Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Stand Fast in Liberty!

Posted by Job on April 28, 2007

The Galatian church had a problem.  It’s one that you and I can readily identify with.  They started out great in the love and freedom that Christ had paid for on Calvary, but then something hindered them and caused them to stumble back into the bondage of the law.  Somehow it seemed impossible to them that all of their sins – past, present, and future – had been covered by the blood of Jesus.  There had to be more to it than that.  It’s the age old lie that the enemy has used on the church for centuries— God does His part and then man has to do his part through works, through circumcision, through rituals or traditions.

A group called the Judizers had convinced the Galatians that now that they were saved they had to be circumcised and follow the law.  When word reached Paul what the church had been told (and had embraced) he sent them a letter which we now know as the book of Galatians.  The theme of the book is freedom in Christ, and it emphasizes that our salvation is all of Him and none of us. 

Paul has some choice words for the Judizers, who he says are “accursed” and have “perverted” the gospel.  He urges the Galatians to cling to the gospel they accepted and not to be swayed by the lies of the Judizers:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”  (Galatians 2:20-21 NIV)

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 NIV)

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 and kept you from obeying the truth?  (Galatians 5:6-7 NIV)

We’ve all been there before; that feeling that I have to do something to earn or deserve God’s grace.  That is a lie and a dangerous one at that.  God’s Word could not be clearer on this subject.  Paul said to the Galatians, “We have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16, NIV)

Why is this lie so dangerous?  Isn’t it a good thing for people to obey the laws and commands of God?  Certainly, God calls us all to good works, but we are not saved because we do good works, we do good works because we are saved!  The lie of the Judizers is dangerous not because people are observing the law, but because people are deluded into believing that through their own righteousness they can earn or deserve God’s free gift of salvation. 

Are you trusting in your works to get you to heaven?  Do you consider something else other than by faith embracing Christ’s sacrifice on the cross necessary for your salvation?  If so, you — like the Galatian Christians Paul was writing to — have become a slave to the law and are under the yoke of bondage to the law. 

Hear the words of the Lord through the Apostle Paul to you today: “Stand fast in the liberty whereby Christ has made you free and do not be enslaved again by the yoke of bondage.” 

Jesus said, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed!”
  (John 8:36)
Alan Riley  is an ordained Baptist Minister. © Streaming Faith all rights reserved.

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