Called to Freedom
Read the scripture here: Galatians 4:21 – 5:15
Paul is bringing his argument against this alternative gospel to a close in this section. To do so he invokes the founding father of Israel, Abraham. If you don’t know the story of Abraham’s two sons you should read up on it in Genesis 12 – 23. To summarize, Abraham had two sons. One he had with a servant out of disbelief for what God had told him. His other was a miracle baby that his wife was able to have.
Those two sons symbolize something. One symbolizes slavery, disbelief, and a lack of trust in the promise of God. The other symbolizes faith, freedom, and God’s perfect plan.
Paul is saying we have a choice. We can either be the son whose life in Christ is characterized by slavery and disbelief (which in the end is no life in Christ at all). Or, we can have a life full of faith in God and walk in His freedom.
What is even more amazing about this passage is Paul is using the man who instituted the practice of circumcision to prove the practice is no longer needed today. Genius.
Paul is adamant. Accept this one practice of the law and you are now bound by the entire thing! There are places in my life where I have said: “If I do this one good thing, God will love me more.” That is what the Jewish people were saying as well. But Paul is letting us know that if we live by the law in one area, we are bound by the law in every area. And since none of us can keep the law in its entirety and be perfect, we are dooming ourselves to the very thing Christ set us free from!
Christ’s freedom doesn’t mean opportunity to live life as we please. It’s freedom from the very bondage the law traps us in: sin. It means a life that can be lived loving others and fulfilling the call of God in our life.
I ask God to continually remind me that I do not have to perform for His love. That I have been given it freely. And because of that, I can freely love Christ and those around me.
Do you do good things because you think they will get you into heaven?
What do you need ‘to be saved’?
What is the difference between being a child of Hagar and a child of Sarah?
Father help me to rest in your love.
I pray I would not look to rules to feel peace about myself.
But that, instead, I would look to Your work on the cross.
It is finished, You have done all that is needed.
Whenever I look to rules and the law for salvation, remind me of the bondage that brings.