The Galatian believers had “come to know God” and be “known by God” through the preached Word and the Holy Spirit’s transformative power. But even though they had been set free in Christ, they were about to be enslaved again, this time by the Law. Same bondage. Different jailers.
That frightening possibility made the Apostle Paul wonder if his ministry and God’s transformative work in the region had been in vain if the Galatians were going to discard Christ’s superiority and return to a life under the law. Here’s how he put it:
“In the past you did not know God, and so you were slaves of beings who are not gods. But now that you know God—or, I should say, now that God knows you—how is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?” Galatians 4:8-9 GNT
In the mind of the Judaizers—Christians living by the law of Moses–the law trumped grace and the Mosaic covenant overpowered Christ’s Cross.
That’s why Paul sought to convince the Galatians that it would be FOOLISH for them to leave the “blessings of Christ” and return to the “world’s shallowness” under the law. Instead, he was pushing a narrative that focused on how Christ followers possessed something far better than a life of works under the law. He was pushing for a life of forgiveness and freedom obtained by God’s grace through our faith.
That’s good enough for me? How about you?
“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” Galatians 4:8-9 ESV
I ask God to keep me from wanting to leave the “blessings of Christ” and return to the “world’s shallowness.”
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What is your game plan when it comes to overcoming temptations to “go back to your old ways”?