“Brethren, I beseech you”  [Galatians 4:12].

     Paul was most unhappy with the Galatian churches.  He had expended much effort to see them established.  The people had come to Christ, congregations were formed, and the believers had begun well.  But those who counselled a return to legalistic practices had infiltrated the church to such a degree that it seemed to Paul that those who had begun in the Spirit were now trying to complete their salvation by the observance of fleshly ritual.

     Paul was angry and he did not commend the churches, as was his custom.  He withstood Peter to the face because he acted differently towards the Gentiles when the Jews were around.  He accused the Jews of acting hypocritically, and reserved his strongest curse for those who would preach any other gospel than the pure Gospel of grace in Christ.  He denounced the Galatian Christians as being “foolish” [Galatians 3:1].

     Paul did not mince his words when it came to defending the purity of the Gospel of Christ and was right to reprove the Galatian error.  However, he does much more than to angrily denounce their backsliding.  He goes on to use a succession of arguments to teach them the right way that justification is by faith alone. Then his teaching ministry is followed by a tender pastoral appeal.

     He beseeches them as brethren to amend their ways. He addresses them as “little children” as he tenderly leads them to repentance and correction.  From righteous indignation through instruction to tender entreaty, he exhorts the Galatians to return to the Lord.

     Has someone incurred your righteous anger today?  Is the time now ripe to tenderly entreat that one, teaching by doctrine and example, that there is a better way?


     “If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is to become of us as a nation.  If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and his Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.”

     If these wise words written by American statesman Daniel Webster in 1823 – two hundred years ago – were applicable in his day, how much more do they apply in 2023?

     That day is surely upon us.  The answer is simple. Read good, solid Christian literature.  You, your family, and your country will be the beneficiaries.


     “An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it.  During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil.

     “The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of its mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.  From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day.

     “Then she tolerated them in her borders.  Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

     “My first contention is that providing amusement is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church.  If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it?

     “ ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’  That is clear enough.  So it would have been if He had added, ‘and provide amusement for those who do not relish the Gospel.’  No such words, however, are to be found.  Then again, ‘He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.”   Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them.  Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people?  The concert has no martyr roll.

     Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles.  What was the attitude of the Church to the world?  “Ye are the salt” not sugar candy – something the world will spit out, not swallow.  Short and sharp was the utterance, “Let the dead bury their dead.”  Jesus was in awful earnestness!  [C.H. Spurgeon].

     If that were true in Spurgeon’s day how much more is it true in our day?  Let us continue to faithfully feed the sheep and let others, if they wish, entertain the goats.