DAY 13

READ GALATIANS 4:8-11

THE WEAK AND BEGGARLY THINGS

There is a moment in every one of our lives where we make a decision to put our faith in Jesus Christ. At that moment of faith in Jesus, we are justified before God, accepted by Him in the courts of heaven because of Jesus’ work on the cross. This is sheer fact and not something you and I experience. What we do experience however is being “born again”, where we become a new creation and the old has gone, the new has come. Before this moment, in one way or another, you and I served what the Bible calls “those who by nature are not gods”. This is the Bible’s way of speaking of other religions, man-made or demonic. We were all trapped in these systems of the world. 
But God chose us in love. This is what it means when verse 9 says we “are known by God”. His incredible mercy and kindness towards us brought us out of bondage and into freedom. We must never forget the bondage we have been set free from. No matter how much we tried, we could never know God. But then He chose us and set us free from being slaves to sin and darkness. To turn back to religiosity instead of pushing through in faith is to go back to serving the same systems of the world that God set us free from. And Paul tells the Galatians that if they add Jewish law and culture to their faith, they are going back into religiosity and bondage. To do this would be to go back to the “weak and beggarly elements”. This is bondage.

    Legalistic religiosity has many characteristics. There are lots of rules about what you can eat and drink, what you should wear, what you can and cannot do. The list can be endless. For the Galatians it was about keeping certain days holy and making a big deal about months and years and seasons, the kind of religion they had been set free from. It is so easy for us as Christians to be set free from bondage into a relationship with God through Jesus, only to go back to religious rule keeping as a means of deeper spirituality and holiness. Paul calls this going back to bondage. There are always Christians who turn the gospel into some heavy set of rules with God as a great taskmaster watching to see if every rule is kept. Living this kind of Christianity proves that we don’t understand the gospel at all. Let’s not let this happen to us.

     

      QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

      1. What kind of bondage did God set you free from when He chose you?
        2. Do you see God as an approachable Father or a distant Taskmaster?
          3. Which do you feel is stronger in your life: your relationship with the rules, or your relationship with the Holy Spirit?