JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…what counts is a new creation.”
August 18, 2009, 12:09 pm
Filed under: G Letter to the Galatians

Reading the Letter to Galatians by Paul I got a sense of balance after having read the Letter of James yesterday. James seemed to focus on the practical experiences of loving your neighbor as yourself while Paul seemed to focus on the freedom Christ has given every believer in His Body to freely express Jesus, His love, towards one another.

Paul was adamant in this letter that faith in Jesus is all that is necessary for salvation, and THAT salvation brings freedom…”It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” and that anything that attempts to take away that freedom as a believer is against this good news of freedom in Jesus. Paul mentions the Jewish law and circumcision a few times so possibly there were Jewish people, perhaps followers of Jesus who were still under the impression that even though they received Jesus Christ as Lord they must still meet all the requirements of the law and traditions. Paul of course said how silly that was because no one can and because the law was only meant to “lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” It is possible that these Jewish people and maybe even Gentile religious people still had not realized that Jesus had set them free from all of the stuff that keeps us from fully focusing on Jesus, keeping them enslaved in their addictions. I know I can be pretty conscientious about things, I like a lot of order most times, but I have realized that when I try to be in control I usually mess things up or the relationships I have suffer. Maybe this is what Paul was referring to?

People who like to control others are not reflecting the reality of the good news of Jesus. He set us free not only from religion but also from distinctions or prejudices that we make, such as what Jesus said about the Gentiles who lord it over others. When the Body of Christ comes together everyone is equal at the foot of the cross, “you are all one in Christ Jesus.” There are no distinctions, so who ever is in the Body of Christ you have freedom to love one another, to serve in love, as Christ loved us! There is no clergy/priest and laity distinctions in the Body of Christ, those were Old Testament law distinctions, everyone has freedom to participate and share. Perhaps Paul was referring to this because those who lord it over others intimidate others, perhaps unintentionally, not allowing the freedom to participate in the Body of Christ. Is this what happens in traditional or contemporary churches today? Do I/you have the freedom in Christ to participate in the Body like is mentioned by Paul in Galatians?

Paul said the only thing that counts in the Body of Christ “is faith expressing itself through love” and being “a new creation.” That new creation, you and I who are followers of Jesus, have freedom to live a life of love, living “by the Spirit” and keeping “in step with the Spirit” not the works “of the sinful nature.” “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.”

Lord help me/us live by Your life so that we may “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Live in me, through me, to Your Body in freedom, You are the Head, be in control, be glorified!

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