This Day in History: 0000-05-08

May 8 – Galatians 5: 1-10 

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don‘t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for He is the One who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. 

Are we living in freedom friends? Are we allowing those around us to do the same? I believe there is a double lesson in this passage, but it’s all about freedom. It is FOR FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. So why do so many of us get tied up in rules and regulations? Why do we think obedience to God can be made into a systematic formula?  

Do A, check B, follow C, do D, and voila – obedience mastered.  

It Just. Doesn’t. Work!  

There is no program, no method, no ritual or procedure that can save us or anyone else. If we’ve put our hope in any of these things, we will be disappointed.  

The good news is, Jesus Christ shed His perfect blood to set us free from the power of sin and death. We are no longer obligated to live a life defeated. And neither is anyone else. We have all been offered freedom through simple faith! It sounds too easy doesn’t it? But it’s still true. Faith is the key. Faith expressing itself in love. I love the way the NIV states verse 1: 

It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery! 

So let’s release the formulas. Let’s let go of the rules and the programs. Let’s refuse to burden ourselves or anyone else with this heavy yoke of slavery. Let’s choose instead to place our hope in the grace of God. We are His precious sons and daughters, so let’s rely on His blood alone to make us right. Let’s encourage those around us to a life of faith instead of a life of maddening methods. Faith expressing itself in love. Love for God, love for each other, love for His Word. That is a life of victory. That is a life of freedom!