Summary: This message encourages believers to stand firm in their freedom by staying away from the law and the legalist who would take it away
Freedom’s Enemies (Galatians 5:1-12)
One morning, during an adult Sunday school class, a pastor in San Angelo, Texas, picked up the podium and walked back and forth with it. When someone asked, “What are you doing?” he replied, “Well, sometimes you just need to take a stand.” (Rebecca Livermore, San Angelo, Texas, “Lite Fare,” Christian Reader)
That’s where we’ve come this morning in our study of Galatians. We’ve talked theology through the first four chapters. & It’s become very clear in our minds that we are free from the Law; we are free from the pressure to perform in order to find acceptance with God; we are free to enjoy the unconditional love and blessing of our Lord.
We know all this in our minds, but now its time to take a stand on it in our hearts, because there are those who would try to convince us otherwise; there are those who would try to knock us down; & there are those who would try to enslave us all over again to their religious rituals and legalistic systems.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)
In other words, Christ set you free, so STAY FREE! DON’T LET YOURSELF BE ENSLAVED ALL OVER AGAIN. DON’T LET ANYBODY OR ANYTHING PUT YOU IN BONDAGE AGAIN.
A man robbed a bank 12 years ago (1997) and was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary. After he got out, he decided he liked prison life so much that he committed another crime, just so he could return! Danny Villegas walked inside a Federal Credit Union in Florida and told the teller he was robbing her, adding, “You might as well call the police right now.”
Villegas then sat down on a couch in the lobby and waited for police to arrive. According to Lt. Ron Wright of the South Daytona Police Department, “[Vellegas] said he wanted to rob a federal bank because he wanted to go back to a federal penitentiary.”
Villegas had worked in construction in Texas for five years, but had grown tired of the work. “Apparently,” added Wright, “he robbed a bank in Fresno, California… was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary in Phoenix, and enjoyed his time there.” (Associated Press, “Police Say Man Staged Florida Robbery to Go Back to Prison,” Houston Chronicle, 1-9-07; www.PreachingToday.com)
That sad story describes a lot of believers. Even though Christ has set them free, they want to go back to prison; they want to put themselves in bondage again; they want to try and earn God’s favor and blessing when all they have to do is enjoy it, because they already have it.
My friends, don’t do it! Christ has set you free; stay free!
STAY FREE FROM THE LAW. STAY FREE FROM ANY SCHEME THAT SAYS YOU MUST EARN GOD’S FAVOR AND BLESSING. STAY FREE FROM ANY SYSTEM THAT FORCES YOU TO CONFORM IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED.
Why? Because such systems rob us of any spiritual vitality. The law bankrupts us spiritually. First of all, it takes away any value Christ has for us.