DAY 21 - GALATIANS
March 27, 2023
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Throughout the letter, Paul is emphasizing freedom in the gospel of Christ. But we must understand that believers can be saved and not free. The freedom Paul is explaining here is freedom from the law and the power of sin but also freedom from a guilty conscience. Hebrews 9:14 (NIV) tells us: “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.” Paul’s emphasis is the same—we do not have to go back under the slavery of the law, performing works to ease our troubled minds from the frustration of trying to earn God’s favor. We can take our troubled minds to Jesus and experience his cleansing effect (through the Spirit), a cleansing far more thorough than we could ever achieve by obedience to the law.
Then, when believers have a right understanding of their freedom, their faith will express itself in love. They will daily allow the Holy Spirit working within to pour out of their lives through love toward others. Paul said it in Galatians 5:6 - “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
1. Are you truly free? Or do you have a guilty conscience before God? Take any guilt and shame you feel to Jesus, and ask the Spirit to help you live in true freedom.
2. Galatians 5:6 is a true test of whether our faith pleases God. Read it again. How is God asking you to express your faith today?