“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?” (Gal. 4:21)
This part of the letter is addressed to those who are trying to persuade their fellow Christians, Jews, and Gentiles into coming under the law. A big mistake they are making is thinking that they can adopt some of the law and still keep a relationship with Jesus. To the Judaizers, the law was as important as grace and they could not see that the two were opposites rather than parallels. To prove that they don’t fully grasp what they are saying, Paul asked them to listen to what the law is actually teaching.
The non-Christian Jews believed that the law was sufficient and Jesus was not wanted or needed. The true Christian believed that Jesus was sufficient and the law was not wanted or needed. The Judaizers wanted both. They were of the opinion that you had to be Jewish in order to be Christian. After all, wasn’t Christ the Jewish Messiah?
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “Oh, that my enemy had written a book.”? It was borrowed from the book of Job and has found its way into literature. It is often been the cry of debaters and even today in the political world pundits like to resurrect the words written or spoken in the past. Well, Paul has reference to such a book. His enemies want to use a part of the book and Paul intends to use it in total. The Judaizers will use a little of what they want but they ignore the basic premise of the very book (book of law) they want to use.
Paul is an expert at the law. He spent the first part of his life studying and defending the law. He understands it as a Jew and he understands it as a Christian. He knows how to apply it in both instances. Paul understands the purpose of the law and the timeframe of the law. Paul knows what its requirements are and what the failure to meet those requirements means.
Task for Today: Be careful when you use scripture to prove your point. Make sure that you have listened to the scripture before you attempt to use it to persuade others to a certain point of view. Christians are encouraged to study the word and to give answers by the word. Every Christian should have a plan to move up a grade as if they were in the public school system. We are warned not to stay on milk but to move to grown-up food. Do more than read today. Think about what you are reading. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into understanding it. Add to your knowledge day by day.