Friday, September 2, 2022
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 4:19,20 KJV).
Are these people really saved—or really lost?
The verse immediately after today’s Scripture asks: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” Spiritually disoriented, the Galatian saints have discarded God’s grace (His perfect work to justify them) in favor of keeping their works (fumbling, bumbling, stumbling in religion). For the remainder of Galatians chapter 4, Paul appeals to the Hebrew Scriptures to highlight their folly: Abraham’s flesh (and resulting son Ishmael) was completely incompatible with God’s grace (and consequent son Isaac), just as their performance in works-religion nullifies or cancels God’s grace. (Read Galatians 4:22-31 in your own Bible.)
Now, chapter 5: “ Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
The Galatians were religious indeed, for they had been pressured into physical circumcision under the false assumption they would make God happy with them (see Acts 15:1-5). Yet, the Law is an “all-or-nothing” system—and the Mosaic Law encompasses 612 other rules and regulations that are impossible for a sinner to keep perfectly (Romans 3:19,20; Galatians 3:10; James 2:10)! By throwing away grace to take up even part of the Law, the Galatians had, essentially, committed spiritual suicide….