Galatians 5:1

In Galatians 5:1 Paul makes another appeal for us to walk in freedom through Jesus. Paul is fighting the incorrect assumption that salvation was about Jesus plus something else. In this church, it was Jesus plus the Law. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  If we live in bondage to a legally based relationship with God, it isn’t because of something God requires. In fact, God created the path to eternity and salvation that is based solely on faith in Jesus Christ. It is a grace based way to salvation, not something we do or earn.

Ultimately our purpose after coming to a saving faith in Christ is to help people find God so they too can come to know Jesus Christ. That has to be the first relationship which we must not ignore. We need to make sure our relationship is right with Him, and then make sure that everyone in our patch addresses eternity for themselves. They too can have the freedom faith in Christ offers us.

We don’t save anyone. All we can do is influence others through prayer and how we live our lives. God alone does the saving. God alone has the answer to all our problems with sin being the biggest of all. God’s purpose for our lives is to point those in our patch to the Savior. Not drag them there. Not beat them over the head. Just love them there!

People want to focus on the pursuit of freedom wrongly interpreting that as doing whatever they want to do, and never denying any desire. What it really means is our freedom from the effort of having to earn our own way to God, the freedom from sin, guilt and condemnation, freedom from the penalty and the power of missing the mark, and eventually freedom from the presence of sin.

Morris explained that “Jewish teachers counted up 613 commandments to keep in the Law of Moses. Even to remember them all was a burden, and to keep them bordered on the impossible. Small wonder that Paul referred to subjecting oneself to them all as entering into slavery.” We can’t get to eternal life with God by keeping the law or being good enough to earn it ourselves. We have to have grace through Christ!

But even though God has given us the opportunity for freedom, we can choose to fall back into the slavery of sin and the Law. D. L. Moody illustrated this point by quoting an old former slave woman in the South following the Civil War. Being a former slave, she was confused about her status and asked: Now is I free, or been I not? When I go to my old master he says I ain’t free, and when I go to my own people they say I is, and I don’t know whether I’m free or not. Some people told me that Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation, but master says he didn’t; he didn’t have any right to. Many Christians are confused on the same point. Jesus Christ has given them an “Emancipation Proclamation,” but their “old master” tells them they are still slaves to a legal relationship with God. They live in bondage because their “old master” has deceived them.

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