(Read Galatians 5:13-15)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Let’s continue to walk through Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. After strongly re-addressing the issue of circumcision and after comparing the Law of Moses to a little yeast which can spread through an entire batch of dough, Paul addresses something in this morning’s passage that I hear all the time. Paul says, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.” I have been teaching this series on Grace for over a year and I have had several people express their concern that the message of Grace is giving people a license to sin. First of all, those focused on sinning were doing so just fine without a license. Secondly, if you think the message of Grace is giving you the right to sin, then you missed the message altogether. I will talk more about this in closing points.
Paul goes on to say, “Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” Paul summarized the Law just like Jesus did… with the requirement of LOVE!
So what does this mean to you today? Let’s seek to glean a few golden nuggets:
1. The Grace provided through Jesus gives us freedom from condemnation, carnal ordinances, the bondage of the letter-Law, self-reliance, and other things. However, it does not give us a freedom to sin. If you believe God’s Grace is a license to sin, then you have missed the essence of God’s Grace altogether.
2. There is a danger of going from extreme to extreme. Those who lived under the bondage of strict and forced adherence to the letter-Law may take the freedom made available in Christ Jesus to the opposite extreme. However, the fact that some misunderstand Grace does not make it invalid or incorrect.
3. Embracing Grace does not mean you get to discard the Bible and all of its teachings. What it means is that you now get to apply God’s truth to your personal life through His divine power, provided to you by His Grace, and not through human effort alone.
4. Embracing Grace means you transition from the external restraint of the Law to the internal restraint of the Holy Spirit. No longer do you need to check your behavior against external rules. The Holy Spirit will provide you an internal “check” as you live your life for Christ.
5. Embracing Grace means you make the transition from the Law of Moses to the Law of Love. We are commanded to love God and love man (Mat 22:37-39, Gal 5:14), and we are able to do it because God first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). God poured out His love in our hearts, through His Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5), and our focus must now be to walk in divine love towards God and man, by God’s Grace. Because without His Grace we could not do it.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your amazing Grace. I embrace Your Grace day-by-day and the more I do, the more it is changing my life. I know Your Grace is not a license to sin. I know the freedom You provided me in Christ Jesus, Your Son, is not a freedom to sin. Sin is far from my focus. Now that I am in Christ and Christ is in me, I don’t focus on sin, I focus on You, on the plans You made for me before the foundations of the world, and on Your commandment of Love! You poured out Your love in my heart through Your Holy Spirit. You loved me, even while I was yet a sinner, and Your love has changed me. I am now able to love You and walk in love with others, because You first loved me. Walking in love and fulfilling Your purpose for my life are my heart’s desire. I believe I will do both, but only by Your Grace. I could do neither without Your Grace, but with Your Grace, by Your power, I shall live the life You desire for me to live, being a conduit of Your love and light everywhere I go. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.