I am a rule keeper.
I LOVE knowing what is expected of me and if I’m meeting those expectations.
And if I find out that I’m not, the anxiety begins and I unknowingly go from being a free woman in Christ to an enslaved woman to other people’s expectations and thoughts of me. I know this struggle all too well and I’ve spent most of my life traveling back and forth from freedom to slavery and back again.
This is a burden, a “yoke of slavery” that I am not meant to carry.
If there was a group for “People Pleasers Anonymous,” I’d undoubtedly be a cardholder.
So though I may struggle in my freedom in Christ, I do not struggle in knowing my salvation rests in Christ.
I know for a fact that I cannot lose my salvation. Once I became a child of the King of kings, I cannot be “un-adopted.” No sin – no mess up in my life – can remove my salvation.
My salvation is not based on what I can do, have done, or will do. My salvation is based on what Christ did on that old rugged cross over 2,000 years ago.
So let’s get this straight: our salvation cannot be lost.
But Paul explains in this week’s verses that our freedom in Christ can, and that’s why he exhorts us to “stand firm” in our faith and not let others place a yoke of slavery or a list of rules or regulations on us as a way for us to EARN our salvation.
Paul speaks to both the new Christians who came out of pagan religions and the new Jewish Christians who had been taught that salvation was found in keeping the laws. He encourages those who came out of the world to be strong in their freedom found in Christ and not go back to their former sins that enslaved them to guilt and condemnation. To the Jewish Christians, Paul tells them that their works, their moral law keeping, also enslaves them. Circumcision, which Paul talks about in this section, was a symbol of having the right background and doing everything required by religion. Yet we know that no amount of work, discipline, or moral behavior can save us.
We are saved by faith in Christ, not by works.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”- Galatians 5:6
So what should our response be to this profound knowledge?
Love is our response to God and to others…
- Because we LOVE God, we desire to honor Him with our lives.
- Because we LOVE God, we want to glorify Him with our actions, our choices, and extend to others the same forgiveness God extends to us.
- Because we LOVE others, we place others’ needs before our own.
Though we are far from perfect, we strive to be women filled with love and grace because of the love and grace that Christ extends to us.
May we all learn to embrace the freedom we have in Christ and may it change us from the inside out!!!
My prayer for us this week is that our lives will be characterized by Christ’s love working in us and through us!
“The law prepared the way for the first coming of Christ (3:23-4:7), but it cannot prepare the way for the second coming of Christ.”- Warren Wiersbe
Only Christ’s love can do that!
Let’s ALL Love God Greatly!
Week 5 Video:
Week 5 Challenge:
Take time to pray and examine your life this week. Are there any areas that you are struggling with a “yoke of slavery,” either through a certain sin or through a legalist desire to “keep the law”? Turn it over to God and ask Him to help you embrace the freedom He has purchased for you!
Week 5 Memory Verse:
Week 5 Reading Plan