Thursday, 19 May 2016
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7
The previous paragraph dealt with the Galatians receiving circumcision which would negate the freedom found in Christ. Now Paul abruptly puts forth this sentence. It comes from his pen almost in gasps, as if he is utterly confounded by what has transpired.
His first words are, “You ran well.” This is a common metaphor in the New Testament; that of a runner in a race. We have a race set before us and the finish line should be our goal. In the case of the Christian race, our goal is to fix our eyes on Jesus and concentrate on Him as we continue with each step.
Unfortunately for the Galatians, this worthwhile and proper goal was impeded. And so he asks next, “Who hindered you from obeying the truth.” The word translated as “hinder” is explained by HELPS Word Studies –
It means “…properly, cut into (like blocking off a road); hinder (A-S) by “introducing an obstacle that stands sharply in the way of a moving object” (Souter); (figuratively) sharply impede, by cutting off what is desired or needed; to block (hinder).”
They had been on the right course, they had been pursuing Christ, and then they were cut off; having their course redirected. Their eyes were no longer on Jesus, but instead on observances which had been fulfilled by Him. They had lost their goal because they were pursuing not the end of the law, meaning Christ, but the law itself. By pursuing the law, there could never be a finish line. They had stopped obeying the truth of Christ, and they had been deceived into the lies of the devil.
Life application: If you are not pursuing Christ through His finished work, then you are not pursuing Christ. Seemingly pious words such as, “I am observing the Sabbath because the law says I should and Christ would be pleased with that” are utterly ridiculous. Christ is pleased with faith in what He did, not in what you do.
Forgiven and free! This is where I stand. Nothing can ever steal me away from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord. I know that He has overcome, and because I am in Him then I also have overcome. I will never change the course I am set on! Eyes on Jesus! Thoughts on Jesus! My heart, set upon the Lord. Thank You, O God, for my precious Jesus! Amen.