Continuing in Faith and Freedom
We all have different testimonies. Some of us barely remember a time when we didn’t know God. Others have incredible testimonies of God pursuing us and saving us from a lifestyle that was not honoring to Him. But we all have one thing in common. We were rescued from a life without Him. We know God only because He is gracious and revealed Himself to us. We are known by Him first, then we get to know Him. The more we know Him, the more we become like Him.
Before they knew God, the Gentiles listening to Paul’s messages likely worshipped pagan gods. They were slaves to a pantheon of false Greco-Roman gods who weren’t really gods at all! The Jews listening to Paul’s letter had previously been enslaved by the law. The law was not god either and had no power to save them. False gods and the law are both weak and miserable forces, especially when compared to the awesome power of the Almighty God.
Paul asked his listeners if they really wanted to turn back to the bondage they were in before they knew God. It reminds me of the Israelites who questioned Moses and grumbled against him, wishing to return to slavery in Egypt rather than trust God to help them claim the Promised Land. Would they really rather be enslaved all over again?
Friends, if you are adding anything to the Gospel of grace by faith alone, you are returning to the enslavement of legalism. If you are worshipping things that by nature are not gods, you are turning back to weak and miserable forces that cannot satisfy you and they cannot save you. Money, alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, jobs, fame, popularity, people-pleasing, legalism...none of these things have the power to save you. But they do have the power to enslave you.
Do you really want to go back and live like you did before you knew God? I know I don’t.
Read Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
What were you a slave to before you knew God?
God, to know You is to walk in freedom. Thank You for rescuing me from my former way of life. I do not ever want to return to a time when I didn’t know You. Keep drawing me back to You when I begin to wander. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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