PRAY & READ: Galatians 5:1-15
This passage contains some of the strongest language in the New Testament: Paul sarcastically says he wishes that those who were perverting the gospel would go castrate themselves. When I first read that I LOL’d. That’s taking circumscision to the next level!
Is this inappropriate language for Paul to use? Maybe they strike you as a little too ‘un-Christian’ or Bible-belt ‘nice’. But In Paul’s mind, there is nothing more important than the gospel, which was being corrupted in Galatia. The true gospel is the power of God for salvation; false gospels are a ticket to slavery and hell. That is a big deal! So Paul uses this appropriately strong language to convey how truly important this is to understand. In other words… ‘listen up Galatians’!
Paul wants Christians to realize that they are free in Christ. We often think of this as freedom from something—the removal of restraint. However, Christian freedom is also freedom to something.
We have been set free from the curse and burden of keeping the Law, and we have been set free to live for the glory of God. Our Freedom is not a license to sin; that would be an abuse of God’s grace.
We were created to live for the glory of God. However, due to the fall we have been slaves to sin ever since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in Eden. We were powerless to fix this on our own, so God sovereignly intervened. Enter Jesus. Now at salvation, the debt Jesus paid to ransom us from our sin slavery is applied, and we are set free to live as we were originally designed. Though, this won’t be perfectly realized until we are glorified with God after death. We are free not to sin! Today you are free to glorify God at work, school and in your everyday conversations.
1. Do I take the gospel as seriously as Paul, such that I can explain and defend what it is? (That is not just “Jesus died for you,” but the necessity of justification by faith alone.)
2. Is there an area of my life where I abuse my “freedom” by living for myself (which is actually slavery) instead of living for God?
3. Why do you think the entire Law is fulfilled in the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself”? (Vs. 14)
MEMORIZE: Gal. 5:14-15
This week's devotional is written by Brian Seagraves. Brian is a City Church Owner and serves as a City Group Leader. He is a blogger and author, writes and teaches on apologetics, and is a software developer.