Short Thought continued.....
Freedom in Christ
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
You were running a good race.
Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?
That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.“
(Galatians 5:6-8 NIV)
Paul was the first missionary to take Christ’s gospel of grace from Jerusalem to
the surrounding areas, including Galatia, and was instrumental in establishing the church there.
When he heard that the church was struggling, and that the gospel was being undermined
by a group of Judaizers who had gained influence, he wrote to the Galatians.
He explained that the Christian’s commitment to Christ is based on the free gift of grace through faith,
not through adherence to Mosaic Law (specifically circumcision).
Paul, also known as Saul (Acts 13:9), had been an upright Jew from a good lineage,
well versed in rabbinical and religious law and had considerable grounds for putting
his confidence in Judaism. He persecuted the early church and caused, or witnessed,
the deaths of many, including Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 22:20).
Then Jesus revealed the truth of what he was doing to him, and his life was transformed (Acts 8:1-31).
He had done horrendous things but he had such a revelation of God’s grace and freedom
that he could write with utter conviction: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
We all have placed our confidence in things other than Christ:
our heritage; abilities; position; status; relationships.
We have things in our pasts that we want to forget
for none of us have lived perfect lives.
We may believe that our faith is contingent on following particular contemporary religious rules.
Yet, the gospel of grace and freedom that Paul preaches is not contingent on who we are,
what we’ve done or what we do, but in what Christ has done for us.
When we forget the truth of His grace and focus on our strengths, sin or rules, we lose our freedom.
Thought: Who, or what, is holding you back from believing this truth?
Blessing: May you be so overwhelmed by His grace that, like Paul,
you focus on standing firm on your freedom in Christ.