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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Paul to the Galatians



Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?  I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

It is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.  Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 
—Galatians 3: 2-5, 11-12, 21-26 ( NLT)

What about you? Do you strive to be good enough instead of allowing Jesus to set you free?  His grace is the only road to freedom. Do you live your life with the mindset that if you work hard enough you will be forgiven? The law doesn’t forgive. It just reveals what needs to be forgiven. He freely forgives. Your work earns you nothing. But His work in you teaches you the power of His grace. Then any work you offer is a natural outflow of His grace in your life because you have believed by faith—not because you have met a requirement so Jesus will love you!  Grace has already loved you at Calvary. If you believe, live in His freedom as a believer. “So Christ has truly set us free,” Paul wrote. “Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1, NLT).

Freedom in Christ is not a license to disregard the law, but a choice to honor it by joyfully receiving His power to live it.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com/2018/08/paul-to-galatians.html


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