Paul is pleading with a church whom he loves and helped birth, who is succumbing to doing church with human effort.
In chapter four, Paul starts out doing his own commentary…getting the church in Galatia to see his point of view from another angle. Verses 1-7 highlight the idea of inheritance. This hardens back to the last chapter where Paul uses the similitude of a Tudor or ” guardian.”
It it all too easy in Christianity, in America, to remain “slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.”–v.3
My major concern for our church and the Body at large is one in the same with Paul’s: are we going to be led by His Word and His Spirit in humility or our we going to spin our own version of Christianity that better suits us?
This can be staggeringly subtle.
Let’s not just talk about obvious worldliness and visible sin issues…no, let’s get under the surface.
Don McClure said once, “How can a dead man have rights?”
Are you abandoned to God or your idea of God? Do you seek God for Him, to be rightly related to Him, or to get something from Him? Do you only involve yourself in serving and Christian work if you want to, or have time, or feel like it? And when you don’t, you don’t. When I serve, do I only serve my way? Does my love for the Church and the tasks at hand have a definite limit? When I hit that limit, do I quit? Do I only serve in proportion to the guy next to me and evaluate what he is doing to gauge what I will do? Is anybody the boss of you? When the pastor reads from a lists of questions I dont like, do I tune him out and think about lunch or sports? Does your brand of Christianity fit inside the Bible or is it a more comfortable side road for you to drive down?
We can become “mini-cultists” if we are not careful, making offerings to a deformed Christ right inside the camp. These are what ultimately do become sects because somebody wanted to do things their way.
This is a good week to ask ourselves these hard questions.
From now on, if you go to this church, truly be a part of this church…help it grow…help it stay clean…serve other servants…actually look for things to do and areas to serve in. What can I do to serve the Body here? How do I honor Jesus here?
Luke 17:7-10, psalms 2:11, 100:2, “do everything without grumbling & complaining.”
So…this week, I am inviting all of you to get stirred up, help serve for today and a couple more weeks and then slowly peter out into non-conviction so that the next time we hit this area of Scripture again, we can start over. No! Let’s form a habit of helping.
But we have to do everything as unto the Lord. We could turn around and mess this all up by exalting the work instead of pleasing the One we work for. Do everything as unto the Lord?
Remember that you are FREE to serve Christ. You have been bought by a price. You are incredibly useful to the Kingdom. YOU have a part to play!
Verses 8-20: just get back to simplicity and loving the Lord. Is does indeed take being filled with the Holy Spirit to wait on tables. When we are serving as unto the Lord, we love others and represent Christ well.
V.17–have I now become your enemy? I speak the truth, and it hurts sometime.
V.19–it is so difficult when we see friends and co-laborers go through this. It is painful to see folks get ripped off because of stubbornness and unwillingness.
Bottom line: don’t hone the ART OF GETTING RIPPED OFF!