About the Confidence of Paul
By Fred O. Blakely
"I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be" (Gal. 5:10).
So wrote Paul to the Galatian brethren, who were troubled by the soul-subverting Judaizers. His remark to the Philippians concerning their emulation of his heavenly-mindedness was similar. "If in anything ye be otherwise minded”, he said, "God shall reveal even this unto you" (Phil. 3:15; cf. II Th. 3:4; Phile. 21; also II Cor. 2:3; 7:16; 8:22).
At first thought, it might seem that Paul was rather naive in his trust of God to reveal to people the error of their thinking and ways. It must be considered, however, that he was an Apostle. Thus, his attitude in this matter can be taken as wholly valid.
From the divine perspective—from which certainly Paul wrote—the confidence he expressed is fully justified. If the involved people would draw near to and walk with God in the communion of the Holy Spirit, He would, in this life, reveal the truth to them in the areas of their deficiency. That situation, clearly, is involved in John's declaration that the indwelling Spirit "teacheth you all things, and is truth" (I Jn. 2:27; cf. v. 20), as well as in Jesus' assertion, in citation of the truth that "they shall all be taught by God" (Jn. 6:45, RSV).
In cases where the required attentiveness and submissiveness to the Spirit's teaching is not given, however, Paul's confidence still is completely justified. Ultimately, God will reveal the truth to those who are "otherwise minded"—in areas of His will for men. In the great day of "the revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Rom. 2:5), all things shall be seen as they veritably are, not as people blindly and mistakenly thought them to be. But that disclosure will be of no benefit to those who did not permit God to make them known while the involved individuals were in the flesh. As Paul told the Galatians, they will bear their "own judgment" for any disregard of the truth of which they were persistently guilty.
It, thus, is with the knowledge of divine things as it is with salvation. Today is the time therefor, if we are to profit from the learning (II Cor. 6:2). In recognition of that sober reality, let us, in compliance with Moses' wise request of God for us, so "number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom"—that wisdom, as James says, which "is from above" (Ps. 90:12; Jas. 3:17).