Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace)

Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace) [ Print Document ] Titus 1:10-11 “[10] For there ...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Expounding Galatians Chapter 5, Verse 1 ― Stand Fast in the Liberty… (Part 1 of 2)



Expounding Galatians Chapter 5, Verse 1 ― Stand Fast in the Liberty... (Part 1 of 2)

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 Galatians 5:1
“[1] Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

The very first words we read in Galatians chapter 5 give Christians a command to stand fast in the liberty purchased by Jesus at the cross of Calvary. What is this liberty from? Is is liberty from the Levitical laws of the Old Testament, such as burnt sacrifices and offerings, observing feast days, not eating pork, etc.? Indeed, Jesus fulfilled the law, and purchased our redemption at Calvary. But, what kind of liberty is God giving us in Galatians 5:1? Is it the liberty to live for selfish reasons?

God does give us liberty from the Old Covenant of works, such as the Levitical laws and duties. God does give us grace each moment so that we can live in fellowship with Him, and not be under the bondage of sin. God’s grace gives us the power to overcome sin and to triumph over it, not be overcome by it (1 Cor. 15:56-57).

Sin itself is made strong by the law, but when we give place to sin, God has grace so that we can be forgiven and turn back to Him.
Romans 5:20-21
“[20] Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: [21] That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Grace ― What It Is and What It Isn’t


Some Christians have come to believe that God supposedly “gives” us grace so that we can now “live” in sin. God never approved of sin in the New Testament. Jesus Christ spoke against it. Paul wrote epistles warning Christians about sin and its true consequences. Sin is not liberty ― sin is bondage. Peter warned Christians about false teachers that taught the lie that God’s grace “gives” us “liberty” from the law so we can “live” in sin. We are going to spend some time expounding on 2 Peter 2:17-20. There is a lot of good spiritual doctrine in this passage. We will also see how it relates to Galatians 5:1.

The apostle Peter was writing to the Church about concerns he had about false doctrines and false teachers they were listening to. Let’s listen to what he (and God’s Spirit) has to say.

2 Peter 2:17-20

“[17] These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. [18] For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

[19] While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. [20] For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”

The false teachers, like wells without water, have nothing good within them. They speak words that sound pleasing to the ears, but their doctrine is bankrupt of God’s Spirit and biblical truth. These false teachers speak excessively about grace that is put into a context where it is false.

For example, a parent allowing his or her child do whatever he (or she) wants is having excessive leniency, which comes from a lack of care for the wellbeing of the child. A parent that does not correct his (or her) child for disobedience is teaching the child that rebelling against authority is “acceptable.”

For God to not correct His children, when they sin and continue sinning, would mean that He would not care about their wellbeing. But, God does care about our wellbeing. Proverbs 3:11-12 says: “[11] My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: [12] For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”

The False Teachers’ Great “Swelling” Words (Defined)

But, the false teachers speak great swelling words of vanity. [2 Peter 2:18 a.] “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh…”

The word “swell,” in older dictionaries, such as Webster’s 1828 dictionary, means: “[1.] To increase the size, bulk or dimensions of; to cause to rise, dilate or increase. [2.] To aggravate; to heighten.” The Greek word for swell is huperogkos. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, this word refers to something that is: “...overswollen [too swollen]; metaphorically, immoderate [not restrained: excessive], extravagant [exceeding what is reasonable]:...” (Note: Bracketed text was added.)

These false teachers in 2 Peter 2 speak excessively about topics like grace that should be taught with the truth that sinning against God is destructive and harmful. 2 Peter 2:18 goes on to say: “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”

These swelling, extravagant words emphasize grace to the point that the preaching of repentance from sin (1 John 1:5-10) is almost left out. By such teaching, people are being lured into sin. The Greek word for allure is deleazó. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, deleazó means:

“1. properly, to bait, catch by a bait: ...

2. as often in secular authors, metaphorically, to beguile by blandishments [a type of flattery], allure, entice [to tempt by offering sinful pleasure], deceive: …” (Bracketed text was added.)

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “allure” as: “To attempt to draw to; to tempt by the offer of some good, real or apparent; to invite by something flattering or acceptable;…. Sometimes used in a bad sense, to allure to evil;...”
  
In the context of this verse from 2 Peter 2, we can say that these false teachers tempt people by offering them something that appears to be good. Having grace to continue in sin sounds good to the fleshly nature, but is this actually what God teaches us in His Word, the Bible? Paul wrote:

Romans 5:20-21
“[20] Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: [21] That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6:1-2
“[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Romans 6:8-12
“[8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: [9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. [10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”


The False Teachers’ Doctrine Leads to “Wantonness” (Defined)


Going back to 2 Peter 2:18, we will look at the word “wantonness.” The verse says: “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “wanton” as: “3. Wandering from moral rectitude ; licentious ; dissolute ; indulging in sensuality without restraint ; …” [End quote]. According to this same dictionary, licentious means being “...unrestrained by law or morality…” And, in this dictionary, dissolute means: “1. Loose in behavior and morals…"

The Greek word for wantonness is aselgeia. It includes wantonness, licentiousness, lasciviousness, and debauchery in its meaning (See Strong's).


So, the false teachers mentioned in 2 Peter speak excessively about grace, but ignore the important doctrine of repentance from sin (1 John 1:5-9).

By this doctrine of excessive grace, the false teachers are luring (or alluring) people into changing their morality and changing what they believe to be acceptable to God. This loosening of morals is not done overnight, but as people continue to listen to false teachers, their morals (and doctrinal beliefs) begin to change. Then, the Church becomes more worldly.

God wants us to come out from the world and be separate (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Opening ourselves up to sin is destructive and harmful to us and to others around.

In the next part (which is the final part) of this article, we will look at the golden calf in Exodus 32 and see how it is related to the false teachers’ doctrine of “liberty or grace” to “continue” in sin. We will see how Aaron, out of fear of the people (his peers), compromised and built a golden idol. (But later, he did repent.) And, we will see how modern false teachers have reared up a golden idol in the Church.

Read Part 2 about the golden calf here.


If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.
_______________________


Endnote:

Sin is made strong by the law because our sin nature wants to rebel against God’s laws. But, Jesus Christ gave us the victory over sin at the cross and by His power at work in us to set us apart from the world.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57
“[56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

References:

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on Biblehub.com. (http://biblehub.com/thayers/1185.htm)

Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. United Books Press, Inc., 2009.


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