Five Minutes a Day with Luther Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Bible Passage:Gal 4:8-9
However, then, when you did not know God, you served them who are by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have come to know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
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This is the conclusion of Paul's disputation. In the rest of the epistle he does not reprove much, but gives precepts concerning conduct. Here he would say: You have teachers who would bring you back into the bondage of the Law. This I did not do; but by my doctrine I called you out of darkness into the wonderful light and knowledge of God. I brought you out of bondage and set you in the freedom of sons of God, not by preaching to you the works of the Law, or the merits of men, but the grace and righteousness of God, and the giving of heavenly and eternal blessings through Christ. Now, seeing this is true, why do you permit yourselves so easily to be brought from grace back to the Law, from freedom to bondage? One might here ask, Why does Paul say that the Galatians turned back again to weak and worthless elemental things or ceremonies, that is to say, to the Law, when they never had the Law in the first place, for they were Gentiles (although he wrote these things to the Jews also)? Does Paul take it to be all the same thing to fall from the promise of the Law, from faith to works; and to serve gods which by nature are no gods? Whosoever is fallen from the article of justification is ignorant of God, and is an idolater, or, when this article is lost there remains nothing else but error, hypocrisy, impiety, and idolatry, however much it may seems in outward appearance to be the very truth, the true service of God, and true holiness.
It was a false, misleading dream
That God His Law had given
For us to keep and merit claim
And earn our way to heaven:
God's Law is but a mirror bright
To bring the inbred sin to sight
That lurks within our nature.