GRACE: NOT BY MAN
Backsliding Faith – Galations 4:8-11
Verse 8 – Continuing the thought from verse 7 Paul reminds them from whence they came; of their worshipping of demons day (1 Corinthians 10:20) – “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.” This is contrary to, “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” They were serving bondage, enslaved to “gods” that which by nature were no gods at all, but part of creation.
As Gentiles they had no knowledge of God. (1 Corinthians 1:21; 8:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 John 4:8 – 2 Chronicles 13:9; Isaiah 37:19; Jeremiah 2:11; 5:7; 16:20; 1 Corinthians 1:8)
“Them which by nature are no gods.” From the Pulpit Commentary –
“The more approved reading suggests rather the idea that the objects they worshipped might not be non-existent, but were certainly not of a Divine nature; “by nature,” that is, in the kind of being to which they belong (taioi Eph_2:3 RAPC Wis 13:1, ma fusei). The question may be asked If they were not gods, what then were they? The apostle would probably have answered, “Demons;” for thus he writes to the Corinthians: (1Co_10:20)”
Verse 9 – But now, “after that ye have known God” After they have received the unveiling of Jesus Christ, and know of Him; and most of all since, “or rather are known of God,”. It is one thing to know God, about God, and even know He is; however, it is very special, and unique to be “Known of God” (1 Corinthians 8:3).
How can one’s so generously and graciously delivered by grace through faith in Chrst so soon be turned away (3:3)? (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:18)
The worship of idols cannot save, and going into legalism would be nothing more than returning to idols.
Geneva Bible notes –
“They are called impotent and beggarly ceremonies, being considered apart by themselves without Christ: and again, by that means they gave good testimony that they were beggars in Christ, for when men fall back from Christ to ceremonies, it is nothing else but to cast away riches and to follow beggary.”
Verse 10 – The “days,” “months,” “times,” and “years” could be referring to the Jewish festivals and calendar, but it could also be a reminder of their own heathen practices.
We need to remember that the Jewish days were established by God, but not for salvation, but a guard, and a “Schoolmaster” pointing to Christ. The Judaizers had made the law of God to be more than what God had intended.
(Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16)
Verse 11 – Paul is afraid, and seems rightly so; for them because they are departing from the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:2, 5:2, 4; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). This was a fearful position for the people of Galatian church to be in.
These Galations would be abandoning the true God; and returning to false gods.
-Tim A. Blankenship