“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
Gal. 5:1; NASB
Jesus died on the cross to set us free from sin and death. He allowed Himself to be hung on that cross because He loves us. The freedom He has given us is the most precious gift God could ever bless us with. He freed us from having to pay the price we deserve for our sins, which is our own eternal death. His death also freed us from slavery to the evil one. The question is: are you enjoying the freedom our Lord died for, or are you still living in bondage? If you are, isn’t it time you stepped into the freedom that is there for every believer?
Paul wrote the above verse as part of his attempt to convince the Galatians not to be lured back into the requirements and restrictions of the Law, especially concerning circumcision. There were people that felt the Jews needed to be circumcised, even as believers in Jesus Christ. Being circumcised would require them to be under the performance requirements of the Law. Jesus’ death and resurrection removed the performance of rituals, and Paul was trying to get them to understand that. Now, over two thousand years later, many are still allowing themselves to be lured into the bondage of performance. We hear things like:
- “Sunday attendance is a given, but serious Christians also go to Wednesday night services.”
- “How can you expect to get closer to God if you don’t attend a small group?”
- “Tithing is a given, but how about your offerings?”
I’m sure you get the point. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. There is nothing wrong with those things if you feel led to do them, and even more. In fact, once you have “fallen in love with Jesus” your contributions of time and money to the church, your community, other projects and ministries, and those around you will far exceed the often preached “10%” if you were to stop and count it. You will also spend more time in Bible study and fellowship because you want more of Him, not to fulfill requirements. But how much money given, or how many hours spent, or how many people helped, has nothing to do with your salvation and is not a barometer for how good or bad your life will be in the natural.
It is wrong when these and similar things are being done or requested as a way of showing one’s commitment to the Lord. The Bible states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) We are free from the wages of sin and death. We are free from the lying, condemning tongue of the enemy. God’s yoke is easy (see Matt. 11:29-30). The peace of God comes from obedience to His Word, not man’s.
Don’t exchange your freedom for the burden of doing something because someone says it’s your duty or obligation as a Christian to do it. Read your Bible, pray, and obey. Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and your love for others will grow. Give the old hurts and insecurities to Jesus and accept His loving forgiveness. You will experience the reward of a true relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Have a great week and God bless.