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.
— Galatians 5:1
Thoughts on Today's Verse...
Paul wrote to help the new believers keep their true freedom in Christ: freedom from trying to earn their righteousness through law-keeping (Galatians chapters 3 and 4). The law could not justify them before God. Only faith in Jesus offered them freedom to be all Christ had re-created by grace to be (Galatians 2:14-16; 2 Corinthians 3:17-29). They were God's children through faith, led by the Spirit to take on the character of Jesus (Galatians 5:16-27). We, too, must realize that since we are God's children, we have been freed from law-keeping and sin because of our faith in Jesus and our participation with him in baptism through faith (Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 6:3-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7). We must never return to justifying ourselves through works of any law, set of rules, or someone's religious expectation. To do so is to give up our freedom and return to the bondage. Paul begs us to rely on what Jesus did for us, not on works of the law. It is the cross of Christ and the empty tomb that liberate us from sin, death, and slavery to what cannot save us.
Holy and Righteous God, my Abba Father, thank you for freeing me from the guilt and power of sin! Thank you for liberating me from trying to earn my salvation through law-keeping. I trust that you will empower and transform me by your Spirit. By the Spirit's power, I know I can now leave my sinful past behind. I want to honor your grace by living a life of character and blessing in my family, in my work, and in your world. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.