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 NIV
I’ve been stuck in Galatians. Trying my best to wrap my head around what God would like me to know and share regarding this book.
In a nutshell, Paul is working hard to correct a problem. The rule followers have come in and tried to convince the Galatians that accepting Christ’s salvation is not enough. The Galatians were being told they had to follow a given set of rules too, and one rule specifically cannot be ignored or
Paul was always a good rule-following guy. He had a record showing that he was an expert at lining up his actions with his beliefs. Paul contends that it’s not about the rules it’s about putting your faith in Christ, and then our actions will be evidence of a changed life. With Jesus, you either believe him, or you don’t. Hedging your bets is not believing. You can’t count on your actions earning the prize, because what earns the prize is faith and that’s a one-step deal. Are you willing to leave everything behind and become a Christ-follower or not?
I’m chuckling as I get to the last chapter. Paul writes in Galatians 6:11 “Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.” Why am I laughing because this is Paul using bold, underline, purple ink (or whatever color you prefer) to get us to
His point? When other’s are trying to get you to follow some rule as opposed to only following Jesus, they have an ulterior motive. Perhaps they are building their own following. They could be acting out of fear. Or maybe they just want company on their journey of rule-following. But Jesus says:
- Choose me.
- I will change your heart.
- Then the good things will flow out of you because my Spirit lives in you and I will help you out.
- Stop trying to earn your way into my kingdom, because you can’t.
- I don’t care about the rules, I care about you!
Ok, maybe I’ve over-simplified that a bit. But I’m moving from head knowledge to heart knowing and that’s a bit of a messy process. If you are a Christ-follower who struggles. Who wonders, is it real, because I keep messing up? Am I doing enough? Then stay tuned because God is teaching me some things I just can’t wait to share!