Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Read: Galatians 5:1-8

Galatians 5:1-8

New International Version (NIV)

Freedom in Christ
5 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.

2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

Consider: Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers is a towering statement proclaiming our freedom in Christ. In it he emphatically teaches us that we no longer live “under the supervision of the law” (3:25). As Paul explains throughout this letter, the law could not change us. It could only show us our sin and powerlessness, and move us toward repentance and fellowship with God. Only Christ could change us. As Paul said on another occasion…

“For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.” (Romans 8:3)

As Paul wrote to the Galatians, he not only proclaimed freedom, but he honestly expressed his frustration. He was puzzled and disappointed with the Galatian believers. They had accepted God’s grace, but then some people had convinced them that they needed to slavishly keep the Law in order to really be right with God. This angered Paul. He felt as though they had “been alienated from Christ” and had “fallen away from grace” (5:4).

We often fall into the same trap. We believe in God’s grace, but we strive to do enough to show ourselves that we are righteous. It is as if our “works” become an insurance policy just in case we are not fully accepted and forgiven. Paul railed against that kind of thinking.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (2:21)

So today let’s bask in God’s grace. We serve him out of love, not to earn his approval. For if we serve him out of fear, we have a terrible time rejoicing in his love.

Pray: Thank God for freedom in Christ.

 

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