Galatians 3:4 – Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
There is one name that lives in infamy. Benedict Arnold was an American born in 1741. He joined the military, becoming a captain to fight the British in the Revolutionary War. He was a war hero, and even valued by George Washington. However, he was also a traitor. Arnold offered to surrender the military outpost at West Point for a cash payout and rank as an officer in the enemy army. He then went on to attack Virginia and Connecticut, almost capturing Thomas Jefferson.
The story of Arnold is a lot like an event that happened when Satan sought to overthrow the rule of God as a traitor. This same sort of battle was raging in the early days of the Christian church in a network of churches. The good general for Jesus, Paul the Apostle, wrote Galatians to urge the people in the church to oppose the “false brother” traitors who had infiltrated their ranks.
When the people first became Christians, they apparently suffered “many things” for their loyalty to Jesus. We can imagine rejection from family and friends, public criticism, loss of income, and other things that are not uncommon for loyalty to Jesus Christ. As they suffered, the Holy Spirit came to give them the grace to endure opposition and remain loyal.
Now, however, the folks in the church were surrendering. Perhaps you can identify with them? Maybe you are growing weary of paying a price to be a Christian and want to wave the white flag and stop pursuing holiness, reading your Bible, going to church, or enduring the pain that some people put on you to join their team?
Where in your life have you surrendered to sin, or are struggling to fight against it?