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Christianity, Heresy and The Offensive Religion

We continue our study in Paul’s letter to Galatia with Galatians 5:7-12. Here we confront the topic of heresy. In this message, Pastor Head shows that obedience to the truth (v.8) is illustrated by one of Paul’s favorite analogies – the foot race. The Galatians have been hindered from running the good race because of the Judaizer’s false doctrine. They have been persuaded to believe in a compromised gospel (that is no gospel at all) which – if carried through – ends in spiritual death. Come learn with us as we examine false doctrine, its origin and end, and learn how we ought not shy away from identifying heresy when we see it.In this sermon we look at several examples of prevalent heresy, including the Medieval Scholastics, a modern women’s ministry icon, and a well-known mega-church couple.

Galatians 5:7-12

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! (ESV)

Our public reading was:

1 John 2:18-29

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (ESV)

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