LIVE FREE Galatians Study Week Three

Day Eighteen. January 27. Galatians 5:1-15

Here we are, reading Paul’s conclusion to the long and carefully worded argument against leaning on the law to save us. Paul has labored over this letter and repeated himself as he has shared using various examples and illustrations that we are only saved by the death of Christ on the cross who took our deserved punishment for our sins on Himself and then conquered death and rose again. That’s it. We have to stop trying to think we “earn” Heaven. We don’t. It’s sheer gift. We are not righteous in and of ourselves. Instead, we are clothed in righteousness through Jesus.

In fact, as I read through this book, I underlined what I feel is the key verse in the whole letter to the Galatians. I also see it as a transitional verse. Let’s read it and then talk about it.

It’s Galatians 5:13. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

This verse states first that we are free from the law that basically just pointed out how often we fail at being perfect on our own. We have been called out of a bondage to a system of rules and regulations. That’s what Paul has been saying up until now. However, this does not excuse bad behavior. Just because we are freed from earning our way to Heaven by “having to” obey the law does not mean we get to go out and behave badly on purpose. No. Very big No on that. Instead, we now serve one another in love freely, glad that we can honor the God who saved us. With the Holy Spirit within us, God reveals to us more and more as we grow in Him just how to love others well. We die to our selfish ways, and instead look to the needs of others as well as our own. This is the way of a Christian.

Does loving others save us? No. Does being saved sheerly and wholly by God’s grace free us to love unreservedly and because we want to love? Yes. Because we have been loved so totally by God, we are now free to love others and honor Him in this way. Not because we’re scared if we don’t we’re doomed, but because the joy that wells up inside us compels us to want others to know and love God, who IS Love, too!!  It’s such an important distinction. And starting tomorrow, Paul is going to unpack how we love others and grow in goodness not through rules but through relationship with the Holy Spirit within. It’s going to be a great couple of chapters, friend!


My verse: Galatians 5:6 “For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.”

My response: I needed this verse today, Lord! I get distracted by rules and trying to get it perfectly right sometimes. And I know You want me to walk in obedience. But this beautiful sentence pulls me back to what matters most: “faith expressing itself in love”. Is my faith in a system or is it in You – the Lord I follow? And is my daily life characterized by love? Help me ABIDE, dear Lord. To live with You in thought and action. To love You and love my neighbor well.

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