yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— [galatians 2:4]
so much malicious intent fills this half sentence.
false brothers– not misinformed christians, not ignorant and innocent, not God-fearing, Christ followers who were just a little off in their doctrine, but false. wolves in sheep’s clothing.
secretly brought in– brought in by others already in the church. these false believers were not working alone. they were cooperating together with a mission in mind.
slipped in– they did not enter boldly with a loud message. their tactics were subtle. slightly off to stir up doubt and confusion in a way that was winsome and filled with logic. they looked similar to true believers, so much so that the difference would be undetectable to many in the church.
to spy out our freedom– these men were not coming in with guns blazing, looking to change everything immediately. they were observant and patient. looking for weakness.
so that– they did all of this intentionally and maliciously. they did not just wander in and happen to disagree and start stirring up dissension. they came with a purpose.
bring us into slavery– and this was their purpose. to conform the church to their false teaching so they might have the power and control over the congregations now slaves to their ways. a message that might draw people from Christ and trust in something else for salvation. trust in works for salvation. trust in themselves for salvation.
but their is also such beautiful truth in this verse.
our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus–
this is the true gospel. Jesus and only Jesus sets us free.
- free from sin [rom 6]
- free from guilt and shame [rom 8:1]
- free from death [rom 8:2]
- free to enter the throne room of grace [heb 4:16]
- free to follow Christ in the Spirit of Christ [1 peter 2:21]
- free to live as children of God, rejecting worldliness and clinging to Christ [2 tim 1:7]
Christ died for his bride, the church. he bought her, has claimed her, and will keep her, purifying her so that she might be presented as a pure body to him for all eternity. let us fight for that purity. let us fight for the true gospel of freedom in Christ Jesus!
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.[eph 5:25b-27]
~ arwen eastman