Summary: During trying spiritual times its is important to remember where we came from, how we started out, and who we spend time with.
Text: Galatians 4:12-20
Title: “A Time To Remember”
I. Remember Where We’ve Come From (12a)
• I mentioned last week that Paul did not doubt their salvation, and here he reaffirms that truth.
• “Be as I am”
o Paul wants these believers to follow his example; he once lived under the yoke of the law, but now has been set free by the grace of Christ.
o Paul is not being conceited here saying that he gets is so right that everyone should be like him, as a matter of fact Paul describes himself as chief among sinners.
• “For I am as ye are.”
o In other words I have been in your shoes, I know what you are going through, or in this case going back to, living under the law.
o God gives us all experiences that are unique (some good, some bad), but God can use these to bring comfort, knowledge or encouragement to another brother or sister in Christ.
II. Remember Where We Started From (12b-16)
• “Ye have not injured me at all”
o In other words they had not done Paul wrong when he came to them, but received him with grace and compassion.
• “Infirmity” – while it can refer to a physical ailment, it also describes human weakness or lack of strength because of our flesh.
o It the same word Paul uses in Romans 8:26 to describe a lack of faith or spiritual strength.
• Paul is referring to the rejection of the gospel of the Jews that lead him to preach to the Gentiles.
o It was this event that allowed these believers to hear the gospel and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
• “My temptation (trial or stumbling block) which was in my flesh.”
o Paul obviously has some physical difficulty that many would have considered as a stumbling block to hearing Paul’s message.
o There is a lot of speculation about what this could be: malaria or eye trouble; however I believe it was physical trauma Paul suffered while he was there preaching the gospel.
• “Ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.”
o Again Paul wants them to remember how they had received his word as the truth of God sent by an angel or even Jesus Himself.
• “Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?”
o Again remember the blessing you felt, the sense of freedom and new birth when you believed in Christ that child like faith. Where has that gone?
• They would have given their own eyes to Paul at one time, but now has he become their enemy because he speaks the truth.
III. Remember The Company You Keep (17-20)
• These Judiazers were seeking these believers and affecting them, but not in a good way.
o Essentially what they were doing was creating dependence on themselves rather than on Christ.
• Be affected by those who are building up and not tearing down.
o Don’t associate with those who are always complaining but never helping.
• That was Paul’s desire for them that “Christ be formed in you,” that is they would grow up in their relationship with Jesus.
• Paul’s heart is to encourage and lift up, not to condemn; but for now he “stands in doubt” or literally ‘he is at a loss for words.’