The Galatian Church was floundering, they were turning back to what they had come out of, they were stagnant, lukewarm, and turning from what they were called to be and do. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, was and is warning the church not to turn back to the law or the world.
Why do people turn from Christ and His Church? Does the world hold more promise? More love? Or is it what I said earlier, that many do not have a strong spiritual foundation and so fall victims of a lie of Satan? Have we forgotten, as Francis Chan writes, The Holy Spirit? It is The Spirit of Christ that is empowering our salvation and enabling our walk in this world. It is the Helper, the Spirit of the living God who convicts of sin, who reveals the Gospel, who teaches and guides, it is He that intercedes for the saints, cleanses, indwells, seals, fills, and empowers Christ followers.
If I, through works of the Law, by following it to the letter, could get to heaven, then Christ died for nothing! I cannot get me to heaven! I/ego gets in the way! Ego: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-conceit, self-image, self-confidence. The Big I! I/ego must be crucified in order to follow Christ! Can we, with Paul, proclaim, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). If not, then deny yourself and humbly come and pray. Crucify the flesh with its passions and pride!
When you try to make yourself look good by following something other than Christ, whether it is tradition or some other set of standards, then you easily set yourself apart, or above, other believers. When you separate yourself to exclude those who don’t measure up, when you consider yourself better than other believers, you are just plain wrong!
There are many, just like there were in the congregations in Galatia, that are in the process of deserting Him who called them in grace. They may not be turning to a different gospel, but, they are turning away. Today, we have many gospels: the perverted prosperity gospel, the name it and claim it gospel, the I-had-a-moment-of-belief gospel and, my favorite, I-don’t-have-to-attend-a-service-or-be-active-as-a-Christian gospel.
These letters of Paul are sent for different reasons. The letter to the Galatian churches, to the congregations in Galatia, is one of rebuke and correction. Apostasy/rebellion was taking place, they were turning away from the true Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.