Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
March 10, 2013
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
1901 ASV Translation:
7 Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion came not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10 I have confidence to you-ward in the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? then hath the stumbling-block of the cross been done away.
12 I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision.
- I. Paul's "You Were Running Well".
- A. The concept of "running" is pervasive in Paul's writings.
- 1. Romans 9:16 reveals it to be "a diligent pursuit" that arises out of "making choices to accomplish" a given objective.
- 2. 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26 is an example of Paul using the concept to indicate the kind of activity in which the athletes of the games engage.
- 3. In Galatians 2:2 Paul uses it to describe his own pursuit of his calling as "apostle to the Gentiles".
- 4. Philippians 2:16 uses it to describe the entire life-efforts of Paul in his quest to fulfill God's call in his life.
- 5. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 applies the word to how Paul wants the words of God to spread.
- B. That the Galatians were running well is an echo of Galatians 3:3: "having begun by the Spirit".
- 1. There, obviously, is a legitimate way of approaching the issues of "Life" and an illegitimate way.
- 2. The Galatians, therefore, knew how to apply that legitimate methodology because they had been.
- C. The "technique" of "running well".
- 1. It begins, ends, and is filled from beginning to end with "grace" a la Romans 11:6 and 12:3. In other words, the fundamental technique of "running well" is actively involving "grace" at every stage and event in "Life". Positively submitting to, and depending upon, "grace" means we do not set any agenda, but we do count upon the "Abba's active input" minute by minute through our days.
- 2. This has to mean several things.
- a. We do nothing to attract attention to ourselves for ourselves (Philippians 2:3). In other words, we depend upon the Spirit to squelch the knee-jerk tendency we all have to seek to be the center of attention and approval.
- b. We do nothing to push our natural tendency to provide/produce our own security (Matthew 16:25). This means that we depend upon the Spirit to squelch our fears.
- c. We do nothing to put our physical well-being ahead of other, more weighty, considerations (Philippians 1:23). Thus, the Spirit squelches our almost automatic decisions to refrain from the will of God because of physical danger(s).
- 3. Paul defines the phrase himself: "obeying the Truth".
- a. The biblical concept of "obedience" starts with "persuasion". The word is used in contexts where "what a person believes" sets the expectation of what he/she does. This is always the case and any subversion of this order initiates "legalism" (i.e., self-dependence and self-motivation/direction).
- 1) In 5:8 Paul uses a variation of his "persuasion" word as the explanation of how the Galatians have been moved into "disobedience": "persuasion" is always at the root of obedience/disobedience.
- 2) The problem in Galatia is "false brethren" who are promoting a doctrine that leads to disobedience: "persuasion" is always at the root of obedience/disobedience.
- b. The "object" of "persuasion" must always be "the Truth" so that the method of "hindrance" is always "false information presented as truth". Hence, false teachers and lying prophets are inevitable tools of the adversary whose name indicates deception (devil = deceiver).
- II. The Hindrance.
- A. As already mentioned, all "hindrances" begin with lies. There can be actual physical hindrances, but they only pose new/different situations wherein the "believer" must respond "faithfully".
- B. Additionally, Paul says that this "persuasion" does not come from Him that "calls".
- 1. In Galatians, the "call" is "into the grace of Christ" (1:6), "by His grace" (1:15), and "unto liberty" (5:13). This "calling" is a present participle, strongly implying that God continues to "call" His own. This implies that the "race" includes a consistent summons from God and that the presence of false information is a consistent effort to derail the "runner".
- 2. Since the "liberty" is from the wrath of the Justice of God, being "called unto liberty" is the same thing as being "called into the grace of Christ". Paul is absolutely fixated upon the "persuasion" that under Justice, sinners have no hope, but that under Grace, sinners can be given "Life".