For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
Christ has set us free so that we should be free! It might sound repetitive, but the Lord is emphasizing the importance of our freedom. Christ set us free, so He wants us to remain free. However, we need to address an essential question from this verse: what has Christ set us free from?
What comes to your mind when you read Galatians 5:1 above? Many of us will immediately think about our freedom from sin, or possibly the yoke of bondage refers to a lifestyle of sin. Yes, Christ has set us free from sin, and that is a significant part of our freedom, but it is not what the Apostle Paul was addressing here.
Paul was addressing our freedom from the law, not from sin. Christ has set us free from the bondage of attempting to keep the Law. The Jews themselves call the law a yoke because it is challenging to obey. Trying to please God by works or earn His blessings by keeping the rules is comparable to a yoke around our necks. Unfortunately, it is a real possibility for some believers to live with this yoke around their necks.
Christ does not want you to live with the pressure of trying to please God by your good works. You will do good works but not in bondage to earn God’s favor.
Read more: Freedom in His presence.
What is the “yoke of slavery” that Paul mentioned in Gal. 5:1 above? Think of a moment in your life (whether past or present) when you were under tremendous pressure because you were trying to meet up with God’s standard for you. Can you remember the bondage of that experience?
Apply the Word
Beware of the Law. Beware of a legalistic mindset in Christianity. Christ has set us free so that we should be free, not only from sin but from the Law or legalism.
Thank the Father for the blessing of freedom in Christ.