What great words from Paul:
“It is for Freedom that CHRIST has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from Grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope…. The only thing that counts is Faith expressing itself through Love.” – Galatians 5:1, 4-6 NIV
He is specifically addressing the men in the church at Galatians, but the message resounds across gender lines and the centuries since. Gentile men (non-Jewish) were being circumcised when they joined the Christian community, and Paul is pointing out that the practice isn’t necessary. How do I know that He is talking to the men who are not Jews? Simple really. All Jewish males were circumcised when they were 8 days old, not as grown men. But getting to the point: once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Law no longer applies. We are set FREE from the physical restraints of the old Law; Moses’ Law, because God sent His Son to be the FINAL blood sacrifice for our sins. The old Law cannot justify us any longer. No matter how “good” we are, or how religious, or pious, Jesus’ sacrifice has already atoned for our sins. For MY sins. Past, present, and future.
DO NOT MISINTERPRET WHAT PAUL OR I AM SAYING! (And no, I am NOT comparing myself to Paul!!)
Our sins are covered by the Blood of Jesus. We have been washed clean, and for that, all I can do is fall on my face in thanksgiving and shout “Hallelujah, Praise the LORD!” JESUS made the ultimate sacrifice so that He could fulfill the Law. There is no reason, nothing to gain, by continuing to sacrifice birds and animals to God. It is a done deal; the Law is complete. All thanks to Jesus, we are FREE. Free from the Law, free from the necessity of blood sacrifice. We cannot be justified by anything other than the Blood of Jesus; therefore, any other blood that is shed is an unnecessary and sad waste of our resources.
Freedom isn’t free here on earth. Our freedoms as citizens of the United States come from the sacrifice of countless men and women who have given their lives so that we can enjoy our lives and liberty. Our freedom on earth is based on obeying the laws of the land. Our freedom for ETERNITY is also because of someone else’s sacrifice. All that we have to do to obtain that final, essential freedom is to accept the gift of it from Christ Jesus. Being FREE in Christ doesn’t mean we have carte blanc to behave as we please. It doesn’t mean it’s okay to yell at your spouse or children. It doesn’t give us the right to hurt people, whether physically or with words. On the contrary, being truly free through Jesus Christ should make us even more conscientious of our words and deeds as we live our lives to honor Him! As Christians, our lives should be governed by these words Jesus spoke when He was asked what was the greatest commandment of the Law:
“ ‘Love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
He broke the Ten Commandments down to two to make it super simple for us to follow. No longer list of do’s and don’t’s. In fact, He didn’t tell us NOT to do anything! He knows that when we keep these two commandments, everything, every thought, will fall right into line. I will continue to sin as long as I am breathing. That, unfortunately, is my human nature. I know – I REALLY know, that I am forgiven, and when I stand in front of God on the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, I have the greatest of the great to represent me. Jesus, my Advocate.
I’m curious. Are you free? Will you be represented by the Advocate, Jesus, or will the enemy [satan] get to stand next to you and drag you with him into the fiery depths of hell? In the words of the late, great, Martin Luther King, then I will truly be “Free at last, Free at LAST, Thank GOD Almighty, we are FREE at last!” Will you celebrate Freedom with us?
(All scriptures quoted are from http://bible.com/NIV)