For freedom Christ has set us free
Galatians 5.1, 13-25
We’re still on a journey through Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia.
Remember that people had come who were wanting the Galatian believers to obey the Jewish laws like eating only certain foods, being circumcised and keeping the Sabbath. The Apostle Paul would have absolutely none of it, because he had discovered that the law he had loved so much was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, now his Lord and Saviour.
Now the centre of Paul’s life was Jesus and not the law.
Jesus had brought one new people into being, a people in which
there is no longer Jew or Greek,
there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female;
for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
This new people is the Christian Church. It’s the Body of Christ, it’s the fellowship of the baptised.
Paul’s concern in the later parts of this letter is what it means to be this one new people in Christ.
And in Galatians 5.1 he gets right into it:
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Why have we been set free? So we can be truly free! We have been set free from the ‘yoke of slavery’. This ‘yoke of slavery’ is not the ‘easy yoke’ that Jesus promises when he says:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
This ‘yoke of slavery’ is obedience to law. It is living rule-bound lives. So does that mean we Christians are law-less? Can we disregard the law? Can we do what we like? We are free, after all! Continue reading