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The Most Emasculating Thing the Apostle Paul Ever Wrote, and Why

Paul

Go mutilate yourself!

Galatians 5:12 NASB
I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

Do you remember Lorena Bobbit? Yea, the one who cut off her husband’s penis and threw it out of a moving car. As a teenager we had plenty of jokes with Lorena Bobbit involved.

For a man, we are talking about some pretty sensitive issues here!

This is probably the worst possible thing a man could ever think of happening to them. And yet this is the exact language that the apostle Paul is using. He saves this severe language for those false teachers who preach a false gospel.

“I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off!” Galatians 5:12 Amplified

In the Message version we get a fuller picture of what Paul is talking about:

“As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!”

There were false teachers going around preaching that a person must not only believe in Jesus to be saved, but that they also must be circumcised. They were telling the churches that they were only preaching what Paul also taught. But that wasn’t true.

If Paul was still preaching like he did when his name was Saul, before he came to know Jesus, none of the Jews would care. He would have no persecutors if he kept on preaching the need to come under the law of God and be circumcised to be saved.

The Mutilation of the Gospel

Galatians 5:12 NASB

I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

Paul is saying, false teachers want to mutilate the gospel? Why don’t they just go and cut off their own manhood then? They are demanding that a person must be circumcised to be saved? Why don’t they not only circumcise the foreskin, but cut off the whole thing?!

The mutilation of the gospel is the most heinous thing a person can do because it robs people of God Himself, it keeps people out heaven and shuts them up in eternal hell. We must never forget that mankind has a very powerful enemy named lucifer. If he cannot get people to believe that there is no God, no Heaven and no hell, he will bring people to false pagan religions. If he can’t get people into false pagan religions, he will get people into what looks like Christianity, but he will mutilate and twist the foundations of the true gospel.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Satan is known as a deceiver. His main goal is to deceive people. He will appear as an angel of light. He might even talk about Jesus, but in the end he has come to take people to hell.

2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

And so these false gospels are usually subtle. They contain some things that are true, but when it comes down to the essential teachings of the Bible, they will deny extremely important truths about Jesus and how a person can be saved.

5 Ways the Gospel is Being Mutilated in our Churches Today:

  1. It’s not there

One of the worst things we can do in our churches to keep people from knowing the truth is to not preach AND teach the gospel. The message of the cross, of man’s sin, of repentance, of faith, of being born again, of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection needs to be preached in our churches. It needs to be preached, but most importantly it needs to be taught!

I think of one of biggest things lacking in the church today, is the teaching of the gospel. A fiery proclamation of the gospel is always good. But a clear, concise and accurate teaching on the gospel is usually almost totally overlooked.

If we ask the average church goer to articulate the gospel, could they do it? If they could say a few sentences, do they really understand and comprehend what they said? Do they understand the meaning of basic Bible words such as sin, righteousness, the new birth, salvation by the law or by faith, what the grace of God has to do with salvation, the sin nature of a man apart from Christ? Do they understand these things?

There is a lack of gospel preaching, and gospel teaching in our churches today. If the gospel is not regularly taught and explained, people will never know the truth from a false gospel.

  1. When it is preached, it’s given 3 minutes at the end of a sermon

One time I was in a packed stadium filled with people to hear a popular preacher. The messages were good and I know people were blessed and encouraged. Then at the end, this minister spoke about Jesus and the gospel for about 3 minutes. Then all these people came down front to be saved. At the time I thought how amazing that was. That even with such a short message, that all those people got saved.

But did they get saved? God is good and he can do amazing things. But if we were to go ask those people what happened, or why they went down front or who is Jesus, I believe we would find that many are still ignorant of the gospel truths.

I don’t believe a person has to have a degree in Greek and Hebrew to be saved or something like that. But even the new born baby will have some basic understanding of salvation, of who Jesus is and how they can be saved.

It is not enough to regulate 3 minutes at the end of our services. Can God work? Sure He can, but it’s in spite of us, not because of us. I believe the gospel should be the center of all Christian doctrine and teaching in the church! If there is anything our people should know, it is the good news about Jesus! Let us do more than throwing a couple sentences together after the “real preaching” is done. The gospel is the greatest message we could ever give!

  1. The gospel is mutilated when we don’t talk about sin

Why did Jesus die on the cross? By the way many preach these days, it would seem that the primary reason Jesus died on the cross was to make our lives better. It would seem that the problem that mankind has is that we are not blessed enough, don’t have enough peace and joy, don’t have enough of life’s comforts.

So some preachers preach a false gospel based on comfort and blessings to be had in this life. But the truth of the word of God paints a much different picture. Mankind is not simply distant from God in need of God to shower material and emotional blessings on people.

God has declared all men to be in sin! God has declared that all men outside of faith in Christ are under His fierce wrath and fiery indignation. All we have to do is read Romans 1 through 3 and we will get a clear understanding of this.

The true gospel always addresses the problem of mankind’s sin and sinful nature. Sin is what alienates us from God. Sin is what sends men to hell. Some would say that the only sin that sends someone to hell is not believing in Jesus Christ. But that’s simply not true. When a sinner stands before the throne of God to give an account for their lives, God does not simply say, your only sin was rejecting my Son. Not at all.

Every single sin a person every commits will be brought up before God and the books of their sinful life will be opened.

“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds” Romans 2:5-6

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Revelation 22:10

The sinner will be judged and punished in hell for every single sin.

The gospel is mutilated when preachers do not talk about sin! If you go to a sinner and tell them Christ died so you can have an abundant life, what will that mean to them? It will mean that Christ died for them to help them live sinful selfish lives chasing their own dreams and desires instead of God’s.

The gospel message is not come to Christ so He can make your life better. The gospel message is repent and believe! The gospel message in the Bible always puts forth Jesus as a savior from sin. Those who do not preach about man’s sin and sinful nature mutilate the gospel and Paul would have them mutilate themselves.

  1. The gospel is mutilated when we don’t tell men to repent

If we do not preach about sin, we will also mutilate the gospel by not preaching repentance. Biblical repentance always has to do with sin. If you do not ever hear a so called minister calling on people to repent of sin, it is because he does not preach about the sinful condition of man and therefore there is no sin needed to be repented of.

Every single preacher in the Bible was a preacher of repentance. Repentance is to turn away from sin, from the dominion of the devil and from living for self. Repentance in no way saves, but yet without a repentant heart, no one will be saved.

“Notice how John the Baptist explained to those Pharisees and Sadducees the way in which they had to flee. He told them, first, that they must repent. There is no going to Heaven by following the road to Hell! There is no finding pardon while continuing in sin. Depend upon it, Mr. Drunkard, you will not be forgiven for your drunkenness if you still go on with your drinking! Let not the man who is unchaste imagine that he can go on with his sin and yet be forgiven. Let not the thief dream that there is any pardon for him unless he quits his evil course and tries to make such restitution as he can to those whom he has wronged.” Charles Spurgeon

The good news of Jesus Christ is that Christ will forgive us all our sins as we put our trust in Him. But if we do not see that we have any sin to repent of, to turn from and forsake, how can Christ forgive us? How can a man be born again if he does first see he is dead in his sins and transgressions against the Lord?

 

  1. The gospel is mutilated when it adds anything to faith in Jesus

This adding to the gospel is the biggest problem Paul saw in his day. As it was in his day, so we can find it in our day. We are saved and forgiven of our sins by grace alone through faith alone. That means that we have nothing to offer God. We have no part to play in it. We are called to believe the good news. But that faith originates with God and He gives it to us as a gift.

Our good works cannot wash away any of our sinful stains. Our best deeds are like filthy rags before God. All that God accepts is our trust in His son. Everywhere you see false religion you will see a salvation based upon works.

Some false religions would say, yes have faith in Jesus. But in order to be forgiven of sin, you must also do _______________. Faith in Jesus plus anything equals sure damnation. When it comes to how we are saved, we cannot combine faith in Christ with any religious work or act. It is not faith plus feeding the poor. It is not faith plus going to church. It is not faith plus being water baptized. It is not faith plus confessing sins to a priest. It is not faith plus being circumcised. It is not faith plus keeping the laws of Moses.

“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24

There is a place for God’s holy law. Read the old testament, read through the 10 commandments. But trying to keep them to be made righteous is like someone trying to wash themselves with a glass mirror. A mirror can only show us that we are dirty, but it will not remove the dirt! So the law of God is designed only to show us our sinfulness, but it cannot remove our sin. Only the precious blood of Jesus can cleanse us. This blood can only be applied by faith. It is by a simple trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we are forgiven and given new life.

Conclusion:

Galatians 5:12 NASB

I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

Paul would say to false teachers the same thing! Go mutilate yourselves. Those who give motivational speeches but do not preach the true gospel so that men can be saved, Paul would say “I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off!”

To those who think the gospel so small of a thing, and so devoid of fully explaining, who quickly speak of the glories of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection only at the end of a service, Paul says: “go all the way and castrate themselves!”

To those who continue to preach a false, man-made, man centered gospel, who will not preach about sin and who refuse to call on men to turn from that sin, Paul says: “As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”

And to those who would preach another gospel by claiming that some keeping of a law or of doing religious works help to save, Paul says to them: “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!”

 

 

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About Me
About Me
God has given me a powerful testimony of going from darkness and serving satan, to light and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. The short version is that I was a drug abusing, drug dealing party animal all of my teenage years. I was saved in prison and God has done miracle after miracle in order to receive glory from my life! I am truly blessed to be alive serving Jesus, when I easily could be dead or still in prison. I have been serving the Lord in ministry since 2005. I have had many different roles, doing various things. I have been[...]

I recently ministered the word of God at Grace Fellowship Church in Shillington, Pa. Listen as I speak about Eight Great Gospel Themes.

Colombia June 2016

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