Gospel Meditation: Galatians 4:8–10

 Sons and Heirs

  1. In the churches of Galatia were both Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, though having believed in Jesus as their Messiah, still were tempted to observe the legal requirements of the Law of Moses, the days, weeks, years, the feasts, and so on. The Gentiles however, coming from a pagan background, worshipped all sorts of deities and spiritual powers.
  2. Now however, that they know and more importantly, are known by God, that is, have a personal relationship with God, they must not turn back to their old practices.
  3. Among these old practices are the “elementary principles” and Paul is referring to astrology, magic, and other occult oriented practices. And this is so relevant to our own day when we are in the midst of a revival of the occult arts including, mediums, channelers, astrologers, tarot card readers, the Akashic Records, Reiki, meditative yoga, and other psychic phenomenon.
  4. Paul would later write to the churches of Corinth, “what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons” (1 Cor. 10:20).
  5. Adherence to such practices makes one a slave, and in the Greek the word for slave is doulos, since this would bring a person under the control of demonic spirits.
  6. Paul then asks, do you really want this for yourselves?
  7. He is referring to deep repentance. Turning away from all the worldly philosophies and religions would be very difficult to do as it would mean losing so much, family included.
  8. We see the pastoral heart of Paul when he laments, “I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.” The plain rendering of the Greek here is, “I fear you lest in vain I have labored among you.” There is no “may” in the verse.
  9. Paul does not mean that by returning to the old pagan ways one would lose their salvation necessarily, but that it would present a dreadful situation. Paul knew from experience what he was talking about.

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