Practical Instruction for Believers
Galatians 6: 4, 12, 13
July 22, 2012
SGBC, New Jersey
Yesterday, two verses of scripture leaped off
the page before me in Galatians 6. I
want to begin with those today and then move to one other passage if we have
time in Romans 14.
Practical Instruction for Believers
Divisions: 1) Each
believer is to mind our own heart, our own business; 2) Trust the Lord to make
our brethren stand as we bear one another's burdens
Paul is dealing with the spirit of
legalism—that carnal heart which makes men attempt to coerce others into
religious works. Notice the contrast in
these two verses in Galatian 6.
Galatians 6: 4: But let every man PROVE his own work…
Prove, to test, to try, to examine—let every
man examine his own heart to know why I am doing what I am doing.
Galatians 6: 4: Let every man prove his OWN work…
Only I can prove my
work and only you can test your work.
Galatians 6: 4: Let every man prove his own WORK…
Work includes our profession of faith, called
our vocation, our calling. And work also
includes whatever it is believers are engaged in.
Galatians 6: 4: Let every man prove his own work and then shall he
have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Our rejoicing is not in our works or in our flesh. Verse three declares “For
if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth
himself.” (Galatians 6:3) But in the heart—the inner man—God has made we shall
rejoice in Christ for what he has done for us, for the heart he has given us,
by his grace. As opposed to rejoicing in
other men—in what we have constrained them to do or in what they have
constrained us to do. The contrast is in verses 12 and 13.
Galatians 6: 12: As many as desire to make a fair shew in
the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer
persecution for the cross of Christ. 13: For neither they themselves who are
circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may
glory in your flesh.
They are not minding their own hearts, their
own business, but they desire a show in the flesh so they constrain you. And whatever is done because another man
constrains you do it is law, of the flesh, it is works and not faith.
I. EACH BELIEVER IS TO MIND HIS OWN
HEART—EXAMINE HIMSELF—AND MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS BEFORE GOD—Galatians 6: 4: Let
every man prove his own work…
Instead of comparing ourselves with others
Instead of minding the others business
Instead of desiring a fair show in the flesh
Instead of attempting to constrain others to
LET EACH BELIEVER PROVE OUR OWN WORK.
How do I prove my work?
MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
First, I determine if my OWN calling and
election is sure—how so? I have to look
out of myself to God, particularly, to God’s word. If my calling and election is contrary to the
scriptures then it is not true. If it is according to how God says the he calls
and elects, it is sure.
God says in his word that he calls his
children from eternity. God says in
Revelation that God wrote all the “names” of his elect in the Lamb’s book of
life from the foundation of the world.
Philippians 4: 3: And I intreat thee also, true
yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement
also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the
book of life.
13: 8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not
written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17: 8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is
not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and
they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the
book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that
was, and is not, and yet is.
Revelation 21: 27: And there shall in no wise enter into
it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh
a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
My dad and mom named me Richard Clayton
Curtis. But if God called me from eternity then God wrote my name in his book
before the foundation of the world. That
means God gave me my name before my parents named me.
do you realize that though our parents named
us, probably thinking they just picked our names at random or based on another
family member or so on, they gave us our name because, though they did not know
it, our name was the name God called us when he wrote our name in his book in
My calling and election began with God in
eternity. It was by his own sovereign
grace that he elected me unto salvation in Christ. This is the calling and election of grace
according to truth. My calling and
election was not based on any merit in me, but solely of God’s choice.
Romans 9:11: (For the children being not yet born,
neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to
election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Ephesians 2:9 Not
of works, lest any man should boast.
Is that where you rest? My heart rejoices in
the calling and election of God.
God says in his word that the Spirit quickens his children to spiritual life,
calling us by his grace. I had to be born
again of the Spirit of God. That is what
the book says about our calling.
John 3: 3 Jesus
answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he
enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is
born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye
must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth
where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence
it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words
that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Thessalonians 2: 14: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s spiritual regeneration of his elect is
by the Holy Spirit, not by men. His
calling is by his will, not our will.
Romans 9: 16: So then it is not of him that
willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the
will of man, but of God.
Romans 2: 29: But he is a Jew, which is one
inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and
not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
My fleshly will had to be subdued. I had to be given a new nature, a new will,
by the Spirit of God in the day of his power.
This calling is by his gospel—not by something I imagined to be
truth—but by his truth—his gospel.
Does it make the heart within you to rejoice
that you did nothing but what God worked in you by his grace? He drew me, I
made no decision for Christ. God made
Christ irresistible to me. God took away
all options, all choices, when he made himself all in my heart.
I have rejoicing in my own heart toward God
because God did this for me. God gave me
this rejoicing, not another. I do not
get this rejoicing by comparing myself with another. Do you have this rejoicing in yourself, not
in others, because God has given you a heart to bow to him?
Thirdly, when God revealed Christ in me it
was revealed in me that Christ fulfilled all righteousness for me and is my
righteousness. Christ is all my
salvation. Christ is the fulfillment of
the law for me.
Romans 10: 4: For Christ is the end of the law for
righteousness to every one that believeth.
Romans 8: 3: For what the law could not do, in that it
was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful
flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
has made Christ unto me, wisdom,
righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1: 30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom,
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that
glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
all fullness in Christ in whom I am complete.
Colossians 2: 9
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head
of all principality and power: 11 In
whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in
putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein
also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God,
who hath raised him from the dead. 13: And
you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he
quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances
that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
nailing it to his cross; 15 And
having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly,
triumphing over them in it.
accepted of God in the Beloved and am made holy in Christ Jesus—into whom I
have been called.
Ephesians 1: 3: Blessed be the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in
heavenly places in Christ: 4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his
will, 6 To the praise of the glory of
his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
rejoicing in my heart—not toward myself—but toward God—let him that glorieth glory in God.
But I do not have this rejoicing in other men or because of others
constraints upon me but by the constraint of Christ’s love for me shed abroad in
my heart by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5: 14
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if
one died for all, then were all dead: 15
And that he died for all, that they which live should not
henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose
again. 16: Wherefore henceforth know we
no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet
now henceforth know we him no more. 17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath
reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of
faith works by love, not by the constraint of men toward us or our constraint
of others. When we are truly doing
something for God it is when we do it with a sweetheart love for our Redeemer—because
of his love for us, because God has shed abroad his love in our heart. While self-righteous men were going about
constraining men to pray in their vain show, the apostle Paul was truly asking
God to do as God will in shedding forth God’s love in the heart of his children.
Ephesians 3: 14: For this cause I bow my knees unto the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of
whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the
riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner
man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your
hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
what amazing love the love of God truly is!
God the Father sent his only begotten Son to be made sin for his
elect—for me—a rotten sinner. He gave
his only begotten Son to bear the shame of the cross for me. Christ came and did all that I could never
do. And God did this for me when as yet
I was an enemy to God. But
now, because of his great love wherewith he love me, I am child of God. God put this rejoicing for him in my heart—I am what I am by the grace of God.
Application: Here are a few good works.
is the first public act of obedience to God.
Some of you have expressed an interest to me in believer’s baptism. Examine yourself. Find out why you desire to be baptized? Is it
because you have been given faith to believe that Christ is
God the Son, your Lord, your Savior, your All?
Is it because you lived in Christ when he fulfilled the law as your
representative? Were you immersed in the
judgment of God when he was crucified?
Are you now are risen in Christ at the right hand of the Father?
men cannot give you this rejoicing—only God can—GET ALONE WITH GOD. I know we like to compare what is in our
hearts with other believers but you can’t measure what God has done for you by
others—SEEK GOD’S WORD IN THE MATTER! Only
when he gives it will you have rejoicing in your heart for Christ, and that not
because some other man constraining you.
Observing the Lord’s Table is another
ordinance given of God. Find out what it means—discerning the Lord’s body—HIS
body broken for ME—HIS blood shed blood for ME!
Do nothing because a man constrains you and stay not away from his table
because men constrain you. Only God can
give this rejoicing in the heart—let a man prove his own work—let a man examine
himself and so let him eat.
Giving to support
this work and our brethren and this gospel around the world is a good work. Everything we did
this week having our guest preacher cost money. Each believer wants to bear his
part of that burden. But God says, “Every
man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians
9:7) We do not give because we are
constrained by law or by men, but because of faith which works by love. Faith which worketh by love is the rule of
the believer’s life—the Holy Commandment given us of Christ Jesus through the
Good works include every other thing that
requires activity on our part—from
praying, to temperance, to turning from fornication and outward sin, even
reading the scriptures. Believers are
not under the law we are under grace.
But drunkenness is still drunkenness and sin is still sin. We abhor it.
It requires activity on our part to turn from it and that only by his
grace. But whatever work it is let it be
because God has given us his Spirit, which is not a spirit of bondage again to
fear, but the spirit to cry, Abba, Father.
Our acceptance is by Christ’s work alone. It is by his Spirit, that God gives a ready
mind. Faith which works by love, is not
faith which is constrained by men or law or fear of punishment but
because of the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Therefore…
1 Corinthians 10:31: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him…23: And whatsoever ye do, do
it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Galatians 6: 4: But
let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself
alone, and not in another
THE CONTRAST IN VERSE 12-13
Galatians 6: 12: As many as desire to make a
fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they
should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13: For neither they themselves who are
circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may
glory in your flesh.
love a show in the flesh, who try to constrain others to do what they think you
ought to do, are doing it for these three reasons:
they can not bear persecution for the cross of Christ--v12: Only lest they should suffer persecution
for the cross of Christ
do not conform to the vain show of others in free will, works religion then
those others will persecute them and they can’t bear that. Those motivated by promise of reward or
threats of punishment are persecutors toward all who would walk by faith rather
than by law—they persecute. They did it
to Paul and to all that will live godly in this world.
Timothy 3: 12: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
1 Peter 4: 13: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers
of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad
also with exceeding joy. 14: If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are
ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he
is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
who insist on constraining men may claim they understand what it is to be under
grace instead of law but because they do not have the rejoicing in themselves
given by grace which makes a man willing to stand fast in the liberty wherewith
Christ has made us free, therefore when persecution arises because of the word
they have no root to endure.
Matthew 13: 20 But
he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the
word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when
tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is
their constraining others to keep the law manifests they themselves do not do
the things they constrain others to do--V13:
For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law;
keep the law through faith in Christ who is the end of the law for
righteousness. That is why Christ
came. Those who rest in Christ are
labled antinomians by those who turn the grace of God into laciviousness. But
far from making the law void through faith, through faith we have kept the law
perfectly because Christ fulfilled it in every jot and tittle on our
behalf. Christ is our Righteousness
which exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees. The very strictest of law keepers, apart from
faith in Christ, are breakers of the whole law of God.
3: 31: Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law.
Matthew 5: 17: Think not that I am come to destroy the
law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and
earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all
be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore
shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall
be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them,
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your
righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Gill commented on this verse, “There will be no admission into heaven without a
righteousness: it was the loss of righteousness which removed Adam out of his
earthly paradise; and it is not agreeable to the justice of God, to admit man
into his heavenly paradise without one; yea, it is contrary to his nature, and
would be destructive to the comfort of saints, to receive an unrighteous person
into his kingdom and glory. A "pharisaical" righteousness will never
bring a person thither; nor will any righteousness of man’s, be it what it
will, because the best is imperfect; it must be a righteousness exceeding that
of the Scribes and Pharisees; and such is the righteousness of the saints:
indeed their inherent righteousness, or the sanctification of the Spirit, is
preferable to any righteousness of a natural man; it exceeds it in its author,
nature, effects, and usefulness; yea, even works of righteousness done by
believers are greatly preferable to any done by such men as are here mentioned:
but, above all, the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and
received by faith, is infinitely more excellent in its author, perfection,
purity, and use; and which is their only right and title to eternal glory; and
without which no man will be admitted into that glorious state.”
rest in Christ our Righteousness, we know Christ is able to make our brethren
stand and therefore we trust him to do so—not by our constraint and coercion—by
his gospel through his Spirit and Power. We do all in faith by love.
Galatians 5: 5: For we through the Spirit wait for the
hope of righteousness by faith. 6: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision
availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love….13:
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty
for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14: For all the
law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself… 6: 2: Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the
law of Christ.
since self-righteous men do not have the rejoicing given of the Spirit of God
in their own hearts, rejoicing which rests in Christ alone, in Christ’s ability
to teach his child, then they have to find rejoicing in another. Therefore, they seek to glory in what they
coerce you to do—v13:…but desire to have
you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh
constraining of others to do—is law whether it be a constraining of others to
keep the moral law or a constraining of believers to conform to any of the
believers gospel privileges. It is all nothing
but seeking vain glory. Such
constraining of others is seeking preeminence—to be masters among men because
they will not and cannot subject themselves to the law of faith and the law of
love. It is seeking to Lord over you that
they may glory in your flesh—in the converts and whited sepulchers they
whitewashed. They will even glory in it
before the Lord Jesus in the day of judgment, saying, “Lord, lord didn’t we do many wonderful works.”
7: 22 Many will say
to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy
name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never
knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
the flesh, carnal things is all that the carnal man glories and rejoices in
because the things he can see with the carnal eye which he constrains others to
do is all that he can see.
8: 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but
they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6: For to be carnally
minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject
to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8: So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God. 9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his.
Philippians 3: 2: Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers,
beware of the concision. 3: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in
the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
born of Christ’s Spirit are not out to make a fair show in the flesh, not out
to make ourselves appear better than others, not out to force others to our
way, not out to be seen of men.
Illustration: “Daddy, let’s thank the Lord for our food?”
We were in a public place. Usually, at a
restaurant, I thank God for my food in my heart and you’d never know it—I do
nothing so you can see it. But let me
explain how we did it that day so I could teach my children. In the house of God, and in our home, we bow
our heads in reverence to God. But in
public, out of reverence to Christ, we did nothing to be seen of men. I spoke like I was speaking to my children with my eyes open and my head up and yet
we truly prayed. Reverence to Christ because Christ said,
Matthew 6: 5: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as
the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto
you, They have their reward. 6: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in
secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Let a man prove his
own work then shall he have rejoicing in himself, not in another.
II. BEAR ONE ANOTHERS BURDENS AND TRUST THE LORD TO MAKE
OUR BRETHREN STAND
The self-righteous were the ones who were always
comparing their ways to Christ and condemning him for not doing as they. And because Christ would not turn to their
fair show, they rejected him.
When they criticized Christ they only desired
that Christ and his reputation be cast before all as evil so that his gospel
would not be believed and others would see them as justified for rejecting him. Remember that when someone criticizes your
brethren in this place!
the scriptures, Christ and his disciples operate an entirely different way.
Romans 14: 1: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but
not to doubtful disputations. 2: For one believeth that he may eat all things:
another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3: Let not him that eateth despise him that
eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God
hath received him.
I have had brethren in the church where I
worshipped before who believed the gospel of Christ.
Ruin by the fall
God’s unconditional election of grace unto
Christ’s particular effectual redemption of
his people which is the only way whereby the righteousness of God is declared
The Holy Spirit’s effectual, necessary and
irresistible work of regenerating, calling.
God’s keeping his people preserved whereby we
persevere in faith.
This is our gospel—the righteousness and peace and joy of
our heart wrought by God in Christ through the Spirit by his gospel. No
Those brethren truly believed
Christ and worshipped God with me in the same assembly yet observed and
performed things from which the believer is totally free. Yet, they did so in
faith, not as a work to be accepted, not constraining others or condemning and
criticizing their brethren. They did so
by faith in love for Christ.
Those strong in faith are not to despise our weaker
brethren and those weak in faith are not to judge our stronger brethren. Believers are not to try to force the other
or put a stumbling block before the weaker.
We do so that the gospel might continue and that we might continue with
one another worshipping and rejoicing in Christ rather than biting and
devouring one another and separating ourselves in a pretense of holiness. We trust God is
able to make the other stand and increase each of us in faith therefore we bear one anothers burdens.
Romans 15: 4: Who
art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or
falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5: One
man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6: He that regardeth the day,
regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the
Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he
giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and
giveth God thanks. 7: For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to
himself. 8: For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we
die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9: For
to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both
of the dead and living. 10: But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost
thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat
of Christ. 11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee
shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12: So then every one
of us shall give account of himself to God. 13: Let us not therefore judge one
another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an
occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14: I know, and am persuaded by
the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that
esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15: But if thy
brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.
Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16: Let not then your good
be evil spoken of: 17: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18: For he that in these
things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19: Let
us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith
one may edify another. 20: For meat destroy not the work of God. All things
indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with
offence. 21: It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any
thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22:
Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that
condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23: And he that
doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for
whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Let me show you from that last statement why it is so
wrong to coerce our brethren to do what goes against their own conscience. “Whatsoever
is not OF FAITH is sin” and John
committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the
law.” (1 John 3:4)
We believe in Christ by the faith OF CHRIST
who lives in us—OUR FAITH IS OF CHRIST.
Of Christ we are given faith and that faith is increased in us according
to the increase given OF CHRIST, even as we are justified by the faith OF
By the FAITH OF CHRIST we are justified. Our justification is not by our faith in
Christ but by the FAITH OF CHRIST.
2: 16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the
faith OF CHRIST, even we have believed IN JESUS CHRIST, that we might be
justified by the faith OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the
works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Philippians 3: 9: And be found in him, not having mine
own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith OF
CHRIST, the righteousness which is OF GOD by faith:.
Likewise, of Christ are we given faith to receive his free
justification and our faith is increased by the FAITH OF CHRIST.
2: 20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet
not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
2: 19: And not holding the HEAD [Christ], FROM WHICH all the body by joints and
bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the
INCREASE OF GOD.
5: And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
So whatsoever is OF FAITH—IS OF CHRIST—even as our
justification was accomplished by the FAITH OF CHRIST. Weak faith is OF CHRIST even as strong faith
is OF CHRIST “according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Eph 4:7) And only
Christ gives the increase. So that what believers do is done by Christ working
in us so that we do it in faith to Christ. Only then does Christ get all the
glory for giving us faith and growing us in faith.
But if we do anything because we are constrained by
another man it is not OF FAITH—that is, it is not OF CHRIST, nor is it done by
faith in Christ working by love, it is sin.
And because Christ is the believer’s fulfillment of the law through
faith in him, everything and anything done which is not OF FAITH, that is OF
CHRIST, so that it is done by faith in Christ, is a transgression of the whole
law of God. Then Christ profits us
nothing and we are debtors to keep the whole law of God—so “whatsoever is not OF FAITH is sin” and “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for
sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John
That is why I do not want your faith to stand in the
wisdom or power of men but in the wisdom and power of God. So what do strong believers do rather than constraining
those weak in faith?
Romans 15: 1: We then that are strong ought to bear the
infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2: Let every one of us
please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3: For even
Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that
reproached thee fell on me.
Paul said those who make a fair show in the
flesh—constrain you lest they should suffer persecution for the
cross of Christ. But for his people,
Christ bore reproach from those who persecuted and they persecuted him because he
would not conform unto them.
I have had men
reproach me because I would not lay constraints on you, my brethren, as they
thought I ought. I can bear that by
Christ living in me because of the love wherewith he bore reproach for me:
They reproached Christ as a glutton, a
winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34)
They said Christ was a Samaritan, and had a
devil (John 8:48)
They charged Christ with blasphemy and
sedition (Matthew 26:65; Luke 23:2)
On the cross, they mocked and reviled Christ
Yet, Christ pleased not himself but bore reproach and he
did it for the edification of his elect.
Even more, when Christ bore the sins of his people in his own body on
the tree our reproach by which we blasphemed God, by which we trampled his law,
his justice and holiness is part of those sins he bore from off us onto
himself. And he made satisfaction for us
by bearing the justice due to us.
pleased not himself, but did that which edified his elect people, to the full
satisfaction of infinite justice. There
is my rejoicing by whose strength and grace I am able to bear your burden my
brethren. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were
written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the
scriptures might have hope.” (Ro 15:4)
Paul Practiced What He Preached. Well,
Paul you have told the Galatians not to constrain and told those at Rome not to
constrain, now what are you going to do to make sure they do it? Will you constrain them? Will you threathen them? What will you do? Paul trusted them to God our Savior.
Romans 15: 5: Now the God of patience and consolation
grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6:
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let every man prove his own work—wait on the Master, look
to the Master, trust the Master—then you will have rejoicing in your own heart
toward God, and not in another. Trust
Christ our Master to make your brethren stand and bear one another’s burden. And I will do now what I have just preached
to you. I trust you to God our Master