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  • Ethos Church


March 22, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws. You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?


Paul sensed that the Galatians had lost the joy of their salvation because of legalism. They had not lost the experience of salvation (they were still saved) but they were losing the enjoyment of their salvation and finding satisfaction in their works instead. Sadly, they did not realize their losses. They actually thought they were becoming better Christians by substituting law for grace and the religious deeds of the flesh for the fruit of the Spirit.

Legalism can take away joy because:

  1. it makes people feel guilty rather than loved

  2. it produces self-hatred rather than humility

  3. it stresses performance over relationship

  4. it points out how far short we fall rather than how far we’ve come because of what Christ did for us


1. Have you lost the joy of your salvation and daily walk with Jesus?

2. Are you living by faith in Christ or by trying to live up to the demands and expectations of others? If you feel guilty and inadequate, check your focus.


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