Thursday, August 16, 2012

Galatians 5:1-6

Summary retelling of Galatians 5:1-6

Paul next tells the Galatians that Christ came to set us free into freedom.  We should not look to embrace things that will enslave us spiritually anymore.  Paul says that if we believe that there are requirements to salvation like circumcision, then Christ is absolutely no use.  If we believe that salvation comes from keeping even one part of the Law, then we have to believe that salvation comes from keeping the whole Law.  That means that we are severed from Christ, because Jesus died under the assumption that nobody can keep the whole Law.  However, to those who can accept that no salvation comes from keeping the Law then we can anticipate salvation coming to us by faith.  In Christ our works do not count for salvation; our works demonstrate our response to our salvation that comes through Him.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
The focus of this chapter of the book of Galatians is freedom.  Christ came to set us free.  This doesn’t mean that He came to prevent us from having meaningful traditions.  Certainly God wants us to go about our faith in meaningful ways.  But it does mean that we need to understand that our ability to keep those traditions does not save us.  We should not let our traditions enslave us, we should let our faith and our spirituality inform and shape the things we do.  We should be free to follow the Holy Spirit and His leading.

Have you ever felt like there was no freedom in the church?  Why do you think we allow ourselves to forget about freedom and become enslaved to the things we do?

Second Thought:
Paul makes the point that if we believe anything saves us except Christ then Christ is of no use to us.  Fundamentally, this is a very significant point.  Jesus came to die for our sake because we cannot save ourselves in any way.  In order to benefit from grace, we must need it completely.  If we teach that anything that we do helps to save us, then we aren’t saved completely by Christ and we make a mockery out of why Christ came to die.  If we believe that anything that we do helps save us, then we are not saved solely by Christ’s work.

Why is it hard to teach that nothing we do can save us?  Why do we as human beings always want to put some kind of extra “thing” we must do in order to be saved?  If we cannot do anything to be saved, what then is the purpose for changing our life, doing good works, and living out our faith?

Third Thought:
Christ inherently brings hope.  When we teach and preach that it is only through Christ’s death that we can be freed from sin, then we inherently must hope that God will indeed free us from sin.  We must trust that God keeps His promises.  We must have faith in God’s love.  Thus, we see that we really only understand grace, hope, and trust when we put our trust in God.

What do you think about this idea of dependence of God bringing alive the concepts of faith, hope, and trust?  Does this make you want to rely even more on the fact that salvation comes only from God?

Passage for Tomorrow: Galatians 5:7-12
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