Speaking the Truth in Love
The letter to the Galatians contains all anyone needs to stop division in its tracks and keep it from ever getting started again!
1 What Causes Division?
[a] Pride, arrogance, being obstinate…
[b] Hatred, gossip, idleness…
 Dividing the Lord’s church is sinful
[a] What example do we have of authorized division of God’s people
[b] Even Paul and John Mark resolved their difference!
 Division is started and prorogated for many reasons but at the root of it there is adisagreement
 The letter to the Galatians contains all anyone needs to stop division in its tracks and stop it from ever getting started.
[a] The Galatians had a serious disagreement (1:6 – not all were turned)
[b] Quick History – Judaizing teachers – You must be circumcised!
[i] What a silly issue with plain teaching from the word of God!
[ii] Are reasons today any better?
2 How is a Disagreement Resolved?
NOTE Options – well I had no choice – there are always options whether realized or not…
2.1 One side is eliminated
 Paul warned against – 5:15
 Analogy of pride of lions
[a] The few in the pride are stronger (average strength is high) but the group is as a whole is weaker
[b] Many Christians are satisfied and proud of this out come
[c] “We have purged the Church”
2.2 The group divides
 Oddly Paul I did not see any warnings in Galatians about this option
 Leads me to believe that the first century Christians of the Galatia area understood unity
[a] Consider the need for unity
[b] The division the church is facing today would have severely hindered the spread of the truth in the first century (as it is today)
[c] Think how much stronger we could be!
2.3 What did Paul instruct the Galatians to do?
 Follow the instructions of God!
 Paul had the ability to speak the Word of God
 We must study the written Word of God to know God’s will for us
[a] Study (and interpretation) of the Word of God often generates disagreements
[b] Remember Christ taught division is sinful (John 15); disagreements are not
[c] Disagreements are going to happen; it is how we handle them that determine if they will lead to sin!
3 How To Study Through a Disagreement
3.1 Guns blazing, my way or the highway, win/lose mindset
 Go in with a “win my argument and you lose yours” – everyone loses because the debaters skills are being tested not the interpretation of the Word of God
 A “win/win – no deal” disagreement is ideal
[a] Imagine where both sides of an issue came together where they would consider it a win for all if the truth of the matter was revealed no matter what side ended up being right
[b] Earlier I talked about where the opposing side is eliminated – I did not mean to imply that this was automatically sinful
[i] There is a “no deal” option that must be available – there is “no deal” when the truth has been brought forth and the opposing side refuses to hear it.
[ii] We cannot compromise the Word of God to get a “win/win”, this is a “No Deal” and the side opposing the Word of God must be dealt with as God dictates
[iii] Some are to quick to jump into above action
3.2 Discredit opposition
 Paul faced this type opposition
[a] He spent 1/3 of the book rebuilding his name
[b] Proving that his words were the Word of God
 Politicians incorporate this method
 Two sides – discrediting and being discredited
[a] If you are discrediting then stop – even the worst liar can tell the truth
[b] If you are being discredited – defend yourself à with the Word of God
3.3 By ourselves
 “I have been studying this a lot and…”
 We are not an island, difficult issues need to be “aired” out rather than just blasting your new ideas…
3.4 What did Paul do to prove his point to the Galatians?
 Proved that his words were the Word of God – that he was an apostle, a servant of Christ and not a man pleaser
 Showed how the Judaizing teachers argument was not from the Word of God
 Paul’s argument was thorough and well organized
[a] He showed how circumcision was not part of the current will of God for his people
[b] He showed the purpose of the old law and why it was passed away
[c] He showed the whole law must be followed if any part is to be followed
 We do not have direct guidance of the Holy Spirit today
[a] The Holy Spirit did not leave us without guidance
[b] We should follow Paul’s example set forth and
[c] Present arguments from the word of God in a logical and understandable format
4 How to Recover from a Disagreement
4.1 Brow beat those who were wrong
 It bad to be wrong – nobody wants to be wrong
 It’s worse to be right and arrogant
[a] The world is full of arrogant people
[b] A good study of the difference between arrogance and confidence is of Paul’s life
4.2 Kick out those who were wrong
 The members of the church in Corinth tried to practice this
 Paul rebuked them
4.3 What does Paul promote to the Galatians?
 5:13 – Liberty as opportunity to “flesh”
[a] What is the flesh? 5:19-21
[b] Liberty is born out as those who were right – 5:13-15
 5:14 – love your neighbor
5 How to avoid Division
5.1 Accept everything
 Agree to disagree
 Stand against false doctrine – 2:3-5
 Withstand error face to face – 2:11-14
5.2 Reject everything
 Correct open minded definition – A Christian must be
 Apollos was “open minded” (Acts 18:24-28)
5.3 What does Paul recommend?
 Realize your place – HUMBLE!
[a] 6:3 – Think yourself to be something when you are nothing
[b] Know what a fool is (3:1)
NOTE Good study on the use of the English word “fool” and how it is used
 Recognize trouble makers – 4:17 (Jude 12-13, 16)
 Walk in the Spirit – 5:16-26
 Emotions are a reality for disagreements
[a] No silly statement to check them at the door
[b] No excuse for sin!
 Help one another! 6:1-5
 To help each other we must know each other!