This Sunday, we begin a new message series on Galatians at NCCC. We entitled it, "Freedom: Meet Jesus the Liberator." My relationship with Galatians has always been tense. When I was a legalist, I didn't care for it much because it seemed "loosy goosy." It seemed to throw God's standards of holiness out the window. After I finally submitted myself to freedom in Christ, I came to see that my standards of holiness and God's standards weren't the same.
A part of God's standard is adhering relentlessly to the pure Gospel of Grace. I feared people taking away from the Gospel so much I wrestled constantly with the temptation to add to it. When Paul eventually introduced me to Jesus, the Liberator, I came to see that adding to it is every bit as dangerous as taking away from it. Galatians helped me understand that a Gospel that preaches, "Jesus and…" is not Gospel at all. The Gospel says, "Jesus, period." The life in the Spirit that Jesus brings is freedom…from sin, and freedom from the things that bind. Against it, there is no law—whether God's (because He has declared it so), or man's. It's freedom in Christ that actually leads to "higher standard" living…as we bear the Spirit's fruit.
I'm not done wrestling with Galatians. I don't know that I'll ever stop. I just pray that God sets me free from legalism and the temptation to force my own versions of "circumcision" on myself and others. I want to live the free man's life, not that of the slave. The only way to get there is freedom in Christ. God has declared it so, and He can be trusted.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you." – Galatians 5:1-2