Aug 13, 2017

Devotion - 13 August - Freedom In Christ

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer. Some of the commentary is adapted from Constable’s Notes from Net.bible.org.
Epistle Reading- Galatians 4:5:1-15
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. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Devotion: Freedom in Christ
Paul uses some strong language in this passage [especially v12] but what he is trying to communicate to the Galatians is a very simple message. First, he warns his readers that it will not work to comply with just parts of the Mosaic Law, all of it must apply—only complete compliance satisfies its demands. Then he implies God does not care if a person’s body is circumcised or not, what matters is to have faith and trust because we love Him. He is saying that the church cannot function if it is built solely on Law it must be built on Love. I am told that there were more than 600 laws to worry about satisfying at the time of Paul’s Epistle and perfect compliance seems like too big a mountain to climb. God grants Christians freedom and we can use that freedom for earthly pursuits; but God wants us to use our freedom to love Him as He loves us. Likewise, he wants us to love one another. It is a simple but powerful message.

We pray: “Lord help us follow your example and love one another. Amen”