The Cross a Stumbling Block Part A

Galatians "Magna Carta of Christian Liberty"  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul's confidence in God and the Gospel he preaches His totally hatred for false teaching and teachers

Notes
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READING: Galatians 5:10-12

10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.

11 BUT I, BRETHREN, IF I STILL PREACH CIRCUMCISION, WHY AM I STILL PERSECUTED? THEN THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF THE CROSS HAS BEEN ABOLISHED.

12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even bmutilate themselves.

Outline:

A. Confidence in the LORD v 10

B. Confidence in the Message of the Lord 11

C. Confidence in the judgement of God 12

Recap

Practical: A Defense of Christian Liberty (5:1–6:10) is to walk in the Spirit.

A. A life apart from Law (5:1–12)

1. Turning to Law ruins grace (5:1–2)
2. Turning to Law makes man a debtor (5:3)
3. Turning to Law is to fall away from grace (5:4–6)
4. Turning to Law hinders the progress of believers (5:7–10)
5. Turning to Law removes the offense of the Cross (5:11–12)

Introduction

The Galatians were a weak indecisive people, under the persuasion of false teachers. Paul hardly left them, and within a year, they were swept away from the truth of the gospel to obey the law of Moses and circumcision. This all amazed Paul.
In our minds and in the natural there's little to no reason for him to have confidence in them. But then again Paul's confidence really was not in them. His confidence is in the Lord. "I have confidence in you in the Lord."
And we know the Lord is faithful, even when we are not. We are all like sheep. We go astray. He is the good shepherd who goes out after His sheep and finds them. And those who are truly His will be found and they will be brought back into the fold. "My sheep, hear my voice. And they know Me and they follow Me." Well, He goes out and gets the lost sheep through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit does that through us.
Later in 6:1, Paul will say, "You who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." The Lord works through us and Paul was confident that the Spirit of God would work through him to restore the Galatians to the truth, because he was confident that they were true believers. God works through us to restore one another to the truth of the gospel and Biblical teaching.

A. Confidence in the LORD v 10

Gal 5:10 “I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”

I have confidence in you in the Lord:

Paul is not naive knowing the state of the Galatians how they titter totter and being swayed from left to right. The Galatians was going between two opinions - GRACE or LAW

The Galatians were, Paul knew that they were -

Faith and Grace Deserters: Gal 1:6 “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;”
They ignored the Cross: Gal 3:1 “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”
They looked to self effort to be perfected: Gal 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
They were turning to weak and worthless things to be spiritual: Gal 4:9 “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?”
Paul had genuine concern about the state of the Galatians, he even said to them,
Gal 4:11 “I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.”
and that he could be with them to change his tone of voice because of his perplexity over their moving away from the truth of the gospel.
Gal 4:20 “but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.”
Yet in all of this Paul’s confidence is firmly placed upon the shoulders of His Savior and God, Jesus Christ and Our Father.

Gal 5:10I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”

When we see our family members, husbands, wife's, sons and daughters. Our brothers and sisters walking away from the Lord for any reason. Where is our confidence? Rather in whom do we trust and have assurance that they will turn back to God?
Can we say with Paul that our confidence in the Lord for our loved ones?
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Paul through out his epistles expressed the confidence that he has in the Lord and in the believers.
2 Cor 2:3 “This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all.”
2 Cor 7:16 “I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.”
2 Thes 3:4We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.”
Phil 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Wuest - “”As for myself, I have come to a settled persuasion in the Lord with respect to you”
Amplified - [For my part] I have confidence [toward you] in the Lord

Confidence in the LORD

verb, perfect, active, indicative, first person, singular | finite verb
Have confidence (3982)(peitho) means convinced or persuaded and includes the components of confidence, reliance, and hope.
Here peitho is in the perfect tense indicating that this is Paul's stedfast persuasion regarding the Galatian believers.
Wuest translates it this way - "I have come to a settled persuasion in the Lord"
I have confidence in you in the Lord
Jn 6:39 ““This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
Jn 6:40 ““For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.””
Jn 10:28 “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
Jn 10:29 ““My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Romans 8:31-39 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, …”
Phil 1:6-7 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.”

you will adopt no other view:

That you will adopt no other view - That you will have no other opinion. This confidence parallels that Paul expressed to the saints at Philippi

5858 φρονέω (phroneō): vb.; ≡ Str 5426; TDNT 9.220—1. LN 26.16 have attitude, regard (Php 2:5); 2. LN 30.20 ponder, set one’s mind on (Col 3:2); 3. LN 31.1 hold a view, hold a belief (Gal 5:10); 4. LN 87.12 honor, acknowledge high status (Ro 14:6); 5. LN 88.209 be haughty (Ro 11:20; 12:16+), see 5734

Phronneo
have attitude - Phil 2:4 “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Ponder, set one’s mind on Col 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Hold a view, hold a belief Gal 5:10 “I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”
Honor, acknowledge high status Rom 14:6 “He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.”
In context of Galatians Paul is very explicit what brings true salvation and what is does not give salvation
In regards to the view that Paul taught in Galatians:

What does not bring salvation

Obeying the laws of Moses
Being circumcised

What brings salvation

Preaching the cross of Jesus
Justification by faith alone
How was the Galatians disturbed?

but the one who is disturbing you:

Disturbing (stir you up) (5015)(tarasso) literally means to shake back and forth and therefore to agitate and stir up (like the pool in John 5:4,7, Lxx = Ezek 32:2, 13, Isa 51:15).
To shake together, stir up, disturb, unsettle, throw into disorder (Lxx = Ps 46; 2Sa 22:8 = of earth shaking).
Most of the NT uses of
tarasso are figurative and describe the state of one's mind as stirred up, agitated or experiencing inward commotion.
The passive voice is always used in the NT with a negative meaning, conveying the sense of emotional disturbance or inner turmoil, so that one is unsettled, thrown into confusion, or disturbed by various emotions, including excitement, perplexity, fear or trepidation.
Tarasso conveys the idea of to disturb mentally or to cause a deep emotional disturbance and thus refers to an unsettled mind, as
when Herod heard of the birth of Jesus (Mt 2:3),
Zacharias' fear when he saw the angel (Lk 1:12),
The terror of the disciples when they witnessed Jesus walking on the water (Mt 14:26),
Jesus' reaction to the lack of faith among the people before He raises Lazarus (Jn 11:33),
in Jesus' command to not let their hearts be troubled (Jn 14:1) and of disturbing the faith of someone (Gal 5:10).
Tarasso emphasizes the intensity of the Lord's reaction to His impending death (Jn 12:27) and
His response to Judas' imminent betrayal.
Tarasso is a strong word, meaning “to deeply upset,” “to deeply disturb,” “to perplex,” or “to create fear.”
Tarasso also describes the potential effect of false teaching in Galatians 1:7 and Gal 5:10.
This is what disturbed the Galatians:
Gal 1:7 “which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”
Distorted Gospel of Christ
Gal 2:4 “But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.”
False brethren
Gal 3:1 “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”
Christ not portrayed as crucified
Gal 4:17 “They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them.”
Them being isolated
Gal 6:12 “Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.”
The persecution of the cross and circumcision
Gal 6:13 “For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.”
Fleshly ambitions of the teachers
Acts 15:1-2 “Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.”
A firm warning from John against false teachers
1 John 2:18–26 NASB95
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.
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Paul has identified the false teachers, those dogs, the mutilators of the flesh boasting in self effort and gain. The Judaizers the false missionaries from Judah who is forcing the Galatians to turn away from GRACE to the LAW these teachers will bear their judgement
Sunday 26 February 2023

will bear his judgment, whoever he is

Will bear his judgment, whoever he is - Paul is leaving the just judgment of the false teacher in the hands of God. The Judaizers will not get by with placing leaven in the assemblies in Galatia. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote "Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (ED: JUST AS THE JUDAIZERS DID AMONG THE GALATIANS!), whose end will be according to their deeds." (2 Cor 11:15).
What else did Paul say about the judgment of false teachers?
1 Cor 5:5 “I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
1 Tim 1:20 “Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.” (said that the resurrection already taken place) 2 Tim 2:18 “men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.”
2 Cor 2:6 “Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority,”
False teacher judgment:
But that is not the destiny of ungodly teachers who lead the Lord's people astray. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble," Jesus said, "it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).
Peter similarly described the fate of false teachers declaring...
Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep....9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, (2 Pe 2:2-3+,2 Pe 2:9+)
Gal 1:7-9 “which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
__________________________
Galatians 5:11 NASB95
But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.

B. Confidence in the Message of the Lord v11

Gal 5:11 “But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.”

I still preach
verb, present, active, indicative, first person, singular | finite verb
am I still persecuted
verb, present, passive, indicative, first person, singular | finite verb
has been abolished
verb, perfect, passive, indicative, third person, singular | finite verb
Amplified - But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [as some accuse me of doing, as necessary to salvation], why am I still suffering persecution? In that case the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block and is made meaningless (done away).

if I still preach circumcision:

Gal 2:3 “But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.”
Acts 16:3 “Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
False accusations
He was charged with preaching an easy gospel that would appeal to everyone. But if that was true, then Paul asks why he was being persecuted. Men-pleasing preachers who preach cheap and easy gospels don’t suffer any persecution, since everyone would like that message. But Paul suffered great persecutions because his gospel did not appeal to the religious nature of man (and especially the Jews), thus disproving the charge that Paul was nothing more than a man pleaser.

why am I still persecuted:

Gal 4:29 “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.”
Gal 6:12 “Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.”
Acts 21:21 “and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.”
Acts 21:28 “crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.””
1 Cor 15:30 “Why are we also in danger every hour?”
2 Cor 11:23-26 “Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;”

the stumbling block of the cross:

Isa 8:14 ““Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
Rom 9:32-33 “Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”” “Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,”
1 Cor 1:18 “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Cor 1:23 “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,”
1 Pet 2:8-9 “and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
Then the stumbling block of the Cross has been abolished -

Why would the cross be a stumbling block?

"If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended." (NLT)
The gospel void of the cross means:
The Judaistic gospel brought no offence because everyone likes salvation by works.
It exalts man's role in his own salvation. And thus his religious pride is exalted
It minimizes God's work.
It strip man of all his religious works and maintain that salvation is all of grace and all of God
Man's religious pride has been punctured so he will naturally attack the gospel of grace that Paul preached.
What men hate about the gospel is that they have nothing to offer God, that Christ alone saves, and that we must come to the foot of the cross with nothing but our sins and come humbly.
The cross was a stumbling block to the Jews partly because they could not accept the idea of a suffering, much less crucified, Messiah. But it was even more an offense to them because it robbed them of their most distinctive outward signs of Jewishness, the Mosaic law and circumcision. If the cross obliterated even the true Judaism of the Old Covenant, how much more did it obliterate the false, man-made Judaism represented by the scribes, Pharisees, and Judaizers? the cross was a stumbling block to Jews primarily because it failed to require obedience to their ancestral laws. When they attacked Stephen, he observed, they did not charge him with worshiping Christ but with speaking "against the holy place, and the law" (Acts 6:13).Paul confessed that when he "used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it," he did so because he was "extremely zealous for [his] ancestral traditions" (Gal. 1:13-14). The Jews were scandalized by the cross because it nullified not only the Mosaic law but also their highly revered rabbinic traditions

C. Confidence in the judgment of the Lord

Gal 5:12 “I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.”

Troubling
verb, present, active, participle, plural, nominative, masculine | attributive participle
Would - mutilate
verb, future, middle, indicative, third person, plural | finite verb
ESV Galatians 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves - If the Judaizer who advocated obeying the Law, were so enamored of circumcision, they should go all the way and make eunuchs of themselves! This is a little like the law of sowing and reaping for spiritually, circumcision adds nothing to salvation and in fact takes away and "emasculates" spiritually speaking. So those who sowed a little leaven of circumcision should reap literal emasculation!

would even mutilate themselves.
Gal 1:8 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”
Gen 17:14 ““But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.””
Ex 12:15 “‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.”
Ex 30:33 “‘Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.’ ””
Lev 22:3 ““Say to them, ‘If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me; I am the Lord.”
Josh 7:12 ““Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.”
Josh 7:25 “Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.”
John 9:34 “They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.”
Tit 3:10 “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,”
those who are troubling you : Ac 15:1,2,24

Conclusion

We must keep this offence of the cross before our congregations at all times. If the message is not offensive then it is not the Gospel. It must be offensive to sinners (and even saints!) because the Gospel and its claims of discipleship naturally are in opposition to the natural mind. Men may want to be saved but only on their own terms. To accommodate this desire is compromising the Gospel, the sin the Judaizers were guilty of. They preached a popular message- work for it. Men like to work for their salvation. That message carries no offence and is thus not the Gospel. To suppose a cross without an offence is folly."
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