So that the Mosaic law of rites and ceremonies was only a temporary arrangement for the childhood of the church, which now, having reached full age, has come into possession of liberty in the truth, and rejoices in the free grace of the gospel. It would be ridiculous for a full-grown heir to go to school again, or continue under guardians, and so it is absurd to return to the service of forms and rituals, which are too childish for men in Christ Jesus.
Here is our true position, we are moved by the Spirit to claim our adoption, and we no more live in bondage to the law. Many even among Christians are afraid of being too sure of their sonship, lest they should be presumptuous; this is very dishonouring to their heavenly Father.
Therefore live as such. By faith possess and enjoy the treasures of divine grace. Cast doubts and tremblings to the wind, for why should heirs of God live like bondsmen?
Galatians 4:8, 9
How can ye go back to the things of your spiritual childhood? As well may full-grown men begin again to read their A B C, and learn from baby picture books!
Galatians 4:10, 11
To keep holy days and practise symbolical ceremonies is contrary to the very spirit of Christianity; and those who do so lead us to suspect that they do not know the gospel at all.
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am one with you in heart
Bad teachers had weaned them from the apostle and led them into legal bondage.
Galatians 4:17, 18
yea, they would exclude you from us
Galatians 4:17, 18
that ye might affect them and be of their party
Galatians 4:19, 20
All his anxiety arose from their falling into ritualism and legalism. He wanted to see them living by faith upon Jesus, and worshipping God with free spiritual worship. The fashionable religion of the present day is overlaid with pompous forms, and the plain gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus is despised: nevertheless to the doctrine of grace let us steadfastly cleave, for it alone is truth, and in it alone is salvation.
In vain the trembling conscience seeks
Some solid ground to rest upon;
With long despair the spirit breaks,
Till we apply to Christ alone.
Should all the forms that men devise
Assault my faith with treacherous art,
I’d call them vanity and lies,
And bind the gospel to my heart