Zealously Affected…but not Well

Galatians 4:16-17 (KJV)  Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?  (17)  They zealously affect you, but not well…

The letter to the Galatians was written by Paul to prove that justification is not obtained through rites or laws and that they are not essential to obtain salvation. During this time of Paul’s ministry, there were religious teachers who were trying to get these new Christians in Galatia to believe that they could only be accepted by God if they kept the commandments of the Old Testament. The Old Testament Law was intended by God to constantly remind people of how sinful they were and how much in need of a Savior they were. This knowledge was intended by God to lead people to Christ for their salvation.

Paul is pointing out that those who would focus more on the Law for their spiritual justification minimize the power of Christ as their Mediator and Justifier because they are depending on their religious works rather than upon the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

In this particular area of Galatians, Paul is drawing the reader’s attention to the fact that these false teachers were zealous about their influence on others and were apparently having some form of an effect on the believers there. Paul, just like all ministers who are called of God, did his part by stepping in and heading off the devil’s attempts to destroy these believers.

The main approach the devil was using was trying to get these Christians to depend upon their own ability to keep a religious law rather than depend upon Christ’s ability to save them and set them free from the power of their sin.

“One approach the enemy of our souls uses to influence Christians in a negative way is by using the ways and fashions of this world.”

In this post, we’re going to take this concept of being zealously affected in a negative way and show how that we as Christians, no matter how long we’ve served God, must always be vigilant against the influences that this present evil world has on us and to ensure we are not effected by those influences in a negative way.

One approach the enemy of our souls uses to influence Christians in a negative way is by using the ways and fashions of this world. When we speak of “fashions of this world” negatively affecting the Christian, this doesn’t mean that a Christian cannot have any sense of fashion about their clothing, hairstyle, vehicle, etc. It simply means that we do not allow the trends of the current social system (“the world”) to have so much influence on those decisions that we start to look and act like those who don’t even know God.

We are reminded by Paul in 1st Corinthians 7:31 for the fashion of this world passeth away. The original word for “fashion” used in this verse is the Greek word schema, from which we get the English word “scheme” or design. While the Christian lifestyle is one of living according to the guidelines set by God in His word, those who don’t know God are not going to do this. Therefore, their fashions, schemes, and designs are meant to accentuate, show, and exalt qualities about themselves.

The child of God, however, while aware of looking relevant and pleasant, is also aware of the guidelines in God’s word about things such as outward modesty and holiness. In other words, our goal is not to lift ourselves up to garner everyone’s attention nor is it to lower ourselves down so as to be like everyone around us.

With this said, there are some kinds of clothing that, though they may be trendy and popular, the born again Christian just isn’t going to wear them. Again, looking relevant and pleasant are still possible but not at the cost of properly representing Christ in this world!

Published by Jason Fulmer

Jason Fulmer is a Pastor and Personal Development Teacher. He currently operates two blogs: PastorFulmer.com where he posts Bible-based Pastoral articles, and NextLevelLiving.blog where he posts Bible-based leadership and development articles. His life's goal is to encourage men and women to go to THEIR next level of living and leading. He believes the best way to accomplish this goal is through Education and Example!

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