Sunday, 22 May 2016
I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. Galatians 5:10
This verse begins with an emphasis on “I” in the Greek to show Paul’s certainty in what he is proclaiming. The thought laid out here is based on what he just said concerning the fact that a “little leaven leavens the whole lump.” They had turned from the truth and were faced with the introduction of sin. A verse before that, he had told them that “This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.”
And so his words, “I have confidence in you, in the Lord” show his certainty that they will turn and do the right thing towards the One who calls them. They will reunite with the truth and go no further down the destructive path they have been following. He honestly feels that the case he has laid out is sufficient to wake them up and redirect them towards proper doctrine.
On the other hand, he still must address the instigator of the apostasy. And so he says, “…but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment.” This person will be dealt with according to God’s judgment. It may be that such judgment is to be pronounced by the Galatians, such as in expulsion from the congregation. Or, he may mean that God will reserve this person’s judgment for the bema seat of Christ (assuming he is saved). Either way, judgment is to be rendered for the flagrant abuses he has perpetrated against the doctrine of grace which is found in Christ’s finished work.
Finally, he finishes this thought with, “…whoever he is.” The person will go unnamed. It may be that Paul knew who he was, or it may be that he had no idea who it was, but his words bring in the contrast between that person and the Galatians.
Life application: Paul’s optimism concerning the restoration of right doctrine to the Galatians should be a hopeful reminder to us that there is also a chance that those who have departed from right doctrine in their own lives will be restored as well. However, it won’t happen all by itself. It requires someone to open the Bible and show them the error of their ways. That someone may be you.
Lord God, how heartbreaking it is for us to see people depart from the faith and turn aside to crazy doctrine. Help us to be able to present and defend the principle points of the faith in order to keep others from turning off onto the Heresy Highway. Rather, help us to always maintain our course on Right Doctrine Drive. To Your glory we pray. Amen.