|understand what the Bible says about freedom in Christ|
This 5-day devotional on Galatians 5 looks into our freedom in Christ and how we should be living.
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:1-6
Marked: vs.1, 3, 6
- Paul again emphasizes and argues the difference between earning salvation thru good works (keeping the Law for the Jews) and salvation thru faith in Jesus Christ (which is freedom from enslavement to having to keep the Law for that purpose).
- What’s clearly a misapplication of Scriptures here is the Judaizers' assumption of authority to pick what only applies (circumcision & a few others only) to these Gentiles.
- Paul clarifies that one cannot pick only a few if he subjects himself to the law, it has to be the whole Law (vs.3).
- Verses 2 & 4 does not mean the possibility of losing salvation. If it was, it would be contradictory to Paul’s own argument of freedom in Christ by grace thru faith alone (vs.6). It just simply means they (if Christians) are ignoring the freedom already given them.
- Adding works to saving faith means disregarding the value and the power of Christ's death & resurrection, and disregarding what grace is (vs.1, 6).
- If anyone chooses to keep the law to earn salvation, he needs to follow everything in it, not just a select few. No mere human being can ever accomplish this; hence, the need for Christ’s sacrifice.
- Christians who understand salvation by grace thru faith are sometimes guilty of a form of this folly Jewish folly:
a. Taking Christ’s saving grace for granted sometimes equates to ignoring the freedom we have in Christ and the power of it in our everyday lives;
b. Some legalist Christian groups impose unnecessary burden on their followers (not regarding salvation) by acting as “authorities” of what should (from their own select Scripture passages) and should not be required of their Christian living.
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:7-12
- Paul uses very strong language to express his disgust of these Judaizers (vs.10, 12). Understandably so, because he labored for them and with them in the ministry, and cared much for their spiritual welfare.
- “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (vs.9). False teachings, false teachers, corrupt friends, corrupt practices, sinful thoughts, sinful habits, undealt temptations, et cetera. Once you allow any of these problems, or any manifestations of any of these into your life, no matter how small, they will spread through into the other aspects of your life, your thoughts, your being; influencing and affecting you and everything you do.
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:13-15
- In pointing out the freedom we have in Christ, Paul emphasized that it should not to be used for acts of sin, but for lovingly serving one another.
- What is the significance of loving service here?
- What most Christians neglect to realize is the effect of their choices upon concerned people around them. The choice of a Christian to sin is a selfish act that always, either directly or indirectly, affects some certain individuals around them.
- However we convince ourselves that some of our decisions to engage in sin is private and personal, and does not affect anyone else other than us. It is just simply not true. The fact is, any action we take will always have an effect on someone, somehow.
- This is why Paul wants us to use our freedom in Christ to lovingly serve others rather than engage in selfish sinful acts. Our love for others is, in a way, our protection against sin.
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:16-17
Marked verses: vs.16
- Paul emphasizes here another action step that complements loving service.
- The desires of our flesh are directly opposed to the desires of the Spirit in us. There is no middle ground where one can play both sides at any time (vs.17a).
- It is the flesh that keeps us from doing what is right, just as it is allowing the the Spirit to lead us and letting Him work in us that can keep us from sin. (vs.16, 17b).
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:18-26
Marked verses: vs.22-25
- Paul describes further how the desires (works) of the flesh is very much opposed to the Spirit’s work in us.
- Since we already have the Spirit in us, we should bear fruit that shows Him in us. We have been freed from the power of sin as the flesh has been crucified with Christ. Hence, we should live as Christ lived, manifesting the Spirit in us.
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