church is as prevalent today as it was during Paul’s writing of his letter to the Galatians. False doctrines and teachings infiltrate the church through the pulpit and the pews. These are dangerous times when the church follows the traditions and doctrines of men and not of the Holy Scriptures. Are we to follow men or God? There are over three thousand Christian denominations, and counting, in existence today. So called Christians select what suits their lifestyle and rationalize to others how this is the word of God. They treat the Bible as it were an A La Carte menu that they can choose from, to suit their taste. They use their “higher reasoning” to qualify what is and what is not God’s Word. They no longer need God’s wisdom, as they are capable of reasoning for themselves, thus making themselves to be like the Most High. They do, as they will. Sound familiar. Satan told Eve “you will not surely die.” God told Eve “you will surely die.” Satan added the one little word “not’ into God’s word, introducing sin into the world and the downfall of man. To whom are you going to listen? Whom do you love? Will you do what is well pleasing in the sight of God or of man? God has told us He will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask. Seek to know His will and believe you will be led and guided and be blessed in doing His will. The Holy Spirit will help you in understanding His plans for you and the working of His providence. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. I pray that you choose wisely.

Our kind and gracious heavenly Father,

We come before You in thanksgiving, praise, and prayer. We are grateful to be Your children and part of the Royal Family. We are grateful for Your love and grace. We thank You for the Holy Scriptures given to us as our guide in life. We thank You for Your Spirit and Your Light. We pray for the continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us and keep us on a safe path. We pray for Your Power from on High. We pray that You grant us Your strength, courage, wisdom, understanding, and discernment to do what is right, favorable, and well pleasing in Your sight. We pray to fulfill Your will for us in our life, and let not our will, but let thy will be done. Many false teachings and doctrines preached in the different denominational churches are not of Your Word. We pray to discern error from truth that we are not deceived or led astray from our salvation. We depend on You for wisdom; let this mind be in us, which is in Christ Jesus. Help us from compromising as the world does that we are true and faithful Christians. We pray that we can be in this world but not of this world. Let Your word be a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. We pray You keep us on the strait path that leads to the heavenly kingdom. Please do not allow us to stray to the left or to the right. We pray to be Your true and faithful servants in all we do. Use us, dear Lord that we may honor and glorify Your name. Stir up our souls as You did for Paul to correct those in need of correction from exposing false theories. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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