DAY 16

READ GALATIANS 5:1-6

STAND FAST IN FREEDOM

We are children of the free woman, the heavenly Jerusalem, not children of the bondwoman, the physical earthly Jerusalem. We are born of the Spirit not of the flesh. We are not under the law but under the Holy Spirit. We are not slaves. We are free. Because all this is true, we must stand firm and hold fast to our freedom. We must not back down and not let go, but stand fast! It’s possible to get entangled in bondage again, so we must not let this happen to us!
The law is a yoke of bondage. It reminds us that we are sinners, that we are slaves, that we cannot do the things we want to do to please God, that we are always failing, always striving but never able to truly succeed in holiness. That is a miserable way to live. But Christ has made us free. He has set us free from the bondage of the Law. He has set us free from sin, shame, slavery and striving.

    How do we get entangled in bondage again? If we add even the slightest bit of the Old Covenant law to our lives, we become debtors to keep every last bit of the law and will once again be in bondage. Being circumcised meant that you placed yourself under the Jewish law. For the Galatian churches, this was their moment of truth where they had to make a decision. What does this mean for you and I today? As soon as we attempt to trust in our own ability to be righteous, Jesus no longer adds any profit to our lives. Paul says in verse 6 that if we do this, we are completely removed from Christ. If we are trying to get our righteousness through keeping the law: the feasts, the customs, the rituals, Jewish words and terminology, the ten commandments, or our own version of any of these in self-righteous works-based Christianity, then we have fallen from grace. It’s not the sinner who falls from grace. It is the self-righteous legalist who has fallen from grace.

      If you are attempting (because at best it is only an attempt) to earn your righteousness as a Christian, you have fallen from grace! Only through the Holy Spirit will righteousness become the reality in our lives. For in Jesus the only thing that actually means anything, is faith working through love. Where there is legalism, there is very little love. But when we throw ourselves on Jesus through the Holy Spirit, faith works through love in our lives.

         

          QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

          1. How do we get entangled in bondage again?

          2. What kind of person falls from grace?

            3. What is the only thing that counts for anything in Jesus?