WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 8TH, 2021
TOPIC: CONTINUE IN THE TRUTHS YOU’VE LEARNT
BY T. O. BANSO
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1 New King James Version).
It is believed that Paul founded the churches in Galatia during his first missionary journey. He said in Galatians 4:15 that, if possible, the Galatians would have plucked out their eyes and given them to him. He wondered if he had become their enemy because he told them the truth (verse 16). Thus, Paul established that he had a relationship with the Galatians before this letter.
Paul wrote the book of Galatians to the churches of Galatia (Galatians 1:2). Some Bible scholars believe that he wrote the letter to the churches in Southern Galatia in Asia Minor, which he founded during his first missionary journey. Others believe that he wrote the letter to the Northern Galatian churches. Whichever is correct, the content of the letter is more important.
In this letter, Paul dealt with how the Galatians, after being influenced by the Judaizers, had departed from the true faith they had received. The Judaizers were the Christian Jews in the early church who tried to impose on the Gentile Christians circumcision and other Jewish laws and tradition in addition to their belief in Christ.
Paul said, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1 New King James Version). To bewitch means to cast an evil spell on someone.
He continued, “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain?” (Verses 2-4 New King James Version).
Paul was worried that the Galatians had been deceived by the Judaizers who tried to undermine his apostolic authority and lead them astray with a false doctrine that negated the doctrine of justification by faith. Paul declared, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7 New King James Version).
He emphasized what he had said before that if he or an angel from heaven, preached any other gospel to them than what he had preached, the person should be accursed (Greek:anathema). Anathema means “a (religious) ban or (concretely) excommunicated (thing or person)” (Strong’s Concordance).
As it was in the early church, we have false teachers in the church today. Some Christians who have received the truth before, have been wrongly influenced. They have departed from the truth, and indeed, from the faith. They have embraced another gospel, fake and distorted gospel. The deception could be because of the standing or fame of the peddlers of the false teachings. Or it could be because of their problems and their desperation for miracles.
The apostle Peter warned, “But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach their destructive heresies about God and even turn against their Master who bought them. Theirs will be a swift and terrible end. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of them, Christ and his true way will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction is on the way” (2 Peter 2:1-3 New Living Translation).
Be very careful. Don’t be bewitched like the Galatians! There will always be new teachings flying around and children of God must be reminded not to abandon the truths they’ve been taught for old lies or new ideas and teachings trending but not rooted in the Bible. They should continue in the truths they’ve learnt.
In John 8:31b, Jesus said to the Jews which believed in Him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (King James Version). To continue in His word means to keep obeying His teachings.
God has also given believers ministers to teach us and equip us with truths that will establish us in the faith so that we will not be a casualty of all manners of teachings. Grow up in the faith. Don’t remain a child spiritually, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:11-14).
Don’t embrace false doctrines from false teachers and prophets. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5 New King James Version).
Jesus has warned that at the end time, false christs and false prophets would rise up and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24). Don’t let them deceive you. As Jesus said, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). Also, Peter told the Ephesian elders that after his departure, savage wolves would come in among them not sparing the flock (Acts 20:29).
Continue in the truths you’ve learnt. Paul, writing to Timothy, told him to continue in the things which he had learnt and had been assured of, knowing from whom you have learnt them (2 Timothy 3:14). It is the joy of a parent or trainer when those they’ve trained continue to practice what they’ve taught them and they continue to excel. John the beloved said he had no greater joy than to hear that his children (spiritual children) walk in truth (3 John 4). Continue to walk in the truths you’ve been taught. Don’t waste the resources God is equipping you with.
Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to teach believers. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (New King James Version).
Believers must continue in what the Holy Spirit has been teaching them. 1 John 2:27 says, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true — it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ” (New Living Translation).
Stay within the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 John 9 says, “For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But if you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son” (New Living Translation).
Avoid strange revelations that are not consistent with what the Bible teaches generally. The Lord told the church in Thyatira, “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them — depths of Satan, really). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come” (Revelation 2:24-25 New Living Translation).
Defend the truth by living the truth and preaching the truth. Jude 3 says to contend earnestly or fight strongly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. In other words, defend the truth of the Good News, the unchanging truth, which God gave this once for all time to His holy people.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to continue in the truths I have learnt. I shall not fall victim to false prophets and teachers. I am firmly established in the truths of the Word and God; I shall not be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. Father, strike false shepherds and let the sheep of their flock be delivered and saved from hellfire.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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