Summary: We ought to be able to show the world Who we serve by our actions and our words. Therefore, how we live our lives for Christ must be focused on Him, always.
Do we follow God?
Galatians, Part 8
Galatians 4:8 – 4:20
- Purpose of the letter
1. To teach
2. To correct
3. To point us to Jesus
- Recap from last week:
- We discussed who are considered “sons of God”
• Those in the faith (Those who have placed their faith in Jesus)
-- IMP: Without Jesus, there is no heir, no sonship, nothing … except separation
- There is a warning about prideful actions
-- Even as an heir; we cannot get a big head – we must be under submission
- The lesson for believers today is to heed the words that Paul encourages us with
-- We are no longer slaves to the world; but slaves to Christ
-- It is in this knowledge that our actions must be focused and directed
- RE: The honor and happiness of an heir is in the value of what is inherited
• Heirs of God
• Joint-heirs with Christ
• Galatians 4:7 is the fulfillment of what being an heir is
- Read Galatians 4:8-20
∆ Point 1 – Do we follow God? (8-11)
- IMP: These words are directed at the church, for us to comprehend and abide
- Prior, we lived a life without God; slaves to whatever master ruled us (v8)
-- It is critical to understand the life that we had before Christ; we all one!
-- Whether saved at 5 or 55; we were slaves to something other than God
- (v9) HUGE: Not only knowing God but KNOWN by Him
-- 1 Cor 8:3, “But the man who loves God is known by God.”
-- Psalm 139:1, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.”
- Both of these verses give us insight to the intimacy God has with us
-- It shows the change in our position; we are no longer enemies with God
-- And yet, Paul asks the pivotal question of all of us reading this today
-- “Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”
- We have knowledge of God, He knows us intimately and completely …
- … But, we find ourselves falling back into the same old patterns of sin!
- Do we not remember the life we’ve been rescued from? So why return?
-- (v10-11) Lots spend our time celebrating certain days, but why do that?
-- Will we not learn from our past lives that the pagan stuff doesn’t matter?
-- IMP: We may enjoy a holiday – but it does not define us or save us
- To be known by God is to be chosen by, and loved by, him.
- IMP: B/C He chose to know us as his own people, we know Him as our God
- This is the benefit of a personal relationship:
-- APP: It’s a relationship initiated and sustained by God's grace
- TRANS: Let’s look at where we have come from in one short synopsis:
-- His rebuke for foolishness regarding false gospel (3:1) was followed by
-- His explanation of the Galatians' conversion experience (3:2 - 4:11)
-- Why? In order to show the relation of the gospel to the law (freedom)
- So where does he go from here?
∆ Point 2 – A Personal Appeal (12-20)
- Paul launches into this next section of his letter with concern; a definite plea
- Paul’s plea is simple (v12-16):
-- First, he identifies that he was one with an illness
-- This illness was probably from his beatings in Galatia
-- Acts 14:19, “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.”
-- APP: If you’d have lived through this, you prob. have some ailments …
- In v13 it shows that he had an illness which led him to them in first place
-- Perhaps they had some kind of medical treatment there? Orthopedic meds?
- There have also been biblical commentaries to discuss that it could be malaria
-- (v14) Jews and Gentiles had a tendency to identify sickness with sin
-- It was a way to say that God was displeasured (they are curse for sin)
-- Could be seizures from another illness, or even some eye problems (v15)
- See how Paul says they could have been? He uses the word(s) contempt or scorn
-- What was originally written was the word “miseo” which means “loathe”
-- The Greek word translated by the English word "loathe" is particularly graphic
-- It literally means "to spit" or "to expectorate"; to “hate and detest”
-- Paul was appreciative that the Galatians were not repulsed by his condition
- The Galatians did not want to spit, gag, barf, or vomit in his direction