Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spiritual Maturity

Please take the time to read Galatians 4:1-18. One of the tragedies of legalism is that it gives the appearance of spiritual maturity when in reality it leads the believer back into second childhood. Paul takes three approaches in this section of Scripture as he seeks to convince the Galatians that they do not need legalism in order to live the Christian life. They have all they need in Jesus Christ. First, Paul explains adoption. What we were: children in bondage. What God did: Redeemed us. What we are: sons and heirs. The son has the same nature as the father, but the servant does not. The son has a father, while the servant has a master. The son obeys out of love, while the servant obeys out of fear. The son is rich, while the servant is poor. The son has a future, while the servant does not. Second, He laments their regression. They abandoned liberty for bondage. They were giving up the power of the Gospel for the weakness of law, and the wealth of the Gospel for the poverty of law. Third, he seeks their affection. Paul now turns from spanking to embracing. He reminds them of their love for him and his love for them. Paul asks "What has happened to that love?" Paul had proved to be their loving friend. He told them the truth, but the Judaizers told them lies. Paul sough to glorify Christ, but the Legalists glorified themselves and their converts. They had not lost the experience of salvation, but they were losing the enjoyment of their salvation. The tragedy is they did not realize their losses. Is your Christian life moving forward into liberty or backward into bondage? Think carefully before you answer.

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