- Galatians 4:16-20
- Gal 4:16 (KJB)
- Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
- Paul is speaking frankly to the Galatians by asking them if he has
become their enemy because he has told them of how they have abandoned the
truth and have chosen to put themselves under the law. Paul wants to know if
they think he is the enemy because he has brought them a warning that they
are walking opposite of God. It is a shame that even in our day that
whenever any Christian brings the truth they are considered an enemy. How
many times are Christians who bring the truth, even to other Christians,
called evil, nasty, hate filled, hate monger or words like that? We have
come to a point in our day when the majority of Christians are unable to
discern the truth and then when things go wrong in their life, they complain
and blame God. In the Old Testament, God always sent a prophet to Israel and
Judah to warn them of impending consequences if they continue on their
present path. Well what was their response? The despised the prophet and did
what they wanted which resulted in their destruction. God will also do that
for the Christian. If they are walking wrongly, He will send someone to
correct them, if they heed, they will grow plus escape the chastising hand
of God. If they reject, they will face the chastising hand of God. For a
Christian, being an enemy of truth is spiritual suicide and will always
yield damaging consequences.
- Gal 4:17 (KJB)
- They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would
exclude you, that ye might affect them.
- They zealously affect - Strive or fervently desire
- Exclude - Shut out or eliminate
- These false teachers had made zealous strides toward the Galatians in
order to win their affections and confidence but the motives of the false
teachers were not true because they had a hidden agenda which was to bring
the Galatians back under the law of Moses. Then he tells them that these
false teachers would shut the Galatians out that they would not affect them.
In other words, these false teachers would not pay attention to the
teachings of the Galatians when it comes to salvation by grace alone. They
would definitely want to separate these Galatians from Paul who was the
bringer of the true message of salvation.
- Gal 4:18 (KJB)
- But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good
thing, and not only when I am present with you.
- Paul is definitely encouraging the Galatians to be zealous but that zeal
must be properly focused on the right thing. The false teachers had zeal but
were zealous for false teachings. Paul desires that the Galatians continue
in their zeal but only the zeal in the true Gospel and Paul urges them to
maintain their zeal, even when he is absent from them. Basically he is
saying that it is easy to be zealous on Sunday morning but he is telling
them to carry that zeal for the true gospel to Monday morning when the
circumstances would be much more difficult.
- Gal 4:19 (KJB)
- My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ
be formed in you,
- Travail in birth - Suffer birth pangs
- Be formed - Shaped or fashioned
- Paul addresses the Galatians as “my little children” showing he has a
very father like relationship to them and they were very near and dear to
him. Here he states that he will suffer birth pangs a second time, meaning
that until every vestige of the false teachings are removed from the
Galatian church and only the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is once
again firmly established, he will continue to work with them with the
intensity of a woman ready to give birth with the accompanying birth pangs
or pain. Here is the real heart attitude of the mature believer, that they
are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that true doctrine unseats any
false doctrines the younger believers may hold.
- Gal 4:20 (KJB)
- I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for
I stand in doubt of you.
- To change - Exchange or transform
- Paul would love to stay with them permanently because when he left them,
they had succumbed to the false teachings of the false teachers. His voice
change is one from endearment to that of disapproval because of their
acceptance of the false doctrines. He doubted their maturity although it
does not seem he is doubting their salvation. These Galatians apparently did
not have anyone in their congregation with enough maturity to face the false
teachers head on. It is this immaturity in the faith that lead many
Christians into trouble. It behooves every Christian to grow in the faith
and become familiar with as much Scripture as they can so maturity will then
take place. Once a Christian becomes mature they will have enough
discernment to combat the false teachings thus helping those weaker in the
faith to see the errors and then grow.