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Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives.
All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.
I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. The text begins with a clear and refreshing statement of Christ's will for our lives. Sometimes we get bogged down in a quandary about God's will.
And often we worry about decisions which are simply not a great issue with God where to go to school, what job to take, where to live, etc. We need to orient our lives on the clear statements of Scripture regarding God's will. And here is one: "For freedom Christ has set us free. Where you go to school, what job you do, where you live, etc.
If they were, the Bible would have commanded those things as clearly as it here commands freedom. But it doesn't. So your enjoyment of freedom is much more important to God than many of the day-to-day decisions that fill us with so much concern.
A good test of your priorities in life would be whether you are just as concerned about the command to enjoy your freedom as you are about other pressing decisions in your life. Do you exercise as much diligence in prayer and study to stand fast in freedom as you do to decide about home, job, school, marriage partner? It is a clear and unqualified command: "Stand fast and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Uncompromising, unrelenting, indomitable freedom. For this Christ died. For this he rose.
For this he sent his Spirit. There is nothing he wills with more intensity under the glory of his own name than this: your freedom. That's my message today. All else is explanation and incentive. I have a playtime with my sons after supper each evening until about p. It is not easy to please a 10, 7, and 3 year old with one game.
Recently we've hit on a new idea: Karsten re The Tower of Geburah to all of us while I build towers out of blocks with Abraham on the floor. When 7 p. I can say, "No, you pick them up, and get it done in two minutes or there will be trouble! Or I can say, "Sure I will. Let's Jesus has set us free how fast we can do it together. Abraham's experience is very different in those two cases. In the first case, he is not free. He goes about his work as though a yoke of slavery were on his back and a big heavy frog were on his bottom lip.
He is not acting in freedom because the task is an oppressive weight that irritates and discourages. But in the second case he is free. He does better work with no irritation.
He has the freedom of joy and feels no oppressive burden on his back. He still knows that Daddy punishes for disobedience, but that is no heavy yoke because he is quite happy to pick up the blocks. What's the difference? Daddy was on the floor helping—even making it enjoyable. The same work to do: but in one case under the yoke of slavery, in the other case in freedom. There is a clue here for how we can live in freedom and obey Galatians The key to freedom is whether we have to do the work ourselves to escape punishment, or whether our Father comes down to be with us and help us.
I think this will be evident from Galatians —5.
How has the freedom in christ set us free?
Verses 2, 3, and 4 each portray a way to stay under a yoke of slavery. So these verses function as warnings against slavery. Then verse 5 gives a positive description of how to stand in freedom. Let's look at each of these verses in turn.
We'll take verses 2 and 3 together: "Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you or: Christ will profit you nothing. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law literally: that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Paul says circumcision is wrong and displeases God and non-circumcision is right and pleases God. So the point is: do what pleases God—avoid circumcision at all costs. The point of verses 2 and 3 is not that circumcision in itself is wrong, but that any act is wrong that we do to bribe God for blessings. Circumcision happened to be the foremost requirement of the Judaizers who were teaching the Galatians to work their way into God's favor.
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Galatians —5 reminds us how Jesus has set us free relates to freedom and slavery. Paul went up to Jerusalem, "but even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek, but because of false brethren probably the Judaizerssecretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage —to them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
Look more closely at verse 2. And Paul says that if you try to earn dividends from Christ from your own investment of circumcision or dietary rules or feast days, Christ will profit you nothing. Because all the spiritual and physical benefits Christ gives are dividends paid from his own investment at Calvary. When the Son of God died for our sins, the moral assets which he invested in the bank of God's glory were so great that the dividends are infinite, endless, and available to all who.
Verse 2 says: Christ's profits are not yours if you try to earn them with your own investments. Because that dishonors Christ, nullifies graceand removes the stumbling block of the cross We exalt the cross and grace and Christ when we admit we have no assets to invest, and that Christ's investment at Calvary was totally sufficient to win free dividends of righteousness and life for all who trust him.
So verse 2 teaches that slavery is when you reject Christ as the merciful benefactor who gives us freely a share in his endless profit.
Slavery is when you choose to deal with him as a banker who needs your investment to produce dividends for his customers. Verse 3 says the same thing a bit differently. All the works of the law including circumcision are the currency with which the Judaizers aim to satisfy their debts to God. And the surprising point of the verse for us is that God does not want to deal with us as debtors in this way. I say this is surprising because there is a very common view of Christian behavior which this verse contradicts.
It is called the "Gratitude Ethic. And even though most Christians who work out of this gratitude ethic would say that they are not trying to earn their salvation, nevertheless, when they start working for God because he has given them so much, it is very easy to begin to think of God's free gift as a loan to be repaid or as advance wages to be earned.
So the gratitude ethic tends to put you in the position of a debtor instead of a son. And that is slavery. None of us feels completely free while we are burdened with a debt to be repaid. Christ does not want you to relate to him as a debtor who uses the law to make installment payments on an unending loan. There are at least three reasons why this gratitude ethic is wrong. First, true gratitude is, indeed, a sense of joyful indebtedness.
10 verses about freedom
But as soon as this delight in another person's generosity turns into a feeling that we must pay something back, what once was a free gift starts to become a business transaction. Genuine gratitude is not the feeling of having to pay back. The second reason the gratitude ethic is wrong is that it diminishes the cross of Christ. When Christ died for our sins to repair the injury we had done to God's honor, our debt was totally covered!
Any effort to increase, from ourthe deposit made for us by Christ at Calvary is an insult to its infinite value.
Yes, all the good things that come to us sinners now and in eternity must be paid for. But the gospel is that they have already been paid for by someone else.
Therefore, we must never try to relate to God as a debtor trying to pay back a debt, no matter how thankfully. The third reason why the gratitude ethic is wrong is that it tends to think of God's work for us as only in the past. It says, God has done so much for me, now I will do for him. But this overlooks the fact that God's work for us is past, present, and future, and it is not only work for us but in us.
The gratitude ethic tends to forget that apart from Christ's present indwelling power we can do nothing valuable John The gratitude ethic forgets that any patience, kindness, goodness, worship, etc. It is God now working in us that which is pleasing in his sight Hebrews Therefore, even our gifts to God are gifts from God. The gratitude ethic overlooks this never-ending work of grace in our lives. We can't even begin to pay God back because the slightest movement toward him is a new gift from him.