Tag Archives: holy days

“Weak and Beggarly Elements” #2374

9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain (Galatians 4:9–11, NKJV).

The Law of Moses defined and identified sin but could not redeem sinners from sin’s bondage and death (Gal. 3:10-14, 21; Rom. 3:20). The gospel of Christ is the good news that Christ redeems sinners from the curse of the law (that is, the law condemned the sinner but could not save the sinner, Gal. 3:10-11. It was “weak and beggarly” to justify sinners, Gal. 4:9). For Christians to return to the Law of Moses would be a return to sin’s bondage and its curse of death. The Law of Moses contained the observance of “days and months and seasons and years,” but these observances were never an end in themselves. Through Hosea, God told Israel, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Here are two crucial lessons from today’s passage. (1) Do not add man-made rites and rituals to God’s revealed will. Religious ceremonies that God’ has not commanded dishonor men and God by violating God’s truth (Lev. 10:1-3; Matt. 15:9). (2) Do not ritualize what God has commanded. To turn God’s worship and service into mere ceremonies removes the heart from one’s service to God (Luke 18:12; Ps. 51:16-17). Binding the Law of Moses as a means of salvation makes void God’s grace in Christ (Gal. 1:6-7; 2:21). Making man-made holy days and observances Christ has not commanded do the same thing (Matt. 28:20; Gal. 1:8-10).

“You observe days…” #1265

9 “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.” (Galatians 4:9–11, NKJV)

Christians do not have the right to establish and observe holy days, months, seasons and years. Such things had a place in the Law of Moses which God gave Israel. However, that law’s binding authority was dismissed by God, being nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-17). Holidays that religiously celebrate people and events, like the birth and resurrection of Jesus (Christmas and Easter), had their genesis in the wisdom and will of men, hundreds of years after the New Testament period. By what authority are such days observed religiously? By whose authority do they exist – heaven’s, or men’s (Matthew 21:25)? Should we believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, and that Jesus was resurrected? Absolutely. But, where does the Bible teach us to celebrate the birth of Jesus with a holiday called Christmas? You will not find in the Bible. You will find it in Catholic Church tradition. That is the authority being followed in such celebrations. Let us follow the Bible, not the religious traditions that began with men. Otherwise, we “turn again to the weak and beggarly elements” of religion that men invented (Galatians 4:8).