4:9 “But how can it be that, on the one hand, having formerly been in ignorance of God and therefore enslaved to those who are not gods and, on the other hand, having come to know God or (which is more to the point) being known by him, you are now returning anew to those weak and bankrupt elements which once controlled you?”
The Judaizers were not intentionally trying to enslave the Galatians.
Nor did the Galatians consider themselves to have been drifting back into a form of bondage.
4:10 Days = Sabbath days, feast days
Months= recurring monthly cycle such as the new moon celebrations (Is.1:14)
Seasons = Seasonal events that lasted longer than a day: Feast of Tabernacles, Passover
Years = Year of Jubilee
Paul then places the Jewish law into the same demonic category as Pagan rites.
The Law came from God and is holy, righteous, and good but if used today as a means of salvation and fellowship with God it becomes a tool of satanic bondage.
4:11 “efforts” is “kopiao” which means “to labor to the point of exhaustion.”
It is in perfect tense which means Paul’s work of labor had been finished.
The Galatians had not lost salvation but where ignorant and in the position that Peter describes in 2 Peter 1:9
4:12 The theologian Paul switches to the Pastor Paul in these verses.
Paul begins to intensify his appeal to them on a personal basis.
4:12-16 Paul refers to their past time together
4:17-20 The Galatians present condition
4:12 Paul says “become free like me for I became like you, a Gentile.”
Paul’s point is that if the Law was so special why did he dare leave it?
Paul is free and wants the Galatians to join him.
Paul had entered their culture, their cities, their lives to share the truth with them
First messages in Galatia Acts 13:44-14:7
This was Paul’s ministry style. See 1 Corinthians 9:20-22
Paul did not stand on a special level that they had to come to, he came to them, became like them to lead them to Christ, not to himself.
Point: If we want someone to be like us (saved), then we need to make connection with them first in order to lead them.
4:13 “you have done me no wrong” from verse 12 actually is the lead in for verse 13.
Paul is referring to their original meeting during his first missionary journey.
4:14 says they received him as an angel from God. Angel is “angelos” or simply messenger. He is saying they recognized him as a natural man but sent to them by God.
It appears that Paul’s plan on the
first journey was not to preach in
An unsuspecting illness made him stay there and so he preached the gospel to them.
The reason he brings this up is to show how little gratitude they owed him. He did not even want to be there in the first place, yet in that condition the Galatians initially welcomed him. Even when tempted to ignore him due to his attitude toward them and also his unpleasant illness.
4:13 “illness” is “astheneia” and means “sickness, disease, sickness, ailment.”
The word is used in:
Luke 4:40- “When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.”
Mark 6:56 – “And wherever he went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.”
“He sent them out to preach the
“Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The
Acts 9:37- “About that time she became sick and died. . .”
Acts 19:12- “so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
Acts 28:8- “His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.”
1 Corinthians 11:30- “That is why many among you are weak and sick (feeble), and a number of you have fallen asleep.”
James 5:14- “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.”
Philippians 2:26-27- Concerning Epaphroditus an elder or pastor from the Philippian church:
“For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died.
But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. . . .he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.”
4:20- “Erastus stayed in
1 Timothy 5:23- “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”
4:14 “even though my illness was a trial to you.”
“Trial” is “peirasmon”