"Have you suffered so many things in vain...?"
Text: Galatians 3:4
SUFFERING FOR CHRIST
It was hard to be a believer in the days of the Apostle Paul. Suffering was virtually part and parcel of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus taught this (Matthew 10:17-23)
a) In preparation
b) In anticipation
2. The early New Testament church experienced this
a) The apostles were jailed.
b) There were strong pogroms carried out against believers.
3. This was taught by the apostles in their writing
a) The apostle Peter wrote about this (1 Peter).
b) Paul wrote about this too (Philippians 1:28-30).
THE SUFFERINGS OF THE GALATIANS
Paul intimates that the Galatians underwent some suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you suffered so many things in vain –
if indeed it was in vain?
1. “Have you suffered so many things in vain”
a) General suffering is in mind.
b) The Galatians endured a fair amount of suffering because of their faith in Christ.
2. Suffering understood
a) Suffering is not in vain.
b) It confirms faith in Christ.
c) It strengthens faith in Christ.
d) It helps the suffering believer to go even deeper in his faith in Christ.
3. “If indeed it is in vain”
a) Their suffering would be in vain if they were to fall away.
b) All the valuable lessons learned would have been virtually wasted.
c) All the suffering need not be in vain.
Every effort ought to be made to return to the original faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The suffering endured for the sake of the Lord would have its own special reward.