May false teachers cut themselves off

Galatians Bible Background

09.27.2017 – New Testament: Gal 5.12

To read the Bible in a year, read Galatians 5 on September 27, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Someone went to the churches of Galatia and persuaded them that they needed to be circumcised to be saved. Of that person or persons, Paul expressed this wish,

I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! (Galatians 5.12). 

If you look in the commentaries, you will find at least two major understandings of what Paul said. Either he meant that they would perform a full circumcision on themselves, cutting off more than just the foreskin, or he wished that they would cut themselves off from the church, or more specifically the Galatian churches.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit through Paul left the meaning ambiguous, kind of indicating that either one would be fine. I think the point is, do not disrupt the church with false ideas.

Questions:

  • Has a false teacher ever led you astray?
  • Has your congregation ever had to deal with someone who disrupted it in one way or another?

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