Galatians 4: 1-20
I am anxious to meet the Apostle Paul. He was a great writer, teacher, evangelist, church planter, mentor, apologist, theologian and pastor. But in Galatians chapter 4 he shows himself as a spiritual Father. As we read this chapter, we can’t help but hear the deep pain of his heart concerning individuals that he had poured his life into.
In verse 12 he says, ” Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all”. These may sound like strange words …..arrogant words. So what was Paul saying? Paul knew well that he wasn’t sinless. He wasn’t saying “look at how perfect I am…or don’t worry about following Jesus, just follow me”. Instead Paul wanted his children in the faith to imitate his liberty. Paul was free in Jesus and he wanted them to live in the same freedom. When it came to legalism, Paul knew exactly where the Galatians were coming from. He had tried the same thing at one time – to be accepted by God.
Paul uses some really strong words in Galatians. He knew that it would be easy for the Galatians to think that he spoke out of some type of personal hurt – or perhaps thinking that he was jealous of the leaders who had followed his ministry with this new emphasis. But Paul assures them that this wasn’t the case at all. Paul wants them to get this right, for their sakes.
If you are like me, someday, I want to thank Paul for writing Galatians chapter 4: 1-20.