This is week four of the Blogged Bible Study. Each week I will be posting on Thursdays as mentioned previously and others will be posting other days of the week. They are found by going to Philter 48.
My title this week, “Christ Formed in You”, is taken from verse 19 and 20 where he says: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!” It sounds like in this chapter he is in shock and maybe even a little angry that these Galatians were going back to their old ways and traditions.
In verse 9-11 he says “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 principles? Do you wish to be enslaved in them again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” Wow, wasted his efforts on them? Why was he so upset?
I think Paul had such a revelation of what it was to receive Grace through faith and how freeing it was that he couldn’t believe it if anyone else couldn’t grasp it fully. In Galatians 1:9 he told them that the gospel he preached was not something that man made up but he received it by revelation from Jesus Christ and in 2:16 he reminded them that man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So here we are in chapter four and he is evidently getting more upset as he goes on about their return to the ways of the law and being influenced by the wrong people.
I guess what catches my thoughts in this chapter is that he wanted them to “GET IT”—to get what being in Christ means but they were having a hard time moving forward from “the present evil age” that Jesus had died for them to escape. Well Paul may have been shocked but I’m not. Every week in our churches people go forward to the altar and accept Jesus in their hearts but many go back to their old ways quickly and others might go back to their old ways years later. And then some are just lukewarm in their salvation. Why is it so hard for us to grasp? Is it that revelation that Paul had that made it so crystal clear to him to want to preach Christ and liberty in Christ to everyone?
We can be like these Galatians ourselves though we might not want to admit it. We can be trapped by things we feel we ought to do or ought not to do. We might still be trying to earn God’s favor or feel God is standing over us and that we have to prove to Him that we are a Christian. Maybe we’re disappointed in what God hasn’t done for us, or disappointed in the failings of others or we’ve become slaves to our desires for bigger TV’s, fancier cars, more ritzy homes and pretty soon our joy is gone just like Paul said the Galatians had lost their joy all the while professing to be in Christ. So I guess my question from Galatians 4 would be how do we know that Christ is formed in us? I’ll let you answer that as well as myself.
This is part of the Philter48 blogged Bible Study.