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Summary: The old ways of doing things are familiar and comfortable. The Christian must beware of their lure and their bondage.

Your Old Ways

Galatians 4:8-20

Galatians 4:8-10 (NLT)

Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. [9] And now that you have found God (or should I say, now that God has found you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual powers of this world? [10] You are trying to find favor with God by what you do or don’t do on certain days or months or seasons or years.

Dangerously Familiar

- Old patterns

- The Galatians were returning to their old ways

- Seeking God’s favor through works

- Observances

- Customs

– Many Christians fall into the same trap

- Returning to old ways of life

- Not living in the freedom of God’s grace

- Self imposed slavery

Galatians 4:11-12a (NLT)

I fear for you. I am afraid that all my hard work for you was worth nothing. [12] Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles were—free from the law.

A Worthy Example

- Paul had been a slave to the law

- Religious zealot

- Seeking God’s favor through his works

- Paul had been set free

– No longer bound by the law

- as though born a Gentile

Galatians 4:12b-16 (NLT)

You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. [13] Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News of Christ. [14] But even though my sickness was revolting to you, you did not reject me and turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. [15] Where is that joyful spirit we felt together then? In those days, I know you would gladly have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. [16] Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?

What’s Changed?

- Warm welcome

- Paul had been greeted initially with warmth

- In spite of his illness

- Accepted and loved

- Cold shoulders

- Paul was now shunned

- The joy was missing

- Because of his rebuke

Galatians 4:17-20 (NLT)

Those false teachers who are so anxious to win your favor are not doing it for your good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay more attention to them. [18] Now it’s wonderful if you are eager to do good, and especially when I am not with you. [19] But oh, my dear children! I feel as if I am going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. [20] How I wish I were there with you right now, so that I could be more gentle with you. But at this distance I frankly don’t know what else to do.


- Desire to do good

- The Judaizers were capitalizing on this desire

- False teaching

- Burdensome rules

- Paul’s nurture

- Paul viewed the Galatians as his spiritual children

- He cared about their growth

- He sought to nurture a deeper faith in Christ

- We need to watch out for those who are babes in Christ

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