According to Galatians 2:4, the problems in the church were caused by “…false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery.” I 23 back to egyptthink Ken Boles in the NIV College Press Commentary on this passage explains it well. He writes, “Paul’s choice of terms in this verse vividly exposes the evil intent of the Jerusalem legalists. The word for ‘infiltrated’ is also found in 2 Peter 2:1 where it describes false teachers who ‘secretly introduce’ their destructive heresies. The term ‘spy on’ is a word with hostile intent, found in 2 Samuel 10:3, where some of David’s men were accused of intending to ‘spy out the city and overthrow it.’ The objective of Paul’s opponents was not to honor Christ, but to ‘reduce to slavery’ their brothers. They insisted on the right to judge the actions and consciences of those they could dominate.”

People who live in one kind of slavery or another resent those who live liberated lives. Yet, in a very large degree most of those enslaved prefer to remain in their well-worn chains. Lawson observed that, “Jean Jacques Rousseau cried in the eighteenth century, ‘Man is born free; yet everywhere he is in chains.’ He was wrong, of course. Man isn’t born free, but comes into the world helpless, ignorant, dependent, and a slave at the mercy of the powers that be.” Like the Israelites coming out of Egypt under Moses leadership they often want to return to the comforts and conveniences of their slavery; leaks, melons, and free food is always appealing.

Lawson goes on to explain how the enslaved, “…likes a powerful government that, with its bureaus and budgets, assumes responsibility for his welfare from cradle to grave. Socially, he conforms to the tenets of etiquette published by the current arbitrators of taste. Religiously, he is drawn toward ecclesiastical organizations that lay down rules for him to follow, rituals for him to perform, and guidelines that make it possible for him to judge his own and everybody else’s spirituality. Nobody threatens him more than the person who has been truly reborn into freedom.” In Christ we are set free from any condition to our acceptance by God. As the legalists in Paul’s day attempted to attach circumcision and other aspects of the Law to God’s grace, many today will attach a particular religious requirement, ritual, or regulation to God’s grace. But whenever anything is added to the cross of Christ as a condition of salvation you are facing a heresy. Religious people resent true Christian freedom and want to put their own particular brand of religious shackles on our ankles. People often accept them because it’s socially, economically, and politically comfortable.