The Pleasure and the Pain of Pastoral Ministry

May 21, 2023 Speaker: Eric Bancroft Series: Galatians

Passage: Galatians 4:8–20

Christians are tempted to leave their sonship and go back to their slavery to the confusion and pain of their pastors.

When Good Disciples Go Bad? (Gal 4:8-11)

“All those who do not in all their works... trust in God’s favor, grace and good-will, but rather seek His favor in other things or in themselves, do not keep the [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry, even if they were to do the works of all the other Commandments. If we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious and pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to please Him through our works, then all [our compliance with the law] is pure deception, outwardly honoring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false [savior]...” (Martin Luther in “Treatise on Good Works”)

“How can a bondage to the law be called a bondage to evil spirits [false gods]?... What Paul means is that the devil took this good thing (the law) and twisted it to his own evil purpose, in order to enslave men and women...” (John Stott)

“If anything, the idolatry/slavery of religion is more dangerous than the idolatry/slavery of irreligion. Why? The irreligious person knows he is away from God, but the religious person does not. Now we see why Paul was so afraid for the Galatians. The new slavery to ‘non-gods’ would be worse than the old. They would not know they were away from the Father.” (Tim Keller)

When Good Pastors Get Bummed? (Gal 4:12-20) (Next Message)