15Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I testify about you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
15Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
Christians can suffer from bouts of unhappiness in their faith. One contributing factor may be conflict and confusion due to false teaching within the Christian church. The main problem of spiritual depression lies within the church, not outside. In this sermon on Galatians 4:15 titled “False Teaching,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the apostle Paul confronting false teaching within the church. Today, false teaching can be very subtle and creep its way into the believer’s life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that false teaching sometimes detracts from the Christian message. Other times, as in the case of the Galatians, it adds to the Christian message. Either way, false teaching leaves the believer conflicted and confused. Maybe the believer hasn’t thoroughly embraced false teaching, but they are disturbed by it. In either case, the believer has lost their first happiness. How might the church safeguard herself against these dangers? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the church to embrace and cling to the original apostolic message. It cannot be subtracted from, and nothing can be added to it. There is joy in the Christian message.
- The apostle Paul is addressing spiritual depression and unhappiness in the Christian life.
- He is examining the causes of this condition in the church.
- Paul believes the main problem lies within the church, not outside of it.
- He thinks the church should have a great impact on the world.
- Paul says nothing does more harm than a depressed, uncertain, unhappy Christian.
- Paul has been examining various causes of spiritual depression and the remedies in Scripture.
- This sermon examines another cause of spiritual depression: false teaching.
- The Galatians had received the gospel with joy but were now unhappy due to false teaching.
- The false teaching was that circumcision was necessary for salvation in addition to faith in Christ.
- Paul says this false teaching denies the Christian's standing and may jeopardize their position.
- Paul speaks vehemently against this false teaching. He says if anyone preaches another gospel, let them be accursed.
- Paul is passionate because the Galatians' spiritual lives are at stake. He cares for them like a mother.
- False teaching can take the form of denying core Christian beliefs or adding requirements to the gospel.
- Examples of adding requirements include believing in the Roman Catholic Church, speaking in tongues, or faith healing.
- Paul lays out principles to guard against false teaching: the authority of Scripture, examining implications, and boasting in Christ alone.
- The authority is the apostolic message in Scripture, not feelings, experiences, or results.
- We must examine the implications and origins of teachings to determine if they are from God.
- False teachings always add requirements to the gospel and deny the sufficiency of faith in Christ.
- They also deny the Christian experience of believers throughout history.
- Paul says he will only boast in the cross of Christ, not in circumcision, orthodoxy, or any teaching. Christ alone is enough.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.