Spy On Your Liberty

Paul wrote about some false brothers who crept into his meetings unawares. They came in to spy out the liberty which was being practiced in Paul's meetings. Paul said that the purpose of the men was to bring Paul's group into the bondage of Moses' law (Gal. 2:4) even though they were Christians.

Notice that Paul clearly states he was not subject to those men -- not even for an hour.

In other words, while Paul was in charge of the meetings, group, city, etc., he felt he should be led by the Holy Spirit. Those men had no right to sneak in to put his people under the bondage of the law -- they were free in Jesus Christ to be led by the Holy Spirit.

However, when Paul went up to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem, where they were still under the law, then he acted in a completely opposite way. Paul recognized the TEMPORAL authority the church leaders had over him because he was on their ground. So he did what the local hierarchy (Acts 21:23) told him to do even though he was warned by the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:4) not to go back to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem (back to the law). Thus, we see that he acted in two different ways. In Galatia he absolutely was not subject to the Christian Jews, but in Jerusalem he was.

To bring this where we live

now -- if you are on your own ground doing your own thing, being led by the Holy Spirit, then keep it up! If someone comes in to tell you your way is wrong and that your people would be closer to God and more pleasing to Him by keeping some sort of law, commandment, tradition or such like -- you do not have to obey them. It will not hurt to listen to them if you continue to be led by the Holy Spirit, not them.

But if you leave your location and go to theirs, you better keep their rules, remembering that you are finding favor with them, not God (Rom. 14).

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