Freedom From The Law…

(Galatians 3:1-25)…It amazes me how even today churches fail in the same areas as the early churches. Paul was always bringing to light the missteps of those early churches. Here the church in Galatia was trying teach that people had to follow the Law if they were to be believers in Christ. Paul explained that if you try to live by the Law then you will be condemned. The Law was given prior to Christ’s coming, and even Christ preached that we have all fallen short of the Law. Christ came to save us from the Law. Actually, the Law points us to our need for salvation, our need for Christ’s sacrifice. If there was no Law it would be harder to see our need for salvation.

You might wonder about all those people that lived before Christ’s coming. Was there no salvation or them? Actually we know that God gave the promise of a coming Messiah a long time prior. Those before had the opportunity to believe in the coming salvation, as they too saw their need for freedom from the bondage of the Law. When God gave us the Law He knew we could not live up to it, but he already had the coming of Christ and a way for salvation planned out.

I think it is easy as Christians to get the lines blurred between living under the Law and living under the salvation given to us from Christ. If we are truly going to be followers of Christ, then we need to live as He did, we need to follow His example. I think it is so easy for us to limit our own ability to fully follow Christ’s example because our own selfishness gets the better of us. My desire is to live my life as a true follower of Christ. In one way, He gave us the most important command was to love each other as ourselves. This is a harder calling than we might want to admit. I know there are many times I come into contact with people that are hard to love. Christ calls me to love them anyways. This is the challenge I see before me.

Salvation Through Faith in Christ Alone…

(Galatians 2:11-21)…One thing I admire about Paul is the boldness he had to tell it like it was. Peter, of all people, had fallen into a classic example of legalism, and in a way salvation by works. He was living like a Gentile, when other Jews weren’t around, but then stay away from the Gentiles when Jews were around. He was also trying to get the Gentiles to follow the Jewish customs. Paul got after Peter and accused him of being quite the hypocrite and at the same time confusing believers.

Paul states quite clearly that if you try to live by the law you are going to die by it. Salvation doesn’t come by living up to the law, we can’t do it, we’re sinful people. We can only have salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. I love how Paul says clearly that if salvation could be gain through the law then Christ died for nothing. That’s a pretty bold statement, however it is exactly true.

The verse that stands out to me the most is Galatians 2:20. When I came to faith in Christ it was at that moment that my old self was put on the cross and a new life was born through Him. What I love about this is the promise of new life. And that new life doesn’t ever go away. We may fall, yet our new life is still there for us. Christ’s salvation is a free and eternal gift. We can mess up and come running back to Him. I love that! I’m so thankful for a gracious loving God who allows me to come back to Him no matter what. And I know that there is nothing I can do in this world to gain God’s favor, Christ finished it all when He died on the cross. Salvation is a gift, and you never work for a gift, it’s free! Thanks for that!