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Why Turn Back Now? (8 of 17)
Series: Born AGAIN Free
These verses hold together and you have to have the whole picture to really understand what is being said. We know that the chapter and verse divisions, although they are very helpful to us in locating passages of Scripture, were added much later than when these writers inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote them. Sometimes the chapter divisions are helpful and other times they are not. This is one of those times when you have to read right on through the chapter division to get the train of thought.
Keep in mind that Paul has a specific purpose in these verses of Scripture. The Holy Spirit has a specific purpose in having these words in the Bible. Here it is. Paul had gone to the area of Galatia and won people to the Lord. They came out of deep paganism. They came out of pagan darkness. They came out of pagan religions. They were set free from the bondage of their paganism.
Shortly after Paul had gone to the cities of Galatia, some Jewish teachers came who were saying that you had not only to receive Christ, but you also had to do good works--you had to do the deeds of the law. You really had to become a Jew in order to be saved. They said, “Now, Jesus is alright, but you have to be a Jew also in order to be saved.”
The unfortunate thing is--a lot of the people were falling for it. They were going into a different kind of bondage, but it was a bondage nevertheless.
In the fourth chapter and the ninth verse it gives you the key of the passage. “But now after you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto you desire again to be in bondage.”
Paraphrasing that he is saying this: Now that you are saved and set free, now that the chains of bondage have been removed from you, why are you turning around and holding out your arms and letting somebody else put new chains of bondage on you?
His theme is--why turn back now? Paul is disturbed about it. In verse 11 he says, “I am afraid of you.” It doesn’t mean he is afraid physically. He is saying that he is afraid concerning you or he is afraid FOR you, deeply distressed for you. “Lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” There you see the true pastor’s heart of Paul. The heart of a pastor is very concerned about the spiritual welfare of his converts. One writer says these words breathe tears. He is brokenhearted to see his converts be confused by legalism and finding themselves enslaved by bondage.
The same thing is a danger today. It is the danger that people who have been saved and set free by the Lord will allow themselves to be put in some kind of religious bondage. That’s the theme. That’s where he’s driving. That’s where he’s heading with these verses. He builds up to that climax all the way back in chapter 3, verse 26. In verse 26 through 29, the end of the 3rd chapter, he discusses--
I. A Thrilling Regenerati ...
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