Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Galatians Journal: Chapter 5, Verse 8

Galatians 5:8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

The word for “persuasion” here implies that the influence is evil or wicked. Starting in the previous verse (verse 7), when Paul asks “who” interrupted the “good race,” the blame for all this confusion is being placed and the spotlight is aimed at the real culprit – the Judiazers. Of course, Paul is not letting the Galatians off the hook – but this section of scripture recognizes the reality of spiritual warfare and the insidious nature of deception. Paul does not mince words here or in the next few verses regarding who is ultimately to blame, the price they will pay, and the difficulty of discerning truth once deception takes hold.

“does not come from the one who calls you” The “call” here is from Jesus, of course, but the context here implies it is the call from the God who made the promise to Abraham – the one who calls us to freedom in Christ. So the context is clear, Paul is contrasting this “kind of persuasion” versus the “call.” The character of the persuader is evil, the one who “calls” is righteous and true. Even the verbs used imply the character of the source – the evil one needs to persuade, to argue, to distort truth in order to weasel their way in. The Lord is “calling” – an invitation, rather than a debate, a notice, rather than a treatise. It’s the difference between the call from Dad and the call from your college professor, or, better yet, the call from the country club. You don’t need a pedigree or a letter of reference to come back home. The father of the prodigal son calls and waits – and celebrates when the prodigal returns home, after the “race” was interrupted.

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