Monday, August 3, 2015

Freedom in grace

"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (NRSV).

The book of Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to early Christian churches in the region of Galatia who were being persuaded that it was necessary to observe Jewish laws in order to belong to Christ. The entire book of Galatians expresses Paul's unwavering position that accepting Christ as our savior allows us to be free from religious rules and regulations.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the serpent tempted Eve by telling her that if she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that she would be like a god, knowing the difference between good and evil. In a sense, the serpent spoke the truth. That is exactly what happened. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, and their eyes were opened. They knew the difference between good and evil, and they immediately made a judgement that being naked was evil, so they tried to cover themselves to look righteous in the eyes of God.

Up to this present day, human beings have been encumbered with the knowledge of the difference between good and evil. This is the moral basis for laws and our religious rules and regulations. This knowledge of the difference between good and evil causes us to seek to do good things for ourselves and judge the evil in others. Christ came to free us from the bondage of judgement. Christ asks us to do just the opposite of what our knowledge compels us to do. Christ asks us to seek to do good things for others instead of ourselves, and recognize the evil inside of ourselves instead of the evil that is others and come to Him with a repentant heart. We can then be free of the bondage to laws that never make us righteous in God's eyes and glaringly point out the evil in others.