Summary: What happens when a person turns away from God? Paul tells us what the Galatians lost or became by turning away from God to idol worship. 1- They became enslaved and lost their freedom 2- They became joyless and lost their exuberance
INTRO.- 8Formerly, when you did not know God. Was there ever a time in your life that you didn’t know God?
ILL.- I love the cute story about the little boy whose mother just gave birth to his baby brother. While the baby was sleeping in his crib, big brother looks into the crib at his baby brother and whispers, "Quick, before you forget, tell me about God."
Babies do come from God even though they are not aware of this truth. I remember nothing from when I was in my mother’s womb, did you? I doubt it.
Psalm 22:9-10 "Yet you brought me out of the womb you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God."
Psalm 71:6 "From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you."
But here’s the other side of the coin.
Psalm 58:3 "Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies."
What’s the difference? Some praise God from their mother’s womb and others go astray. It may well depend on mama!
9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Known by God. What a great thought!
Prov. 15:3 "The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good."
It is true that God DOES know everyone. No one escapes God! Or escapes the all-seeing eye of God.
But the other side of the coin is this: God doesn’t know some people because they don’t know Him! What’s the idea? They don’t know God intimately and have no relationship to Him, therefore it’s like they don’t belong to God. They are not a part of His family so He sort of, kind of disowns them. GOD KNOWS THEM AND YET HE DOESN’T KNOW THEM, in the sense of having a relationship to Him.
Now our concern should be: Can we fall away from God? Or how far can we fall away from God and still be saved? Or can our relationship to God fade?
It seems there has always been two opinions about this matter. One says, "Once you’re saved, you’re always saved." Meaning, I guess, you can’t fall away. Your faith may dim somewhat but you still belong to God.
That’s a good philosophy for some, because it says you’re always covered by God’s grace. Or that you can never get out from under God’s umbrella of grace. But some people could also take it mean that you can do whatever you want because God’s grace always covers for your sin. WHOA! What just a minute!
Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"
I think Paul refutes this idea. If we are truly saved we will not want to go on sinning. We will sin occasionally but we know better and will want to do better. Because of God’s grace or graciousness we will want to refrain from sin!
Now other side of the coin is this: Many believe any Christian can fall away from God, from His grace and could be in eternal danger. Any examples in scripture? What about Judas Iscariot? What about Demas (II Tim. 4:10)? What about Peter when he denied Jesus? What about Ananias and Sapphira of Acts 5 who lied to God about the property they sold and laid at the apostles’ feet?
Some of these may well be debatable. And God’s judgment will always be right, however, I don’t think any person should tempt fate! I don’t any person should tempt God! And I do think that many tempt God in this area.
ILL.- For example, some famous Hollywood personality dies and what do other people in Hollywood say about them? "Oh so and so is now in heaven looking down on us." And how do they know this? THEY DON’T. They just assume that God is so gracious that He’ll let anybody into heaven for any reason! And even if they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ! THAT’S TEMPTING GOD TOO MUCH!
And why do people do this? Because they are spiritually ignorant. They are ignorant about God because they are ignorant about the Bible! Some people think they can do anything, any time and get off easy with God. But judgment is coming!
PROP.- What happens when a person turns away from God? Paul tells us what the Galatians lost or became by turning away from God to idol worship.
1- They became enslaved and lost their freedom