Discipline is hard for parents and for children but this keeps both accountable and keeps the family living peacefully with one another. Paul has been acting as the parent to these precious Galatian babes in Christ who are dividing the Galatian church by their childish actions of snapping and arguing and had fallen for the bait of the “Thou Shalt be Circumcised and Obey the Mosaic Law” legalists. Paul asks those who had had not swallowed their bait to take on a mighty task of restoring gently those who were the back biters, devourers and provokers so that the church is once again united in Christ.
However, before they or anyone takes on this task there is are two steps that must be adhered to: “First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” And secondly, be living by the law of Christ which means living out the character of Christ step by step. Both of these require self-examination so as not to be self-deceived and quench and grieve the Holy Spirit. The only thing that mattered was: faith working through love and demonstrating that one is a new creation in Christ. This is how you love your neighbor as yourself.
Are we mature enough in the Lord to do this? This can only happen by immersing oneself in the Word, meditating upon it so you can discern truth from error. Only then can one bear the burdens another carries.
Luke wants us to follow his train of thought as he seeks to remind his reader of these principles: “The chief end of man is glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Herod was an example that lived by neither and in fact sought his own glory. Luke teaches us through the illustration of Paul and Barnabas in Lystra, where a lame man is healed, that it is God alone who deserves glory. Seeing a lame man healed, the entire town erupts and seeks to glorify them. But, unlike Herod who accepted what was due God, Paul and Barnabas shouted, tore their clothes and said: “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.”
When pagans (unbelievers) know not the living God and seek to glorify us we must do as Paul; present God as Creator and ourselves as the creation always seeking to give God his glory and the praise due to him alone. Paul wisely used God’s creation first for this reveals “God’s invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature.” Yet is not creation that points men to the Savior and their need of salvation; it is the very breathed inspired Word of God. Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [2Ti 3:16] “so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”[Rom 15]
Dr. Henry Morris in reflecting on this psalm wrote: “The 19th psalm is one of the most magnificent writings in the Bible and indeed in all literature. Charles Spurgeon also in reflecting wrote: “Any book without its first page would be sadly imperfect, and especially the great Natural Bible, since its first pages, the sun, moon, and stars, supply light to the rest of the volume, and are thus the keys, without which the writing which follows would be dark and undiscerned
So from a scientist to a theologian we have the same view: God is sovereign and He is revealed in the glorious expanse of the heavens. Thus the words of Paul resonate with our spirits: “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made” We see them as we stand and view the heavens in the dark of night or the bright light of day. No matter when, God has clearly revealed himself that we may bow our knee in humble adoration and praise him for who he is and for his glorious majesty.
One of the greatest compliments ever paid to Christianity in the first century is that believers’ lives were so changed from the inside out that they turned the world upside down. Is that what the world says about us or do we fade into the background? If ever there were two psalms that should ignite our passion it is Psalm 95 and 96 which mirror Romans 1:20. God’s very creation sings for joy and we should be as well.
As you read these two psalms note the imperative verbs: Come! Shout! Sing! Bow Down and Worship! Proclaim! Tell! Ascribe! Say! Kneel! Announce every day! How can a Christian be silent when we read words such as these? As you enter the sanctuary open your hearts to worship and let the Illuminating Holy Spirit enter and change you from the inside out. Go forth and proclaim to those about that you are a new creature in Christ…and do it TODAY for Psalm 95 implores that.
Who is the Lord Most High? He is majestic in His splendor, note that the psalmist used that word three times in vs. 6,7,8. What does that mean to you? Spend some time pondering that you are entering the Holy of Holies. Dress in holy attire for you come to stand in the presence of the King of Kings.