Today we continue our new series on “GREAT FREEDOM.” I have so many scripture passages that I have been meditating on for this year, that I don’t know where to start. As I prayed about what to say, the Holy Spirit took me back to last year. We closed out the year with a series entitled, “Grace and Truth.” In that series, we studied the book of Galatians. One verse I did not deal with in that series is Galatians 5:1. I feel led to take a look at it today. We will look at it from three translations.
After the Apostle Paul went to great lengths to compare and contrast the differences between living by The Law of Moses and living by the Spirit of God, he said:
(Galatians 5:1 The Passion Translation)
Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.
(Galatians 5:1 Easy to Read Version)
We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong in that freedom. Don’t go back into slavery again.
(Galatians 5:1 Contemporary English Version)
Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Many Christians don’t understand the freedom given to us through Jesus in the New Covenant.
a) In his letter to the believers in Galatia, the Apostle Paul was writing to a church full of Jewish converts to Christianity. These were people who were raised under The Law and they were now Born-Again in Christ Jesus. After receiving Jesus as Lord, many of them either went back to their old ways (by habit or routine), or they were coerced into doing so by dogmatic believers who were dead-set on holding on to The Law. Some of the dogmatic believers amongst them were so persuasive that they convinced Gentiles (people who were NEVER under The Law in the first place) to take on the ways of the Old Covenant. Some were even circumcised as adults. Paul was furious about this. Jesus came and He made us FREE from the bondage and the requirements of The Law.
b) Today I am writing mainly to Gentiles, who were never under The Law in the first place, but who may not have been taught the differences between the Old and New Covenants. If you don’t know the differences, you will read the Bible and not get a full understanding. The challenge with this is that you will never maximize what you do not understand. If you don’t’ understand the FREEDOM Jesus died to provide you, you won’t be able to walk in it fully. This is why Paul said, “Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” (Galatians 5:1).
2. If you don’t understand the difference between the Old and New Covenants, you won’t be able to fully embrace the FREEDOM Jesus provided you.
a) I was raised in a church that focused on rites, rituals, and routines. I was never taught about the FREEDOM Jesus died to provide us. But now that I am aware of this FREEDOM, I can be FREE! I pray you become aware as well. I will be teaching about this FREEDOM all year.
b) Jesus did not die so you could continue to take on the pressure to perform and to do everything right. He did everything right FOR you.
c) Jesus did not die so you could continue to go through a series of rites and rituals in order to be made right with Him. No ceremony can make you right. No amount of prayer or penance can rectify sin. You cannot pay for something Jesus paid for. All you can do is receive everything He is. His death was your death. His life is now your life. If you are in Christ, you are FREE! Not free TO sin. But free FROM sin!
d) Religion emphasizes routine and repetition. Jesus did not die for that. Jesus died so that you could have a relationship with the Father directly. In His name. By His Spirit. For His glory. Don’t be religious. Your breakthrough is not found in a ceremony. Your breakthrough has already been provided in Christ Jesus. Jesus made you FREE! Don’t go back to the bondage of religion or religious activity.
e) I will close with the words of Paul. He said it best when he said, “Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.” (Galatians 5:1). Hold on to your FREEDOM. Walk-in it today. You are FREE to be the man/woman you were born to be. Nothing can stop you. Nothing has you bound. Sin is no longer your issue. Your limits mean nothing because God lives in you. You are free. Enter this day and walk in the FREEDOM provided to you in Christ Jesus!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus the Christ, to die in my place. He paid a price I could not pay, for a debt He did not owe. He did it for me. I am now in Christ and Christ is IN ME. My life is not about rites, rituals, routines or religion. I have a relationship with You. I come to You in the name of Your Son. I am filled with Your Spirit. I am Your child. You are my Father. I enter this day FREE from all bondage and FREE from all limits. I can do ALL THINGS because I am in Christ and He has made me FREE! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!