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Devotional - week of September 27, 2009


MADE FREE TO STAY FREE

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

The last verses of Galatians chapter four give the background for this statement. That section begins with 4:21 where Paul writes, “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?” Then in Galatians 4:22-31, Paul explains that to be under the law is to be in spiritual slavery.

Law living is serving God in self-effort. The main reason that many, if not most, believers live by the law is that they have never known that they can live by divine power and wisdom. In some cases, their spiritual leaders and teachers taught them to live under the law. This was because they did not know there was another way.

All who are born again are free from the law. There is a sovereign period when a new convert to Christ experiences his freedom. Then the believer falls into self-effort because of his lack of understanding.

Spiritual leaders can spare those who are experiencing the slavery of living under the law when they teach them their union with Christ and how to experience it. In doing this they teach them how to be free from self-effort living and how to permit Christ to live through them.

Think of the serious-minded but uninformed believer who is told to love his enemies without having the knowledge that Jesus will love them through him. He is left to self-effort. He is left in bondage because he knows that he does not have that quality of love within himself.

When we successfully lead those we teach to live out of the resources of God, we teach them how to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”