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
Listen: Galatians 5
The Galatian church was experiencing division over circumcision. Circumcision was standard procedure in Judaism, and some experts in Old Testament law were telling the new Jesus followers that they needed to do it as well. Paul knew that strictly following rules can cause people to become self-centered. For example, some religious leaders in Jesus’ day followed strict rules to try and earn good standing before God. They would avoid touching people thinking they could remain clean before God. On the other hand, Jesus was always seeking and touching people many considered spiritually “unclean.” He was free and used that freedom to serve those he came in contact with.
Paul is teaching the Galatians that their standing with God is tied to Christ and not to these rules. He wanted them to see that they were free and that this freedom was a call to serve others as Jesus did. Like the Galatians, our forgiveness is a call to serve others—not ourselves. We are forgiven by God through the death of his son Jesus Christ. This forgiveness frees us from bondage and the need for religious rituals. Our natural response should be to use this freedom to serve. By spending our freedom on others, we become receivers and givers at the same time.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Spend time today to reflect on the freedom we have in Christ. Reflect on the fact that Christ’s death on the cross has paid your way to a relationship with God. If you have placed your faith in Christ, your identity as a chosen child of God is secure. Take a few minutes and pray, thanking him for the freedom he has given us.
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