7You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
8This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
9A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
10I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.
12I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.
Paul here is exemplifying how easy it is to fall away from the truth. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. You see, it only takes a little bit of a lie to contaminate all of you. This is how our enemy works. He gets you to believe a little lie, even a half truth, and if we give him a foothold, if we let that lie sit in our minds, it will contaminate everything. Look to Luke 4 where Christ is tempted by satan. He tempts Jesus using twisted versions of scriptures out of context! This is why out of context verse recitation bothers me so much. I can take any word and make it fit in any situation, but if you know why people were saying what they were and how it was said, you understand the full meaning. It’s the whole reason I started this devotional in the first place. I wanted God’s Word the way God intended it, not the way a man told me it was.
In Mathew 18:7 Christ says: “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” This is Paul’s sentiment in verse 10.
Verse 11 is talking about the pride of man. It is difficult for man to set aside his pride and accept grace through faith. We want to have a part in it, but we don’t. Countless times while explaining the gospel to people have I heard, “but I’m a good person.” That’s great, keep being a good person, but it has nothing to do with your salvation! It isn’t until we realize that we bring nothing to the table worthy of God’s grace that we will be saved. We must sacrifice our pride and whatever authority we think we have to be saved. Until then, your good works will only echo in hell.
Paul’s zeal for the Galatians is expressed in verse 12 with sarcasm. He uses the comparison of ancient pagan priest who would castrate themselves in worship of their religious laws and suggests that these Judaizers who are still trying to earn their way and influence others should do the same since they are so committed to “doing” things to receive grace.
How do we castrate ourselves with rituals throughout the day?