Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 21, 2020

“You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.”

Today’s devotion comes from Galatians 5:7-12.  God willing, in the next devotion, we will cover Galatians 5:6 with Galatians 5:13-15, because they fit better together under their common theme of love.

You were running well;  who hindered you from obeying the truth?  This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.  I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view;  but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.  But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?  Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.  I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.”  Galatians 5:7-12.


“You were running well;  who hindered you from obeying the truth?”  Verse 7.

I often noticed that there were Christians who seemed to be “running well” as today’s Scripture starts out.  They sang the loudest with most passion.  They attended every event.  But, they disappeared from view.  It points to everyone’s need to be continually dependent on the Lord and to be ever vigilant to guard against false doctrine and temptations which can affect individuals and churches.

We remember the parable of the Sower.  “Now the parable is this:  the seed is the word of God.  Those beside the road are those who have heard;  then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.  Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy;  and these have no firm root;  they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.  The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”  Luke 8:11-14.

But, there is hope!

Our salvation is not dependent on our works nor our alleged free-will to resist false doctrine and temptation.  Our salvation is dependent on God’s “Unconditional Election”.  If God elects us for salvation, then God will provide all that we need for salvation including preserving us through the false doctrine and temptation that disturb us, which preserving the Reformed Doctrine labels as “Preservation of the Saints” as part of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Concerning this “Preservation of the Saints”, consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Article 8.  Thus, it is not in consequence of their own merits, or strength, but of God’s free mercy, that they do not totally fall from faith and grace, nor continue and perish finally in their backslidings;  which, with respect to themselves, is not only possible, but would undoubtedly happen;  but with respect to God, it is utterly impossible, since his counsel cannot be changed, nor his promise fail, neither can the call according to his purpose be revoked, nor the merit, intercession and preservation of Christ be rendered ineffectual, nor the sealing of the Holy Spirit be frustrated or obliterated.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.

“This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.”  Verse 8.

The persuasion of those who tried to bring the Galatians back into the bondage of the Law did not come from God Who calls His elect.  Those whom God calls, they are secure in the golden chain of salvation.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30.

We see this “Unconditional Election” in this parable of the Sower.  “His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant.  And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.”  Luke 8:10.

Concerning this “Unconditional Election”, consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good; from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.

Article 10.  The good pleasure of God is the sole cause of this gracious election;  which doth not consist herein, that out of all possible qualities and actions of men God has chosen some as a condition of salvation;  but that he was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to himself, as it is written, “For the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil,” etc., it was said (namely to Rebecca):  “the elder shall serve the younger; as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,”  Romans 9:11,12,13.  “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,”  Acts 13:48.

“I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view;  but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”  Verse 10.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


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