Week 19 Word: Free
Week 19 Text: Galatians 5:1
Written by: Diana Dunne
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be
burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
“Stand firm, then…”
Women like shoes; some more than others. And though at my age I am more into comfort than fashion, I still cannot pass by a rack of shoes without browsing. I have learned that the wrong pair of shoes can be very painful. The right shoes help me run or walk … or stand.
Paul writes to the Galatians about standing firm in their freedom from being under the religious law. He reminds them that Jesus fulfilled every portion of the law through His life and death and resurrection. And this freedom is not just a nice bonus for being a believer. This freedom is foundational to the gospel of Christ.
Go to the cross with me. Sit at the base of it, and imagine the drops of blood pooling on the ground. I know. It’s hard. But this is a very real and agonizing sacrifice the Lord made for us. Now imagine each drop as a fulfillment for each and every holy law–fulfillment you and I could never, ever achieve on our own.
And why did He die? To save us and free us. Free us from what? From being slaves under punishment for breaking the law. What punishment? A death sentence–the everlasting death. So when we walk out into the world, we go as heirs–as daughters of the King. We are no longer “slaves” under the old laws, but we are free women under a covenant of love. We no longer try to cover ourselves with the rags of our “good works.” Rather, we are dressed head to toe in the armor of God described by Paul. And our feet are to be “fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15 NIV).
The church in Paul’s time was divided into factions–those who held to the old standard of the Jewish religious law and traditions, and those who did not. The good news was that Jesus obliterated the divisions, bringing peace and freedom for all who believe in Him. The church today–the body of Christ–needs this message more than ever. Will you pull on your shoes and deliver it?
Gospel freedom shoes. What a great image. What a fitting metaphor. It doesn’t matter if it’s boots or heels, wedges or cross trainers. We are free to put on what suits us best so that we can walk to the cross, run the race set for us, and stand firmly in our freedom.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
1. Make a list of all the important beliefs/rules of your Christian faith. (Limit yourself to ten or less.)
2. Now imagine you are in a village where no one speaks English. Would you try to convey all of these? Imagine using your freedom to decide what’s most central. What would you choose?
3. Are there any on your list that fall under tradition or legalism? Ask God for wisdom to discern where you need His freedom.