Galatians 4:9-11, "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
Recently, I have noticed a trend that is quite disturbing, yet I am not surprised. There is a trend where denominational churches are taking things that are almost exclusively related to the Catholic Church and are bringing them into their "Protestant" churches. It should be no surprise though.
Why do you think "Protestant" churches are so bent on having Christmas as part of their religious holidays? They do not care that it dates back to a Pagan religion and that it has become a "religious holiday" through the Catholic church.
Why do you think "Protestant" churches are so bent on performing the Eucharist in their churches? They say it is different, but seriously?!
So "Protestant" churches have recently begun having Ash Wednesday services and participating in Lent. So, I ask you... What did you give up?
Paul tells the church at Galatia, who was struggling with living as though they have already been forgiven of all of their sins (which they were), that they should not return unto the weak and beggarly things of the law program. There were Jews living in their day telling them that they need to keep the law to be saved and remain saved. Those things only bring you into bondage. However, a true understanding of the grace of God will allow you to live your life free of worry and strife.
If you are saved by grace through faith, and you live by grace through faith. Why would you need to turn to weak and beggarly things, like lent??
The answer to that question is ... you should not turn to those things. In fact, I would say that Martin Luther is standing in Heaven right now waving his 95 theses, proclaiming that his work was for nought. He must be thinking that he died for nothing.
I will give you an even better example. Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God and He is proclaiming that His work must have been for nought. He must be thinking that He died for nothing. Jesus Christ purposely gave His life for you at Calvary, that He might give you His life when you trust in His death, burial, and resurrection, and He lives His life through you as you live day-by-day in this life. You have the triune Godhead living inside of you. There is nothing in this world that can make you more saved, there is nothing in this world that you make you more forgiven, and there is nothing in this world that can make you closer to God. Quit going to the weak and beggarly things of mans religion and understand that you have been forgiven of all sins and that God wants you to live for His glory, not your own.
I recently had someone who attends a Catholic church tell me that they are better than me because they partake in lent, they go to mass, and they perform the sacraments. However, this same person could not tell me what they believe or their church believes. Many today are held under the tyranny of a religious system and they do not even know it.
I guess a better question would be ... What did Christ give up?
Grace and Peace,
Complete in Him