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.
How would you define freedom? Here’s a definition:
Freedom – the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
Timothy Keller once wrote that “if you give it a little thought, the common-sense definition of freedom is to be able to do what you most want to do.”
This has been one of Paul’s points throughout Galatians: The follower of Christ most wants to live a life that pleases God. At some point in the future, the words I want to hear most are “well done, good and faithful servant.”
On the other hand, at least some of the Galatians were caught up in the legalism of the law and, in particular, circumcision. Likewise, if we are focusing on getting all the checkmarks to earn our salvation, going to church and doing all the right things was something we had to do. Our behavior might have changed, but our hearts – not so much.
So today, take a minute and think about how your personal perspective on obedience. Following the rules or following out of love and thankfulness.