Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? Galatians 4:21
Those who don't pay attention to the warning, "Fatal If Taken Internally", become statistics validating the product label. I remember figuring out how people knew why certain pills or chemicals or berries or animal bites would kill you, and it horrified me. I realized that these warnings were not written to tell me that someone COULD die, but that many people ALREADY HAD.
Most of us have come to the conclusion that this is why it's necessary to follow an established set of rules or principles. But what happens when those who take heed to certain principles find themselves breaking others that have the same fatal consequences? And what if those who know how to cover their tracks pretend they are above those who haven't figured out how to do it yet? This was not only true of the world Jesus was born into, it remains the same today. Those who want to live by a set of guiding principles are ignoring the label that says, Fatal if taken internally!
Paul's question to the Galatian believers was posed because some were considering the Biblical ritual of circumcision. Being far removed from this scene causes many to assume that Paul's concern is no longer valid - but it is closer than we have imagined! You see, those who were pushing the circumcision issue were part of a group of self-proclaimed authorities resting on a privileged heritage offering an initiation ritual to the spiritually-deficient. Their message? If you don't come through US, you can't have our goods.
Today this initiation is offered in many ways but always sounds the same. At any given moment it is the ONE thing you need to make the lasting difference in your spiritually-deficient life. Forget hypothetical examples and simply ask yourself what that ONE thing is to YOU. What program are YOU considering - or trying - that appears to be the answer to your struggles? Whether a ritual to be performed, a good deed to do, Bible knowledge to learn, a gift to receive, a position to acheive, or even a believing to produce or maintain, the label states, Fatal if taken internally!
What does the law tell us about being under law? That the life that depends upon principles to control it is enslaved to those same principles, for only those born according to the promise are truly free. While it is natural for a law-slave to live under bondage, it grates against the one miraculously born of the Spirit. This means that those who live by principles don't have a clue as to the life by which you live for they don't even know who you really are. So, before you follow their program, consider the question:
Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?