What Is Hindering The Church

Galatians 5:1-15

“Ye did run well, who did hinder you?”

The apostle Paul was very fond of athletic illustrations and used them often in his letters. His readers as well were familiar with the Olympic games and contest that always included foot races. It is important to note that Paul never uses the image of the race to tell people how to be saved. He uses the illustration of the race to inform Christians about how to live the Christian life. A contestant in the Greek games had to be a citizen before he could compete int he races. We do not run in order to be saved, but we run the because we are saved.

YOU DID RUN WELL! In the races, each runner was to stay in his assigned lane, but some runners would cut in on their competitors to try to get them off course. The word “hinder” is an Olympic expression, and properly signifies coming across the course while a person is running in it, in such a manner as to jostle, and throw him out of the way. Paul asks, with emphasis, who it could have been that retarded them in their Christian course.



A. A Focused Life

B. A Faithful Life

C. A Fruitful Life


The local church is built of individuals runners. Do you a hinder the others runners who are in the race or desire to be in the race? What can hinder others who are in the race or desire to be in the race?

I. UNCONTROLLED SPEECH hinders the church (5:15)

The quickest way to destroy the spirituality of a church, and to annihilate its influence, is to excite a spirit of uncontrolled speech. Our speech can hinder or help; bless or blight.

The first thing some people do in the morning is to brush their teeth and sharpen their tongue.

The sins of the tongue are varied and numerous: idle and injurious gossip, hurtful faultfinding, slander, lying, destructive criticism, and fleshly boasting just to name a few. Proverbs 11:9 declares “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour”

See James 1:26. If a man does not restrain his tongue, other evidences of religion are worthless. A man may undoubtedly have many things in his character which seem to be evidences of the existence of religion in his heart, and yet there is just one thing that shall show all those evidences are false.

Uncontrolled speech often wrecks havoc in the church.

A. Uncontrolled speech harms our worship.

B. Uncontrolled speech hurts our witness (James 3:10-12).

C. Uncontrolled speech helps the wicked one. See Revelation 12:10

“The tongue is the principal instrument in the cause of God; and it is the chief engine of the devil; give him this, and he asks no more -- there is no mischief or misery he will not accomplish by it.”


Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

A slip of the foot you may soon recover,

But a slip of the tongue you may never get over. – Benjamin Franklin

James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

“Man’s ears aren’t made to shut, but his mouth is.”

Psalm 141:3 and Psalm 19:14

II. UNYIELDING SERVANTS hinder the church

(Galatians 5:17)

Live under the influences of the Holy Spirit; admit those influences fully into your hearts. Do not resist Him, but yield to Him.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Yield to the control of the Holy Sprit.

So much work is done without our yielding to the Holy Spirit of God. So much work for God is done through the flesh instead of the Holy Spirit of God.

Doing God’s work in the flesh boils down to depending on our influence, personality, gifts, natural resources, education, and experience. God’s work should be done under the direction of and in the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is hindered when we operate without yielding to the Spirit of God and depending on Him.

The filling of the Spirit will affect our:

A. Witnessing (Acts 1:8)

B. Worship

We will be delivered from the , dry, dull, dormant services that exist in most services.

C. Work

The Holy Spirit is present in every believer, prominent in some believers, but he is only pre-eminent in a few believers

An evangelist had a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters whom he loved dearly. It hurt him every time he had to leave them for his meetings.

One day he came home while the s were in school and he was at home seated in his favorite chair as the s came running into the house. The older daughter spotted him first, and she ran quickly to him and threw her arms around him and shouted, “I have all of daddy. “ Her words made the younger cry. So her father threw open his arms and motioned for her to come to him. She came as fast as she could , and as her daddy pressed her to his heart she said to her sister, “You may have all of daddy, but daddy has got all of me.”

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Paul Wallace

commented on Nov 15, 2006

Very good expository sermon.

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