Galatians 4:31: “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.”

March 12th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This letter to the Galatians has been called the “Letter of Liberty” because it hammers home a message Paul delivered over and over again: law and grace cannot live together as principles for our life. Our true freedom is found in our love relationship with Jesus Christ; it will never be found trying to live up to the law. If we are walking in grace and love is our motivation, then our actions will follow, coming from hearts that have been changed by God. Love always moves people to do more than guilt ever could.

One tragedy of legalism is that it gives the appearance of spiritual maturity, but we find that the motive and the method are all wrong. The underlying motive of legalism is to look good to others. And the method is to focus on the external appearance instead of the heart. There are still many folks today who think that being a Christian is merely about going to church, being baptized, or trying to be a good person.

Pastor H. A. Ironside wrote of a great illustration of legalism vs. grace. He was in a church service when a new believer shared his testimony:

With a smile on his face and joy in his heart, the man related how he had been delivered from a life of sin. He gave God all the credit, saying nothing about any of his own merits or what he had done to deserve the blessings of redemption. The person in charge, who was legalistic, didn’t fully appreciate the reality of salvation by grace through faith alone, apart from human works. So he responded to the man’s comments by saying, “You seem to indicate that God did everything when He saved you. Didn’t you do your part, before God did His?” The new believer jumped to his feet and said, “Oh, yes, I did. For more than 30 years I ran away from God as fast as my sins could carry me. That was my part. But God took out after me and ran me down. That was His part.”1

That is what the Apostle Paul wanted the Galatians, and us, to grasp about the redemption that Jesus has given us.

“LORD, please give us the courage and the opportunity to tell others of Your love today.”

1http://odb.org/1999/10/24/saved-by-grace