Galatians 4:19-20 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
‘Travail’ [Greek: odino] birth pangs; travail (4:19, 27; Rev. 12:2). Paul had laboured in preaching, prayer, and tears to win them to Christ, so he considered them his children. They were very dear to him. Now he had to travail in birth again until they would come back to God and Christ be formed in them again. They had fallen from grace (1:6-8; 3:1-5; 4:19; 5:4) and had to be renewed in Christ again. This is not a physical birth, but the travail of the soul in prayer causing physical and spiritual sufferings which are very real.
‘Again’ [Greek: palin] again; restore once more; anew. It refers to something which could not be done again if it had not been done once before.
The New Birth: A moral and spiritual change, not a physical one (4:29; John 3:1-8). A change of heart, will, motives, desires, life and conduct, and not an organism (2Cor. 5:17-18). A change of masters, not of constitutional makeup of body, soul, or spirit (Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-4). Adoption of one from the satanic family into the family of God (4:5; Rom. 8:14-16; Eph. 1:5). Not a coming into existence of the body, soul, or spirit, as in the natural birth, but a consecration of them to serve God and holiness instead of satan and sin (5:16-26; Rom. 6:16-22; 8:1-13; Col. 3:5-10). Not a begetting by the Holy Spirit in the sense that Jesus became and is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16), but a renewal in righteousness and true holiness of one who is already in existence (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10; Ps. 51:10). A change of nature, but not the coming into existence of that nature (Rom. 3:24-25; 2Cor. 5:17; Tit. 3:5). A change of favour, a new standing before God (Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:1-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 2Pet. 3:18; 1Jn. 3:8-10). A change of character, state and service (5:22-23; 1Cor. 13:1-13; Rom. 3:24-31; 5:1-11; 2Tim. 2:21; Tit. 2:11-14). There is no comparison between the natural and spiritual birth as to choose in the matter, conception, embryo, process, and the actual birth. The very moment one is grown enough to recognize he is a sinner and when he repents and believes the gospel a moral and spiritual change takes place (Mark 1:15; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; 1Jn. 1:9). The very moment he decides to sin again he has a moral fall, incurs the penalty of the broken law again and comes under the sentence of death again (5:4, 19-21; Jas. 1:13-15; 5:19-20; Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-13; John 8:34; 2Pet. 2:19-22; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29; 2Cor. 6:9-11; 1Jn. 3:8-10; Ezek. 18:4; etc.). If a person sins, he must be forgiven and restored or pay the death penalty as in Galatians 6:7-8 and the above scriptures.
To be continued…