Galatians 4: 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
This is a good lesson for the church today. Paul discusses how we’re treated and how we react to it. Every church has situations. Every person has situations. We’re all in the devil’s sights and we need to face him and respond correctly. God doesn’t want us to be Jonah Christians that are always on the run. Stand for what’s right. God has not deceived us. We have the truth and it is something worth standing for. If there is anyone who should be zealously affected it is those who are born again.
The church at Galatia was saved by Jesus Christ and under pressure from the Jewish community to back away from the wholeness of Jesus Christ. They said he was not enough and there was a need to adopt new forms. They saw the progress of the church and thought they could make it better by blending in Old Testament law and traditions. Christ needs no improvement. The gospel needs none. There is no needed updating. Our salvation is perfect and we don’t need anything else to be eligible for heaven. Jesus needs no help from outside sources to save and keep us. He is a full and complete Savior.
The people of the Galatian church were saved by the gospel of a Savior that worked fine by itself. The world is not satisfied with us being plain old Christians and children of God. If people don’t want to hear what we have to say, that’s fine. Instead of letting it go at that, they pressure us to change. Verses 8-9 say howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Paul brought to the surface the foolish thinking of some. The only one who can define our Christianity is Jesus Christ. How others define it doesn’t matter. It does matter what God and his Son think.
To affect means to influence change. The world, whether overtly or openly, wants to influence us to change our view of Jesus Christ and Christianity. We can’t have Christianity just anyway we want. We can’t twist it to suit ourselves or please others. If we’re friends with the world we may need to check ourselves. We may be at enmity with God. The closer we live to the Lord, the more different we’ll be to the world. The result is enmity with the world that results in pressure to affect us. Verse 17 says they zealously affect you, but not well. It’s not a good affect. In our electronic age the devil has multiple opportunities to affect us. He’s picked up speed. Society tells us it’s okay to talk like they talk and walk like they walk. It’s ok and you can still call yourself a Christian. Now days everybody says they’re Christians yet carry around all sorts of beliefs. There are not different types of Christianity. If we don’t take Jesus Christ as the gospel, there is no other.
What’s the answer? Verse 18 says it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing. It’s good to be zealously affected about the good things—right things. Jesus is good. The Bible is a good book. The church is a good place. Living right is good. Being holy is good. Being spiritual—a prayer—is a good thing. It’s time to be zealously affected. It’s time to read the Word of God and enjoy it. It’s time to go to church and like it. It’s time to pray and like it. When the time comes that you must face the devil, don’t back down. Tell him you’re a Christian. Be affected by Jesus. That will produce a surprising effect on those you encounter.
Let’s be an affecter not affected. Affect people with the truth. Pull down the walls of the devil. It’s time for God’s people to zealously affect the world with Christ. The more we fear the Lord, the less afraid of man we’ll be. The more we believe the Lord, the less we’ll believe the world and allow it to pull us away. The more we follow Jesus, the more we can get others to follow him.
Do you want to zealously affect someone? You can be an overcomer and do it!