1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
A new relationship with God had begun to form. The Galatians, along with all the Jews of their time, were unacquainted with this new relationship. Paul points out to them that before, previous to Christ’s death, they were like slaves only enjoying a shallow relationship with God. They were held at a distance and were required to do many things to keep their relationship fruitful.
NOW, Paul says, they have been brought close and made children of God. They no longer have to follow certain rules to keep their relationship prosperous as most of those rules were to foreshadow their coming Savior. It was odd because these Galatians were starting to implement Jewish traditions specifically ones that foreshadowed Christ’s coming. Paul makes it clear: these things should not control you since Christ already came!
This may not seem relatable first glance but realize this: though they were free they were turning themselves over to be slaves to something which no longer has value. Many Christians today have become slaves to Church and other religious activities. In the same way that they Galatians were making themselves slaves, once again, to things that were clouding their focus many Christians are doing the same. They have made Church and religious activity the cornerstone of their lives. They are blinded by all their “good” that they fail to realize their life rarely makes room for what God is truly doing. They are stuck in the stale air of religious tradition.
Do not let yourself become a slave to anything else, whether seemingly good or obviously bad. Evaluate your life daily and ask God to help you see what you’re enslaved by.
God help me to see if I am enslaved to anything. I know it is easy to put ourselves in prisons, even those which are built by good deeds. Open my eyes and let me see the areas of my life that are controlling me and aren’t a part of Your will. Amen
Talk with your friends and family about how Church is GOOD but not a requirement for salvation. Check on them and see if they are actually living for Church, or if they go to Church because of their love for God. Help them see that though it’s great, it shouldn’t control our lives, that’s reserved for the Spirit.