Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Intro: The book of Galatians is Paul’s efforts to deal with a sudden change in theology on the part of the believers that were in the church at Galatia.
The book of Galatians has been called the Magna Carta of Christian liberty. Paul deals with justification by faith and the resulting liberty in Christ.
Paul addresses the legalists that were trying to put these believers back under the law by teaching that circumcision was required of them, even as Gentile believers.
- Paul defended the gospel of grace in chapter 1 and 2
- Paul explained the gospel of grace in chapter 3 and 4
- Paul applied the gospel of grace in chapter 5
See verse 1 – 6 – Paul clearly taught that going back under the Old Testament law was a yoke of bondage.
Let’s turn our attention from the overall context of these verses to the significance of WRONG INFLUENCES.
Look at verse 7: Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
I see their:
- Their Decision – ye did run – of those who run in a race course; to exert one’s self, strive hard
- Their Diligence – ye did run well – rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame, well, truly
- Their Diversion – who did hinder – HINDER: to beat back, check (as in the course of a ship)
- Their Disobedience – that ye should not obey the truth –
The litmus test for your friends: do they promote obedience to the truth??
NOTE: Paul didn’t ask them WHAT hindered them.
Many people are distracted and diverted by THINGS.
Paul had enough wisdom to know that this sudden change; this sudden diversion from truth was a PERSON.
This was the undermining work of a person.
- James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
- The Persuasion of Wrong Influences
- 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Paul emphasized the influence they had in their ability to persuade them.
NOTE: They had been taught by the Apostle Paul, and now someone else had persuaded them to believe contrary.
I never cease to be amazed at the level of influence that some people have.
Godly parents, godly pastors, godly influences, can all be overruled by someone that has NO CLUE.
That is why God’s word is so clear about having the right friends and surrounding yourself with right influences.
- ILLUSTRATION: A man of God can stand up for 45 minutes and preach to you with passion and power, and the wrong friend can laugh and say “That is so dumb”, and completely destroy everything you just heard.
- Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
- The Pollution of Wrong Influences
- 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Paul likened the influences of these unnamed people to “leaven”.
Paul used the same statement in I Corinthians 5:6 when dealing with unaddressed sin in the church.
NOTICE: A little leaven – it doesn’t take much.
Parents listen!! The wrong kid hanging around your children for 5 minutes can do irreparable damage.
Parents listen!! The TV commercials and programs are designed to INDOCTRINATE!
Beauty and the Beast – a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
There are some movie theatre owners in Alabama that have more discernment than a lot of Christians will!!
The wrong music; the lyrics; the sensual, unscriptural philosophies will pollute your mind and thinking.
III. The Problems of Wrong Influences
- 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.
- Wrong theology produces wrong actions.
- Wrong ideas produce wrong actions.
- Wrong advice produces wrong actions.
- And wrong actions produce pain and trouble!
Paul used the word “trouble” you.
TROUBLE: to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity; to render anxious or distressed
Wrong influences will get you in a world of trouble!
Those that hindered you will be judged. (vs. 10)
So will you if you allow it!!
- ILLUSTRATION: 2 Samuel 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
Conclusion: I say with Paul – vs. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
The best thing you can do with wrong friends, wrong influences is CUT THEM OFF! – to cut off, amputate