Summary: fighting for your rights
Each one should judge his own conduct. If it is good, then he can be proud of what he himself has done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done. (Today’s English Version)
No risk, no reward!
Introduction: We learn that this is Paul writing to the churches in southern Galatia, founded on Paul’s first missionary journey, and Christians everywhere. We was writing for the purpose to refute the Judaizers (who taught that Gentiles believers must obey the Jewish law in order to be saved), and to call Christians to faith and freedom in Christ.
So as we look were in chapter 6, we see that Paul now tries to reach the Galatians with this friendly means of address. Furthermore, this shows that he did not view himself as superior, but saw them as his brother and sisters in Christ.
Take a good look at what’s left of your life and decide to make it count. Life’s saddest words are found on a tombstone that reads: “When it came time to die, I had not lived.” It’s frightening to take risk and try new things. We think, “What if I fail?” What if you do? It won’t be your first mistake! And no matter how bad it is, it probably won’t be your worst mistake. And unless you fail at something really spectacular like attempting to climb Mount Everest or swim the English Channel, it probably won’t be your last mistake. One thing you can count on, wisdom, experience and character. In other words you’ll become wiser for just having tried.
Rick warren writes: “I could have taken a hundred gift and ability test as a young man and would never have discovered that I was gifted at teaching, because I had never done it! It was only after I began accepting opportunities to speak that I saw the results, received confirmation from others and realized God has gifted me to do this.”
· I Cor 11:28
When you do your very best, you feel good about the results and there is no need to compare yourself with others. People make comparisons for many reasons. Some point out others’ flaws in order to feel better about themselves. Others simply want reassurance that they are doing well. When you are tempted to compare, look at Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to do your very best, and his loving acceptance will comfort you when you fall short of your goals.
1. Christ was able to successfully confront the devil
a. Although Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of man, the devil and his followers seen to have attributed only humanity to Him. When the devil tempted Jesus, he treated Him as an exceptional human, but not as God in the flesh (Col. 2:9). Had he believed Jesus to be God, which was demonstrated by the heavenly affirmation at His baptism, he would have left Him alone. It was because Jesus was without doubt “The Word…made flesh” (John 1:14) that he did not hesitate to have an encounter with the devil.
b. We as believers, however, are not so led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Rather, the devil is an adversary who Peter compares to “a roaring lion, [who] walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore, Jesus teaches us to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).
2. The devil was too sure of himself
a. Satan’s pride was the basic cause of his downfall from heaven (Luke 10:18). He was not created as a devil but as an angel. He then rebelled against the supremacy of God (Is.14:12-15; Ezek. 28:13-17; 1 Tim. 3:6).
c. Twice Satan said to Jesus, “If thou be the Son of God (Matt. 4:3, 6). The Greek word translated “if” has to meaning an old and new one. Using the former shows that the devil did not really believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
3. The devil tried to tempt Christ with shortcuts
a. Part of fallen human nature is impatience, especially when our physical comforts or desires are concerned.
b. Thus, the devil thought he could convince Christ to change stones into bread after his forty-day fast. But Christ would not work a miracle for His mere comfort. We should likewise be wary of those who suggest constant miracles in order to bypass the hardship of life.
c. The devil’s second temptation also involved a miraculous flaunting of supernatural power rather than waiting for His supernatural resurrection.