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Friday-No gods vs. God




Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?


Galatians 4:8,9


It was Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz who famously said this great sports quote from the zero to zero tie with Duke.


A tie is like kissing your sister.


That was back in 1953. George Brett updated the quote a little bit later.


If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out.


We always, always, always want a clear winner and loser. Someone needs to win, and someone needs to lose. It feels so weird and wrong when there is a tie.


This is one reason why sports are the huge part of our lives. It puts one person against another. One team against another. We root for our favorite player or team to win. Some of us just about lose our sanity rooting and cheering for our favorite.


If there’s one thing that’s true about sports, it’s that we are never indifferent. We always like one player, one team better than the other. Neither may be our favorite, but someone always is favored.


And ending a race is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to wining. That’s why any and all races have high-speed cameras at the finish line. More than anything else, they want to avoid a tie. Whether it’s an Olympic race, a horse race, NASCAR, or Formula-1, they have all sorts of cameras covering the finish line so they can absolutely avoid a tie.


Why do you think all the major sports have gone to great lengths to try their best to avoid a tie like the plague. They all have some special rules for overtime, trying their best not to end in a tie.


And now with sports betting becoming mainstream, there is even a greater reason not to end in a tie. It sends the wrong signal to the thousands of people betting billions of dollars[1].


Like us with sports, the Apostle Paul wasn’t interested in a tie. He wanted the Galatians to make a decision for God. And a decision for God was against those who were not God. And when they chose against God, they chose for a god or gods.


Some people think it’s not all that important, but there is a huge difference between God and gods. The words might look a lot alike. But it’s all the difference in the world. You see, gods are limited while God is limitless. The gods were dependent on people while God is independent of everyone and everything.


And the Galatians were slaves of these gods. They were in bondage under a system of legalism. They didn’t have physical chains on them, but they were chained in their spirits. They didn’t have metal handcuffs on, but their hands were handcuffed from reaching out to the one true God.


And how can we know that God is truly God? He’s the only one who by nature is God. His being God is something that belonged to him from eternity past. He’s never changed. He’s God deep down in who he is.


Paul does not deny the existence of these gods, but he absolutely refuses to say that they are deity. The apostle did not think of them as deities by nature. But, at the same time, he did not class them as being of mere mundane matter. They belonged to a world not human, but demoniac. This was a point that must have been well known to the Galatians from Paul’s oral instruction.


These gods also are created beings. They are limited. They don’t have all knowledge. All power. And since they can’t be everywhere at the same time, they can’t be with us all the time. They don’t really know us.


But God has known you and me. He’s reached out to not just talk with or touch us. His knowledge of us is intensely personal. The God of the universe wants a face-to-face relationship with us.


And that’s why God came to die for us. To save us. To buy us back. To break the chains and handcuffs that held us. That made us prisoners. He’s freed us. The question is whether we’ll accept his freedom? Will we receive his payment and salvation?

[1] The sports betting and lottery market size worldwide amounted to 194.63 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, an increase over the previous year's total of almost 173 billion U.S. dollars. Source: Statista.com

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