It was for freedom that Christ set us free
Galatians 5:1-12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even [f]mutilate themselves.
Many people wrongly believe that to follow Christ requires sacrifice; that the Christian faith is about restrictions and limitations. In today’s text it says: It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. The yoke of slavery that Christ has set us free from, is the bondage that comes from seeking satisfaction from the world. It is a never ending, fruitless effort, which always leaves us wanting more. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Being yoked to Jesus give us freedom and rest. Philippians 4:19 says: My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. In Christ we have all that we need and all that we want. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. We find rest when we walk and work with Jesus, because He bears the burdens of life for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says: I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. In Christ we are free, trusting in the good plans that God has for us.
The text says: Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. In John 10:10 Jesus says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. We each must choose who we will be persuaded to believe and follow, whether Jesus who calls us to freedom, rest and abundance, or the thief, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. We cannot choose both. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. If we choose to pursue sin and self- satisfaction, we will not know the freedom, rest and abundance of Christ. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” 1 John 2:15-17 says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Each of us must choose. In Christ we are free from sin; free from darkness and free from condemnation. We are free to live abundantly; to rest; to have eternal life. In Christ we are free to receive all that we need and all that we want as long as we choose Him and stand firm; walking and working, yoked to Christ our all in all.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for freedom; freedom to walk in the good plans that You have; freedom to live abundantly here on earth and eternally with You in heaven. Thank You for rest, I delight in You and through the power of the Holy Spirit I am free from the bondage and leaven of the world. You are my Lord and Master, the one I love and serve. Amen,