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Free to Live

Read This Week: Galatians 1

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. – Galatians 1:3-5 NIV

In 1974, Norio Suzuki found him. Twenty-nine years after the second world war ended, Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda had been hiding out in the jungles of the Philipines; still fighting a battle that was long complete. The team dispatched to rescue Onoda and bring him back to his homeland had to convince him that he didn’t need to run, fight or be afraid anymore, the war was over. He was free.

The story of Hiroo Onoda may be hard to believe and even a little crazy, but he is not unlike many Christians. God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, but yet we continue to fight a battle that He has already won. The free and unconditional reality of God’s grace and love is too good to be true; we feel compelled to keep trying to earn them.

We hide out in the jungles of our own lives, struggling in a conflict that has been resolved, oppressed by human standards of what it takes to be free. But the gospel is clear that grace is not something that we earn. God’s love is unconditional, and salvation is a gift that can only be received by faith and responded to with love. Yet, in a similar fashion to Onoda, this truth about our freedom is still hard to accept.

In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul is writing to correct the teachings of a certain group. This group is telling the Christians in Galatia that they have to believe in Jesus and practice religious laws and traditions to be right with God. So he intervenes and says that people are throwing them into confusion and trying to pervert the true gospel of Christ. Paul wants them to know that the good news is free without the necessity of man’s performance. He warns them not to believe the false teaching of some that salvation and God’s acceptance comes through human effort.

True salvation is dependent on God’s grace and is free of works. Once we accept this truth through faith and allow it to penetrate our hearts, we are free to live. We begin to experience real freedom in Christ. We live in freedom from the fear of not measuring up; freedom from the fear of uncertainty; freedom from guilt and shame of the past. Freedom from the urge to perform so God and people will love us more.

God’s gift of grace makes us free from fighting a losing battle. It gives us the freedom to love. Freedom to love Jesus with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Freedom to love others as ourselves. Freedom to please the Lord and not man. Freedom to bring glory to God with the lives He alone has set us free to live.

11 Comments

  1. Trina on September 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Galatians 1:10 (AMPC) says, “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bondservant of Christ (The Messiah).”

    I am a bond servant of God. Through grace, I am saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, empowering me to live and do His will. I do not have to live trying to please everyone and be popular in the eyes and minds of the world. When my journey is walked in the flesh, I make poor choices.

    In reading this verse, the word ‘bond’ spoke to me. A bail bondsman is someone that places a monetary value on poor choices that break the law and an individual becomes incarcerated. Once a percentage is collected from the person that is incarcerated, he/she is released and makes a promise to the bail bondsman to return for the court date or face serious consequences. If I walk in the flesh continuously with no regard for the law, I may be faced with needing a bondsman.

    With Christ, I don’t need bail money to be proven not guilty of my transgressions. My bond is already paid by the blood of Christ. Christ paid my bail for eternity. His (The Messiah) bond provides life, joy, peace spiritual knowledge, direct revelation, and Eternal Salvation. It’s free. His bond requires no monetary agreement. I want Jesus to be my Bail Bondsman. Thank you, God for providing an eternal plan for freedom from the evil forces of the world.

    • Jason on September 20, 2019 at 11:22 am

      This is deep and tremendous insight, Trina. I love the explanation and you practically expounding on what it means to be a bondservant of Christ. It was spot on and really laid out how Christ paid our debt and by doing so shows us that our service and loyalty lies exclusively with Him.

      This also plays into Paul’s desire to please God and not men. He knew who he was subservient to and who had set Him free. The approval or disapproval of men did not move or persuade him. He was not a politician or a people-pleaser because he was a bondservant of Christ. And in that role, lies our freedom because Jesus already bought and paid for it.

    • Heidi on September 23, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Wow! Thank you, Trina, for blessing everyone with what you shared. I love it! I thank God for you, Trina.

  2. almaschmidt on September 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    This week, I received a song through pastor Ken and pastor Heidi’s messages:

    Praising you, praising you, praising you, oh Lord
    Walking in the Spirit and learning to please You

    Spending time growing and teaching your ways
    Being a shepherd of the Lord

    Giving us peace, understanding, and love
    We’re walking in the Spirit of the Lord. Amen

    God was saying to me that when we walk with him and truly want to please him, we share our time and show others how good he is. If we do this, we will shine and have his glow and others will want the same.

    • Heidi on September 23, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Amen! Thanks for sharing that. Praising God for everything really blesses His heart. He loves it when we sing to Him!

    • Jason on September 23, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you, as always, Alma for sharing what God puts on your heart especially in response to God’s word. I agree with you that if we walk with God as our main priority and live to please Him, everything else will take care of itself.

      If we go out each day with God’s agenda and desires in mind, we will live a life that shines for His glory and is contagious to a watching world and encouraging to other Christians. We can never go wrong by walking with God and living to please Him. I appreciate and need that reminder.

  3. Heidi on September 23, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Jason, I love to hear God’s wisdom and insight you share! You are a blessing to so many that read the messages that you share from God’s heart and the Bible. Thank you so much, you are a blessing!

    • Jason on September 24, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Heidi, thank you so much for the kind, encouraging words. It is a true blessing to be involved in this community of faith and to share and discuss God’s Word with others who love him. I am honored to be here and serve. I’m thankful for you all and the opportunity to be involved with this. You all are a blessing to me!

      • Heidi on September 25, 2019 at 4:38 pm

        Ditto again! Thank you, God, for Jason.

  4. Javaid Ahmed on September 23, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Galatians 1:10 “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bondservant of Christ (the Messiah).”

    This ministers to me in an incredible way. I love what Trina wrote above as well. To me this means that we look to show love to and to please God for no other reason to show love to and please Him; not for the favor of Men, or to seek a worldly advantage. Sometimes being a Christian is difficult and pushing against many non-believers and nay sayers. To please men, it would be easy to simply try to follow the popular vote and say what men (people) want to hear.

    But that is not the case, in fact, it is the opposite. Standing with God and pleasing God is the focus and why we do what we do as Christians.

    This is such a simple verse at first glance, but means so much and explains with incredible logic of why we are bondservants of Christ, for no other reason than to show our undivided and unconditional love to Him just as He does for us.

    • Jason on September 24, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you for this comment and insight, Javaid. I agree with your assertion and logic that if we are indeed bondservants of Christ and live to please God, then we will have the right and lasting effect on men.

      If we are more interested in doing the will of God, sharing His love and as you said, “what we do as Christians” then we will properly represent Christ and be a profound example to men. This is a great truth and implication in this passage for the people pleaser in all of us.

      Our ministry didn’t come from man, therefore our message and the content of our lives shouldn’t come from men either. It all comes from God and should emulate His heart and desires. Bondservants by their very nature are not people pleasers.

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