Chapters 3 and 4 deal with doctrine. Paul explains again the relationship between law and grace. There are three prevalent words throughout these two chapters: faith, which appears 14 times; law, which appears 19 times; and promise, which appears 11 times. Paul presents six arguments seeking to prove that salvation is by grace through faith, apart from the law. Chapter 3 presented three of the arguments; and today, in chapter 4, we find a continuation of those arguments. Paul explains in verses 1-11 what is known as the dispensational argument. If you have read the Scriptures carefully, you know that God has dealt differently with different people at different times. The age of the Jew and the keeping of the law had passed away, and the dispensation of grace was now prevalent. Men are no longer saved by keeping the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ. This is Paul's explanation concerning dispensationalism.
In verses 12-18 we are given somewhat of a sentimental argument, as Paul appeals to the people of Galatia as a loving spiritual servant and a concerned father addressing his children. Paul is appealing to the sentimental side of the people as he reminds them that he became as one of them as he preached to them.
In verses 19-31 Paul uses the story of Abraham's two sons as his final argument to prove that the new covenant of grace has overcome the old covenant of law. In chapters 3 and 4 Paul has tried to explain that there can be no mixture of law and grace. This is a simple, but firm truth. Any time these two situations mix, there will be spiritual confusion. May God help us to hold fast to His grace, which is sufficient for everyone who believes.
In chapters 5 and 6 Paul tells us again that we have liberty and are not under bondage; that we are to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh; and that we are to live for others and not for self. Living for others is a very hard thing for a Christian to do, even today. We must wholly give of ourselves to the Lord and let the love of Christ move through us toward others. The flesh is selfish and is not interested in others; but the Holy Spirit, who indwells the body of every Christian, desires to reach out through us and bring others to Christ. We limit the Holy Spirit by not allowing Him to work through us. When we are completely given to His will, we love others and seek to help them in any way possible, spiritually, or materially. Paul is simply telling us in chapter 6 to live for God's glory, not for man's approval. It is very easy today to try to please man rather than God.
In chapter 6:7,8 we again have the contrast of glory for man and God's glory. Paul tells us, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." There is no way to win by living for self or for man's approval. When we live any way other than through the direction of the Holy Spirit, we become miserable Christians. However, when we are willing to let God have His way in our lives, then and only then will be have the joy and peace that every Christian is promised in God's Word.
Index of Daily Devotions