Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (KJV)
What is Paul implying by this verse? Are these to who he speaks considered to be saved by today’s standard? Paul speaking to these had stated of them:
Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (NASB1995)
But the previous is not the critical question. Paul is not making a judgment here as to a man’s not having been saved based on his willingness to forgo the gospel, but as to why they may want to return or turn after being born of the Spirit to bondage under the law? He does not want as part of man’s belief that he should by his own efforts keep the laws of Christ. In fact, this mindset is implied by Paul to be a denial of Christ and the gospel.
If one is saved but is now willing to walk in the flesh rather than the Spirit, is this not a fall?
“Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, He takes away. (What is fruit bearing in a believer?)
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. John 15:2
Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (KJV)
Over and over again belief is key to receiving Christ through the gift of faith leading to salvation.
Is a decision to follow the flesh rather than the Spirit then a denial of Christ, or a refusal to abide in Him (in His righteousness)? In the Galatians verses Paul is teaching Believers that they should not put their trust in works of the flesh for their Salvation, for to do so would be to accept another gospel, and there is no other gospel. To accept another gospel, according to Paul, would be to accept another Jesus. God sent His Son to provide a new covenant by His blood. This covenant promise is to write His law on our hearts, and give us power to become the sons of God (Jn 1). It is not by our effort, but by obedience to the Spirit, that He imposters us for the bearing of fruit.
Many today in fact teach another gospel. It may take differing forms. Some call it the gospel of the kingdom which they state is for a future salvation of Israel. And they in effect then must deny that the Jesus who saved them will save those in the Tribulation differently. They put Tribulation saints back under the law, which Paul says cannot save, and they do that without the promised Holy Spirit’s indwelling, for He is removed.
All of this is taught in order to justify a different timing for the Rapture, and it is an effort to protect eternal security — once saved always saved, which Paul did not teach. They do this by creating this other Kingdom gospel, which will save Jews in Israel, and the Tribulation’s Gentiles.
Paul begins Galatians with : Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (KJV)
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed – (Strong’s 3346) from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (KJV)
Strong’s G3346 meaning — the Greek translated remove means just that: remove, transfer, change, turn.
To turn to Christ is the definition of repentance, so what is to turn from Christ?
So, we can quote scripture on both sides of the (eternal security/ falling from Grace) positions, as both sides have done and are continuing to do. But we are called to rightly divide the word of God.
So we must do that as two gospels, but as Paul explains. I will ask you to answer what you see contained in just a few verses that you must have seen before.
Both sides believe ourselves to be saved right now. So, I will just ask questions in order to emphasize Paul’s concerns based on words that Jesus and Paul both spoke:
In Matthew 24, who do you personally think Our Lord was talking about when He spoke concerning those who endure to the end being saved? What did He mean by saved? And if it is believers that He is speaking to who are to endure, then does this contradict His teaching concerning His own, who are in His hand? And why would He then make both statements? Could it be that enduring has the same meaning as abiding in Him which He teaches? And could it all possibly be related to the falling away that He warns of that is coming?
And would these two concepts that He preaches contradict if scripture teaches an understanding that a man can remove Himself from the Jesus of the gospel and accept or create another Jesus as Paul has put it in Galatians? Would not then it make sense for Jesus to promise to hold and keep us who are in His hand, and not to keep those who have denied Him by turning to another Jesus?
And of course there is no question that everyone who remains or endures, or overcomes, in Him will never be forsaken. For in Him there is life. If belief in the true gospel is the only attribute that we can bring to the table, why does anyone disbelieve entire sections of scripture?
The final concerns that I will bring forth are from Paul and were spoken to Timothy
2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (KJV)
This last verse must be understood in light of all of Jesus words or teachings. “If we believe not”, then we become unbelieving, and scripture is clear on what happens to unbelievers. So, Jesus cannot deny Himself. He is the Word. He is faithful to the Word. He “the Word” stated: if you deny me….
What do you believe these words are to mean to us? Can you make them fit your belief without contradiction? And what did they mean to Timothy? They seem clear to me, but what do they mean to you? Paul further states to Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (KJV)
You can read this passage in any translation and you will find the same questions to arise. Wasn’t Timothy saved when Paul wrote this? Yes, he was. Why then did Paul attach salvation to Timothy’s doctrine or teachings? We certainly can understand that his proper teaching is necessary for his hearers to be saved. But Paul is saying much more here. He is saying that what Timothy teaches must be continually examined to be sure it is true to what he has been taught, because if he doesn’t teach truth he may lose his own salvation as well as mislead others into doing the same.
The final questions must be asked. Can false teaching, brought in by false teachers rob one of his faith? Can wrong beliefs coming from wrong teachings of the word (Jesus) lead to falling away? Or A failure to believe truth (Jesus), or a failure to remain in truth (Jesus) or sound doctrine (truth = Jesus)?
Answers to these questions must consider all truth in order to properly divide the saved from the unsaved; the true gospel from the false gospels; the true Jesus from the made up Jesus of whom Paul speaks.