Enslaved to Non-gods – Gospel in Life

Enslaved to Non-gods

Tim Keller |  February 22, 1998

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • Idolatry
  • Sin
Galatians 4:8-20
RS 288-17

Galatians 4:8–11

In Galatians 4:8-11, we read about the Galatians, who used to follow Greek beliefs, struggling with wrong ideas suggesting that just believing in Jesus isn’t enough to be accepted by God. “Stoicheion kosmos” doesn’t refer to an old-fashioned belief system; it’s about the basic principles that had the Galatians trapped before they became Christians. The Bible strongly focuses on the problem of idolatry, the idea that all our mistakes and sins come from it, and realizing and dealing with this is key to truly understanding God.

2. How do they enslave us?

“Overdesire” means wanting something good too much, which can trap us. The power of our actions doesn’t come from the actions themselves, but from the importance we give to them. Understanding this can help us overcome guilt and failure. Trying to win God’s love by strictly following rules and being morally perfect is useless as it can turn into idolatry and block acceptance of God’s grace. Instead, we need to realize that anything good can trap us if we make it our main focus.

3. How can we be free?

The heart of Christianity isn’t about what we know about God, but about God’s deep knowledge and love for us. Idols, like the need for approval or success, can trap us into caring too much about what others think. But realizing God’s unending love can free us from this. The secret to freedom is in seeking a personal experience of God’s love and letting the reality of Jesus become a part of our everyday lives.



The Girl Nobody Wanted

By Tim Keller

The War Between Your Selves (Part 2)

By Tim Keller

Mission and Meaning

By Tim Keller

June Book Offer

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage!

Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.