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NO TURNING BACK
If you really want to understand what Paul is saying in all of these
verses you have to look at what he says in the 9th and 11th verses. Paul is
dealing with a group of believers who have recently been saved. Now they have
been brought into the system of Judiasm by false teachers who have told them
that in order to maintain their salvation they are going to have to keep the
rules and rituals and regulations of the Old Testament law. Pauls says in this
...how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto
ye desire again to be in bondage?
In the 11th verse he says:
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
lie means that he is concerned about the situation. I'm disturbed, I'm troubled
about what is taking place. He is saying here that he is afraid that all of
the labor he placed upon you, all of the labor he bestowed upon them is in
vain. Hle realized that if they went back into Judiasm, if they began to try to
merit their standing before God on the basis of observances which they did,
then the gospel of grace which he had preached to them wouldn't become what it
should become. Martin Luther said about these words--that these words breathe
tears. Here is the heart of the apostle Paul, like a great pastor, he had a
real concern, he had a real desire for the welfare of these young converts. He
is very concerned that they might understand that when they came to the Lord
Jesus Christ, they have received so many wonderful spiritual truths that it
would be absolute utter folly to turn back from those truths into a system of
legalism. As we move through these verses, he is building to this great
climax. He is showing them the wonderful things they have in the Lord Jesus
and how wonderful it is to be saved and to have free salvation on the basis of
grace through faith. In so doing he is going to ...
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