We hear alot about freedom these days. Our military troops are fighting on foreign soil in order for us in America to continue to have freedom. We hear about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from responsibilities, etc.
What do we mean by freedom? Freedom means different things to different people and the word freedom is hard to define, isn't it?
Allow me to spend a few minutes with you sharing what it means to have inner freedom. When we talk about inner freedom something deep inside us resonates a big YES! But there is something that holds us back. The Book of Galatians reveals why we struggle so much. The purpose of Galatians is clear: to get Christians out from under the law and into freedom in Christ, to have the Spirit replace the Torah in our lives.
Living under the law is being controlled by anything other than the Spirit of God but freedom in Christ means freedom to produce the fruits of righteousness through a Spirit-led lifestyle.
The Book of Galatians was written to refute the Judaizers gross misunderstanding of justification by faith. Sin separates us from a holy God and the only way we can be united with God is to have those sins forgiven, and the only way that can take place is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God's son (I Peter 3:18).
The Judaizers agree with that essential of faith, but, they said there was more and that included following the Jewish law of circumcision. So, what is being said is, that salvation is accepting Christ as Savior and Lord plus circumcision. WRONG! That is semi-palagianism.
Galatians wants us to understand that salvation is in Christ alone (solus Christus), through grace alone (sola gratia), by faith alone (sola fide)plus NOTHING. If we add anything to the grace of God (the gospel) we nullify the gospel (Galatians 2:20-21).
Do not nullify the grace of God in your own life by your daily thinking and practices. Christ died for you and for the purpose of saving you from God's wrath and making you his child. Do not add to something already complete in Christ! Remember, you have died and your life is hidden with God in Christ and you have been seated with him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5-8; Colossians 3:1-4). Freedom is God's idea not ours.
Rev. Charles Sheldon
Grace Community Church-EPC