It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
She watched the bird land on the lawn chair several mornings in a row. She would grab her cup of coffee and watch it from the kitchen window.
It sang the most beautiful songs, as the morning sun bathed its blue feathers.
One day, she had an idea.
She bought a beautiful cage, opened the door and lay some luring bird seed inside. She watched as her blue friend approached the cage the next morning. Just as planned, the unsuspecting bird flew into his soon-to-be prison.
SNAP! The door closed behind the little fellow.
“Azul. That’s your name, buddy.” She took the bird inside and hung the ornate cage in the sunny corner of her living room.
As the weeks went by, she noticed Azul didn’t sing as happily as he did in the freedom of her backyard.
Her heart sunk. She knew it.
She had to set Azul free.
She went outside and opened the cage door… The bird reluctantly got close to it, then peaked outside. She could swear it looked straight at her, as if to say: “Are you gonna stop me?”
She sighed, while watching Azul fly upwards, soon disappearing among the branches covered by the morning sun.
The next day, she remembered the bird cage in the backyard, and went back to fetch it.
As she walked out the door, she froze. Could it be true?
Inside the cage, she found Azul perched on its little swing, happily singing inside its prison.
She had set it free to enjoy the entire realm of nature… And yet, it went back to what kept it bound.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? Galatians 4:9
Galatia was located right in the middle of the Roman empire, and, as most of the early churches, it was comprised mostly by gentile believers. These were people who, for the most part, were very much influenced by the terribly immoral Roman and Greek cultures before they became born again Christians.
It is in this context that we meet a Christian group that many scholars call “Judaizers.”
Judaizers were so-called Christian leaders who came from a Jewish background and who claimed to represent the apostles in Jerusalem.
They were influencing the young Galatian believers (nearly all of them Gentiles) to become circumcised as a means of pleasing God.
Now, every time you hear the word Judaizers, it is mostly to criticize them. But today I would like to give them a little credit. Because, in order to understand them better, one must consider the moral condition of the Roman Empire in the first century.
We are all very aware of the moral decline of our Western civilization in the 21st century, but we must understand this: things were much worse in Paul’s day.
Regarding sexual ethics and conduct, it was a period of complete lawlessness. One writer describes it as “an age when shame seems to have vanished from the earth.” Almost every famous Greek figure had a mistress: Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Plato, Pericles, just to name a few.
Homosexuality was rampant and found in every layer of society. As a matter of fact, historians tell us that 14 of the first 15 Roman Emperors were homosexual, including Julius Caesar.
It is in that context that we must try to understand the Judaizers. Knowing the immorality of Rome and Greece, they thought the only way to combat it was with, well, the LAW.
They were right about their verdict. But their solution was wrong and misconstrued.
Jesus made it very clear that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17) Meaning, once Jesus died for us, we cannot go back to the bondage that the Law mandated.
The Law was good while grace didn’t exist.
But once Grace came down and died for our sins on that cross, we received God’s righteousness and therefore, we are FREE.
NOT FREE TO SIN, but free FROM sin.
Meaning, if we live by the power of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to follow a set of rules and regulations. The Holy Spirit that lives within us will, as Jesus said, will “guide us into all Truth.” (John 16:12)
That wonderful truth simply means that, although we are called to live a righteous life, we will never accomplish it by going back to the cage of the Law.
Just as Azul would never be free by going back to the cage.
Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Once we are set free, God expects us to be FREE indeed!
However, it often simply is not so!
So many Christians still tend to create their own brand of holiness, and often worship laws in the name of religion…
THAT’S CALLED LEGALISM, and Satan has many churches, and many Christians bound by it.
Pride in what WE can do must be replaced by humble acceptance of what JESUS has done for us. Because if our works could deliver salvation, Jesus should have never have hung on that cross.Pride in what WE can do must be replaced by humble acceptance of what Jesus has done for us. Click To Tweet
God’s Salvation Plan would have been, well, unnecessary.
Do you find yourself bound by the cage of the law today?
Do you feel trapped into believing that you must follow a set of rules to please the Father?
Today I invite you to look past the cage, understanding that, if you have surrendered your life to the Savior, you are free indeed.
All you have to do is allow His Holy Spirit to Reign in your life.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13a)
He will shape your heart into the likeness of the Son. Sin will no longer bind you.
But neither will the Law.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM. Priceless, true Freedom.
You are FREE. Free to be what God designed you to be.
You are FREE to SOAR!