Stand For This, Not For That!

 Galatians 5 has so many truths in that we will take more than one day on it, looking at a few of the verses. Right away the Apostle Paul starts off with a bang:

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

2-3 I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law.Galatians 5:1-3 (MSG)

In looking at the Message translation we find that the words are clear, unless we stand on the liberty wrought by the Cross of Calvary, we might as well be yoking ourselves with a harness of slavery! Salvation was never achieved by rule-keeping. Hence when doctrines like circumcision  become essential, then all the work that Christ did by being the sacrificial lamb offered up for our sins is "squandered".Even though Christ paid the ultimate price for our freedom, we submit to the life of a slave.

Paul goes on to say:

4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. Galatians 5:4-6 9 (MSG)

Although it may not be our intent to submit to slavery, rather, we have some pious notion that we will become somehow holier; what in effect happens is that we leave Christ, rejecting the atonement. For what becomes essential in walking this new life is not the external, but something far more powerful – "faith" – "expressed in love".

More tomorrow,