Fears for the Church

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.

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. 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?

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. —Galatians 4:8-20.

Paul applies this truth and tells them of his concern, because having been saved by faith in Christ according to God’s promise, they are now putting themselves into bondage by observing days, months, and seasons. They seek to fulfill unnecessary legalistic requirements either of a past and extinct ceremonial law, or of man-made laws. Paul observes the difference that this has made to their former conduct towards him. Previously he had been encouraged by their love and their caring warmth. Now he feels treated as an enemy because he insists on God’s truth about salvation.

The comparison between the false apostles, who seek to exclude the Galatian Christians from the grace of God, and Paul’s fatherly concern is obvious. Nevertheless, he is prepared to act as a good father and reprimand them if necessary. [The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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