By Joshua Winslett
Galatians 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?“
In Galatians, Paul had rightfully rebuked and exhorted the church at Galatia to return to the state of grace in which they had previously enjoyed. Was Paul mean? Was Paul their enemy? Paul greatly loved this church. Paul certianly meant for his exhortation to lead them to repentance. Even though his words were straight forward and to the point, he had their chief interest in mind. In today’s “cotton candy” Christianity, ministers are neutered to a level that leaves them unable to proclaim almost any biblical truth. As a minister of the gospel, and a disciple of Christ, we are told to uphold truth even when it is not popular. Does this give us a licenses to act in a way that is offensives. No! God forbid. Paul exhorted Timothy to instruct in meekness with all long suffering (2Tim.2:25). Jesus pronounced woes to anyone that offended his little ones (Luke 17:2). The believer might answer, “I don’t appreciate chastisement, nor do enjoy it.” That is true for everyone. Yet Paul tells us that Chastisement “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The gospel itself is for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2Tim3:16).
Truth is unpopular more times then not. Truth can make the dearest friends treat you like an enemy. Yet truth should never be compromised. Truth should only clear the fog of a persons mind and wayward life. John Gill writes, “Telling the truth in such a manner often brings many enemies to the ministers of Christ; not only the men of the world, profane sinners, but professors of religion, and sometimes such who once loved and admired them.” Dear reader, how do you handle truth? How do you handle correction? How do you take exhortation? Do you hate those whom you once admired? Whether it be your father, mother, brother, or pastor; we should thank God for these people. They are those who only wish to bring you into closer communion and fellowship with God.
Please take the time to read below; John Gill’s commentary on this verse:
Am I therefore become your enemy,… Not that he was an enemy to them, he had the same cordial affection for them as ever; he had their true interest at heart, and was diligently pursuing it; but they, through the insinuations of the false teachers, had entertained an ill opinion of him, and an aversion to him, and treated him as if he had been an enemy to them, and as if they had a real hatred of him: and that for no other reason, as he observes, but
because I tell you the truth; the Gospel so called, because it comes from the God of truth, is concerned with Christ, who is truth itself, and is dictated, revealed, and blessed by the Spirit of truth; and is opposed unto, and is distinct from the law, which is only an image and shadow, and not truth itself: it chiefly respects the great truths of salvation alone by Christ, and justification by his righteousness; and may also regard what he had said concerning the abrogation of the law, blaming them for the observance of it, and calling its institutions weak and beggarly elements; all which he told or spoke publicly, plainly, honestly, fully, and faithfully, boldly, constantly, and with all assurance, consistently, and in pure love to their souls; and yet it brought on him their anger and resentment. Telling the truth in such a manner often brings many enemies to the ministers of Christ; not only the men of the world, profane sinners, but professors of religion, and sometimes such who once loved and admired them.