If you’re going to eat that cake, eat all of it.
MARCH 11, 2021
If you’re going to eat that cake, eat all of it. I’ll explain on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth, that God isn’t mad at, you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Galatians 5:1-12, where Paul is talking about false teaching. And we’ve seen the source of false teaching, from the dark side and it’s very dangerous. And then we looked at some of the substance of false teaching and we saw, that that substance, there are three areas that Paul mentions in these verses that you gotta watch out for, the first area of substance, he says that false teachers taught that you could add something to your salvation, Galatians 5:2, you can’t, it’s finished and it’s sufficient, the blood sacrifice of Christ. And the secondary, we talked about this yesterday, by deductive reasoning, one can see that these false teachers taught that you could have your spiritual cake and you could eat it too. In other words, yeah, this grace things alright, but there are other things you need to know. And let us teach you some things that y’all, and one of them was circumcision. And they were beginning to teach, you got to go back under the law. And Paul said, you can’t do that. And then there was one third area of substance, and it’s liken to the other two, but a little bit different, by deductive reasoning, you can see that from the text that the false teachers had told the believers at Galatia, that all they had to do was to get circumcised. They didn’t have to abide by the whole law. Look at the third verse.
I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he’s bound to keep the whole law.
A little leaven leavens the whole loaf.
The imagery of leaven always in the Bible points, or at least almost always, to something that is bad or evil. A friend of mine, said to me once, and he was referring to a new church he’d started attending. He said, Steve, they’re a little off on the subject of salvation, but other than that, the pastor is a fine teacher. Now, dear friend, that’s exactly what Paul is so angry about here. It’s like saying he doesn’t know anything about engines, but other than that, he’s a fine mechanic or he doesn’t know the multiplication tables, but other than that, he’s a fine accountant or he can’t read music, but other than that, he’s a fine musician. You can’t do that. So, God will not tolerate small areas of error in major areas of doctrine. That may sound harsh, but don’t get mad at me. Get mad at God who said it and get mad at Paul who repeated it. There’s some things, a surgeon can be loose about, but his surgery is not one of them. There’s some things Christians can be loose about, but salvation is not one of them. And so Paul said you can’t do a little bit and not buy into the whole bit. You can’t do a little bit and then ignore the rest of it. Once you jump into that pool, you’re in the pool and you’re going to be wet all over, so choose whether you’re going to jump or not. And that’s the essence of false teaching. Little bit here, a little bit there and it’s going to be okay. No, it’s not. Thirdly, and we’re up to the third point about false teaching. I want you to note, not only the source and the substance of false teaching. I want you to note the sequel of false teaching, Galatians 5:10b.
He who is troubling you.
I wish those who unsettle you.
Do you see it? When the truth is not taught, it’ll mess with your head, it’ll unsettle you, it’ll cause things to go wrong. Now I’m not talking about the fact of conviction, or people who are under conviction, that’s supposed to be unsettling. If you’re not a Christian and you were flipping across the dial and you heard this foghorn voice, and you thought, man he’s saying insane things, but he does sound kind of reasonable. I probably ought to look into it. I feel kind of troubled. Well, that’s of God, that kind of troubling as different than what Paul is talking about here. He’s talking about how false teaching will eventually lead you into a lack of peace, the experience of meaninglessness, the emptiness of going in the wrong direction. I’ve often said that the people of the church in Boston that I served got a new pastor, or they were looking for a new pastor and they got one, it was me, because I changed in the middle of the ministry in that beloved church. And I love those guys more than I can tell you. And some of the best years of my life were presented there, but I think I’ve told you you about the time when I realized I didn’t have any authority. I had bought into the liberal nonsense, I’m talking about liberal theologically, the liberal nonsense. And it wasn’t working. It wasn’t working for the congregation and it wasn’t working for me and it wasn’t working for anybody else. And so I decided something had to be done. And because some brothers loved me enough to tell me the truth and the Holy Spirit was working overtime to convict me. I came to the realization that the Scripture had to be the basis of everything that I taught. I remember kneeling down and saying to God, I’m not good, but I’m yours. And from now on, then my hand on the Bible, this is going to be my authority. I didn’t even know what the Bible said. But I stuck by that and I’ve often said, Jesus messed up my life. He did, I didn’t get a lot of criticism up to that point. I was pretty happy with what I was doing. They paid me fairly well. I could afford dinner and pay the mortgage. I mean, I was doing fine. And then Jesus came along and messed everything up and I’ve told him several times that I didn’t appreciate it. But let me tell ya, all kidding aside. After I found the truth and began to teach it, even when I was criticized, when people went after me, when people left the church, when people thought I was ugly and my mother dressed me funny, I didn’t like it. I still don’t like it. But when I went to bed at night, there was a quietness. There was a peace. There was a, there was a joy, if you will, that came from the truth. And so Paul points out, you troubled? That’s cause they’re lying to you. You’re unsettled? That’s cause they’re lying to you. The truth will fix it. It’ll get you in trouble, but it’ll fix it. And then there’s one other thing. Note not only the source, the substance and the sequel of false teaching. Please note the specter of false teaching, Galatians 5:10.
I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and he who is troubling you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Judgment, James 3:1 says.
You ought not be a teacher.
You know, that he who teaches shall be judged with greater strictness. I try to be faithful to Scripture. I’m a Bible teacher, I don’t make these things up. I try to study the Scriptures, find out what they say and then to teach it as faithfully as I possibly can. And it, as I said, it gives me peace in troubling times that I didn’t have before. And there is some self-righteousness involved in it, and I’ve repented of that, but I’ve tried to be faithful to this. And there’s one other reason. And that’s because God has given me this microphone. He’s given me the lectern at the seminaries where I sometimes teach. He’s given me the pulpit in some of the churches where I preach and in those who I have pastored. And he said to me, you be faithful. You tell him what I told you, and don’t tell him what you think, cause what you think could be wrong. Just be faithful. And I’ve done that. And a part of it, I’ve got to confess as we land this plane on this subject. A part of it is fear. I know, I know, but I just don’t want to get home and have Jesus say, look, there’s some things you shouldn’t have said, and you shouldn’t have taught. That sometimes keeps me awake at night. So I’m going to tell you the truth. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown wrapping up another week of teaching from the book of Galatians. Of course, we’ll resume this guided tour soon, but tomorrow is Friday. And that means another episode of the ever popular Friday Q&A. Loads of interesting questions are already stacked up in the studio, ready to go. And tomorrow Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson will tackle those together. Well recently on our other program, Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with author Dane Ortlund. Dane wrote a book called Gentle and Lowly that explores and explains Jesus’ heart towards sinners and sufferers, such a refreshing and encouraging conversation. It was so good, in fact ,that we put the whole thing on a CD. And we would be happy to send you that CD for free. No, no, no, no, no need to thank us. It’s our pleasure. Just give us a call right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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