As you probably know, the Book of Galatians is a letter written to the new Christians in Galatia with whom Paul had shared Christ. These new converts were being confused by false teachers who were trying to convince them that they had to all follow certain practices, to be in right standing with God. In doing this, they were teaching that Christ is not enough and that His actions were not enough to save us.
“It was for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
He is enough. He is more than enough!
“It was for freedom that Christ has set us free… “
What is freedom? Is it the right to do whatever we want to? Would that infringe on other people’s freedom?
Real freedom is the right to choose and act without restraint. Freedom in Christ is the freedom to do what is right in God’s eyes; what is holy; what glorifies Him.
When we are in bondage to sin we do not have the freedom to do what is right. Being in bondage to sin is like being locked in a place with high concrete walls. These walls keep us from living a life of real purpose. Many times these walls keep us from taking care of our families and our marriages. These walls also keep us from having lasting peace. This kind of bondage will hold us for all eternity in hell, a place a great torment, and even worse than that it will keep us eternally separated from God. Hell is real.
One Way Out
There is only one door out of the room with this kind of walls – one way out of this kind of bondage. The way out is Jesus Christ and Him alone. So many times we stand there looking for a way out of this awful bondage and all the time Christ stands there saying, “This is the way. I am the way.” All the while we are looking for another way. Hopefully, sooner than later each one held in bondage will choose to put their trust in Christ alone for salvation.
Once you receive Christ as Lord and Savior you can see clearly how futile and full of folly looking for another way out really is. Inside the walls, before freedom, things are not so clear. It was for freedom Christ has set us free, and we are free to do what glorifies God. What a wonderful privilege!
“…stand firm… ”
When we know the Truth, the Way to freedom – we must not allow other people’s opinions to make us waver in our convictions. We must stand firm in the truth we find in God’s Word.
Burdened by Man-made Rules
“…and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
In Galatia, during the time Paul wrote this letter, these false teachers were telling the new converts that they had to follow the law as well as Christ to be saved. In our society, we have a lot of man-made rules we must follow to be accepted.
We have a lot of rules even in Christian circles. However, following rules does not and will not ever save us. When we surrender our hearts and lives to Christ, we will want to glorify Him. It is not a rule that is forced on us.
Pleasing God, living for Him and His glory, is a by-product of a redeemed life. The behavior that glorifies God just comes out of a grateful heart as we grow in our knowledge and in our relationship with Him. That knowledge is partly of knowing what He saved us from, partly of knowing what He saved us for, and mostly it is about knowing who He is.
We as Christians may look like we follow a bunch of rules but glorifying Him is a matter of the heart. We will not always be effective in our righteous endeavor, and this is where the real difference in rules and freedom plays in. Our wonderful merciful Lord is not standing there with a club waiting to pound us because of our falling back into sin and failing to glorify Him.
He is standing there waiting to forgive us, pick us up, stand us on our feet, and help us walk that same road but this time a little closer to Him, so we do not fall into the same traps again. The freedom to glorify God is about the relationship not a list of rules.
Thank You so much for who You are and for helping us see You in Your beauty and Your grace and Your mercy. Thank You for setting us free. If anyone is reading this now, who is not free in You, please help them come to You today. Please help us to grow in You so that we clearly understand and be ready to let You be glorified in all we do. Help us see clearly how You want us to do that. Be glorified in us today! In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
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