Heavenly Father, Your word is a lamp to our paths and a light to our way. Illuminate us with the true light of Your word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Galatians 4: 1-20, the law, Part 2
VV 1-2, 1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Even though a son is an heir of his father’s inheritance, he has no access to it as long as he remained a child. He had to be under the care of trustee, guardians, and stewards until he reached adulthood. A child is no different from a slave. To be under the law is to be immature. Once we are matured in the faith, we are no longer under the law. For the Galatians Christians to go back to the law means that they were regressing to immaturity.
VV 3-4, 3, Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Before the coming of Christ, we were slaves to the law under the world’s system. God sent Jesus, born by a woman, under the law, to redeem us from the law and adopt us as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
When we are born again, God sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we can call Him ABBA Father, and we become sons of God, heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ in the kingdom of God.
VV 8-11, 8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
Before we became Christians, we worship idols. After we became Christians, we worship God. Paul asked rhetorical questions again. Now that you have become Christians, why are you going back to laws, rituals, and legalism? Paul was afraid that his teachings to them were fruitless.
VV 12-14, 12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Paul encourages his audience and us to imitate him. Even though Paul was very ill when he preached the gospel to the Galatians, they accepted him warmly as an angel of God.
VV 15-16, 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I, therefore, become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
What blessing did you receive from me? Paul had blessed the Galatians with the gospel, and they had supported him. Have I become your enemy? Paul was disappointed by their change of attitude toward him.
VV 17-20, 17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.
The Judaizers were friendly to them out of impure motives. The Judaizers wanted to enslave them with circumcision, law, rituals, and legalism. It is good to be zealous for the right reasons, but not for the wrong reasons. Paul had a burden for them. He had laboured hard to bring them to Christ. He wanted to visit them personally to correct their mistakes.
The law is a tutor. Immature people need a tutor. Although a spiritually immature Christian is a son of God, he is no different from a slave. On the other hand, a spiritually mature Christian is a son of God who is no longer under the law. To go back to the law is to regress in spiritual maturity. Do not go back to legalism. Christ has set us free from the law. You are to be free from the law and become a slave to Christ, our new master.
Heavenly Father, help us mature in the faith, turn away from legalism, and turn to You. Thank You for freeing us from legalism to serve You in the kingdom, in Jesus’ name, Amen.