“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9).
Some folks are in a situation similar to an airplane passengers whose pilot announce: “The navigator has lost our position, folks, and we have been flying rather aimlessly for over an hour. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that we are making very good time”. From our text, we see the Galatian believers falling into the trap of legalism set for them by Jewish bigots. The religious fanatics from Jerusalem confused the Galatians into thinking that the faith they had was not enough; that they must add the Jewish ceremonies and rituals together with the man-made traditions which they were erroneously taught, would make their salvation in Christ complete. Unfortunately, they fell back into bondage. Paul reminded them that the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins they already had were enough. When these Galatians started their backsliding journey into bondage, they actually thought they were making progress. The whole idea appealed to their old nature, for the law encouraged them to measure their lives from external outward results only. As they enrolled in their fresh perspective where progress was measured by physical parameters only, they felt a sense of accomplishment with a spice of pride until they suddenly discovered they were actually regressing. Churches today have different kinds of observances which bear little or no relationship to God’s word. Believers should know it is wrong to go beyond the word of God in whatsoever they do. The New Testament makes it clear that Christians are not to legislate religious observances for each other (Romans 14:4-13). We are not to praise the man who celebrates the day, nor are we to condemn the man who does not. The uncomplicated liberty which Christ sanctifies through His word must be sufficient for the true believer. A resort to sheer legalism or formalism arising from the traditions of men or mere routine, observance flies in the face of true faith. Let your life be guided and moderated by His word only.