We’ve been studying Galatians in Sunday School. From the time I was first saved, I’ve loved reading Paul’s letters but I’ll admit Galatians is not one of my favorites. Probably because it’s not a pleasant letter. In fact, according to my husband, who is fairly well versed in Greek, Paul’s words from are strong enough that in today’s culture no “good Christian would be writing like that.” His language is crass and crude. It appears Paul went over the top and to the extreme, because he knew how important it was for the Galatians to hear what he was saying. Technology wasn’t as advanced as today, no conference calls, no Skype, or Hangouts, no airplanes with which to travel and meet face to face. Writing was his only medium of communication.
This letter kind of puts a hole in the whole “you’re not being kind” excuse some give to not hear doesn’t it? But that’s not where I’m headed today.
Paul called the Galatians foolish because they had returned to the law. (it was a lot more crass than “foolish”)
We are a lot like them aren’t we?
We say our faith saves us and yet we add to it. Faith and whatever work we believe is necessary. But Paul tells the Galatians, and us, that if we hold on to part of the law we must fulfill all of it. We forget that the law could not be fulfilled, but we try anyway.
Or do we? Most of us are smart enough to know that it’s not possible for us to keep the entire law so we pick and chose. We make up our own law. Then we put a check mark in the box next to those laws as we complete them. This act allows us to put ourselves on a pedestal so we can look down our noses at those that don’t mark the same boxes as we do.
We’ve totally missed it because our list doesn’t match God’s.
God’s list is Christ.
We easily forget that it’s nothing we do. It is only grace, only faith, only Christ and only Scripture that saves us. It is only then that God can truly be glorified! There is no work great enough, no sacrifice large enough. We cannot do enough to earn God’s favor. It’s impossible for our works to atone for our sin. Quite honestly, if we’re still trying to live up to the law, we’re sticking our tongue out at Christ and telling him we don’t need his blood.
That’s absurd isn’t it?
If we’re banking on grace, faith, Christ, Scripture + our ideas of what the law is, we’ve designed our own religion whose sole purpose is to glorify ourselves and not our Lord. The work in Christianity is only done by Christ’s completed work on the cross. It’s easier to keep a checklist.
But, we can’t. Either we live by the law or we live by the cross. We can’t have it both ways.We are free to live free , but not to do as we please #bloodofchrist Click To Tweet
We are free to live free. Living in freedom is God’s plan. This is not freedom to live as we please and expect grace to cover our blatant, rebellious sin. That’s another of those situations where we’ve made our own list of rules and expect God to adhere to our way. Sadly, when we do this, we are also sticking our tongue’s out at God and abusing the blood of Christ.
No, Paul is speaking of Freedom from an eternal perspective. When we live for Christ we have no need to fear God’s wrath. We no longer have to beat our selves up when we sin. We no longer have to chastise ourselves for not obeying. We only need an attitude of repentance.
Galatians 5:13-15 says this:
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. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (ESV)
When we live as if we are under the law, we are living as our flesh desires. When we are living as if the law doesn’t matter at all, we are living as our flesh desires. Either extreme finds our flesh ruling our lives instead of Jesus.
Will you join me in living under the glory of God?
Will you join me living with an attitude of humble repentance?
Will you join me in turning away from the law and turning toward Christ on the cross?