Freedom In Christ

July 4th always reminds me of Galatians 5 and our Freedom in Christ.

Verses 1-15 talk about this freedom. It goes well beyond Christ freeing us from sin on the cross. Paul also lays out several points of "the law" or "legalism" that could cause us to lose our faith in Jesus. Grab your Bible and follow along as we walk through this.

Galatians 5:1 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.

Those legalistic consequences are:

1. Invalidating the Cross (5:2)
2. Obligating You to Man's Law (5:3)
3. Removing Grace (5:4-6)
4. Stunting Your Spiritual Growth (5:7-10)
5. Removing the only offense we have: The Cross! (5:11)

These things are vital for us and we should never give them up. I want you to ask yourself two questions:

What would life look like without the cross?
What would eternity look like without Jesus' sacrifice?

This is a dark, harsh reality for a lot of people in the world. They've given up the cross and all the freedoms and grace that comes with it. We have to show them that Christ isn't about a bunch of new rules for your life, but rather freedoms from man's religious laws.

When I was in Junior High, our Sunday School teacher brought in a guest speaker. He was telling us about the time when he went to Church for the first time at age 12. His family was very poor and he only had one pair of pants to wear. This was a pair of blue jeans. Instead of being greeted with the love of Christ, he was instead told he can't wear jeans to Church and shouldn't come back without a suit on. He didn't go back for 40 years. Fortunately, by the grace of God, someone was able to reach him. What if they never did? Man's law destined him for Hell.

Any time a false teacher or fellow Christian tries to introduce some form of law to us, we should be angry. Paul was so angry he lashed out in his letter (5:12). This doesn't mean we need to wish physical harm on anyone, as Paul was really referring to a pagan ritual that was common back among cultic priests in those days. However, we do need to feel some righteous anger and push back on these man-lade laws, rules, and rituals that cause us to give up our freedoms. We should always be validating what we hear against God's word (Acts 17:11).

We are called to freedom (5:13). We need to use our freedoms to serve each other, and remember to love our neighbors as ourselves (5:14). And remember, we shouldn't be battling each other, because we risk devouring each other with our petty arguments (5:15), rather than showing that love.

Protect your faith and don't give up any part of the freedoms given to us by Jesus Christ.

Let's Memorize This Verse: Galatians 5:1 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.

Lord, thank you for the freedoms you have given me. Help me to remember your freedoms over my own rules. Let me never live in the consequences of falling into man's laws. Guide me today as I lean on you for discernment for all I hear and read. Amen.

- Dan Joseph, Executive Pastor
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