As we approach Sunday, take some time to read the passage: Galatians 5:1-15.
As Christians we are called to, The life of Freedom, to run with Jesus in freedom.
So Paul reminds them and us of the power we, as Christians, live in because of Jesus in verse 1:
Christ has set us free,
Free from the power of sin and satan. From the need to obey rules and laws to save us. This is the power of Jesus and the depth of God love.
We see the encouragement to:
Stand firm in our freedom.
As Jesus said after the magnificent sermon on the mount.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
The only way we can stand firm is to have confidence that we are standing on the rock of Jesus and his teachings.
And then we see the challenge:
Do not submit to the yoke of slavery
This is Paul’s desperate plea to the Galatians and to us.
Don’t fall back, don’t allow yourself to be hindered, don’t get distracted
As I say all of this I’m aware that many of us may think, freedom, with all that’s going on in my life, we all have issues Many may say I would love this freedom, BUT!
Come to Jesus
When Paul is speaking of the power of the slavery he uses the word Yoke. That wooden device that was put around an ox to pull the plough.
Jesus speaks about his Yoke
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In Jesus we find rest and the power to live in freedom, as we come to him weary and burdened.
Learn from Jesus:
The Christian life is all about Jesus, not about the things we do that we think will give us a good a standing in God’s eyes, as the enemies of Paul were trying to say.
As we continue on we see Paul gives us some contrasts, of the life of freedom and slavery.
Basically saying in verse 2-4 if you accept doing things in your own power then Christ is of no advantage to you, you are a slave, severed from Christ. You have lost the power of meaning of GRACE. Grace the powerful expression of God’s love and acceptance of us.
Which as we see in verse 5 the stark contrast to living the life of freedom.
5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
The Life of Freedom
•Is lived through the Spirit
As we read in John 14-16
The gifts of the spirit, build up the body and we show the fruit of the spirit.
Trusting in Jesus takes the burden off our shoulders.
•Eagerly awaiting the hope of righteousness
Actively waiting living a life of hope now and in the future when Jesus will judge and his righteousness will cover us.
This is the life of freedom!
We see more in verse 6:
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
•Is a life faith working through love
As we continue on in verse 7 we see
That a life of freedom
•Is always aware of what can hinder their freedom
•Understands that even a little disobedience effects everything
9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
What is your leaven?
•Understands that obedience costs
11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?
Look at Jesus
This is what he was doing on the earth. Helping people to see the burdens the religious establishment had put on the people. Teaching to obey God, taking the cost, but bringing hope and love.
As Paul finishes this section he returns to love in verse 13.
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
•Is not about self
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
•Through love serves one another
Look at Jesus’ love .
Love one another, this next weeks and months will be tough as the cost of living increases let us support and seek support.
Finally note the warning in verse 15
If you are in slavery you will be like this.
15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Let us live the life of freedom.
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?