For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1
I love the book of Galatians. I don't have too much to say about today's reading, but I'm going to suggest you watch this on the book of Galatians. (Josh Moody's accent provides an interesting 12 minutes along with the content.)
Elyse uses the idea of war to show some truths from the book of Galatians. "We not only battle slavery against sin, but also battle against slavery to the law." The Galatian church seemed to have this problem. Paul takes the "spiritual father" role here and tells them again that works is not necessary for justification. This is one of those points where I would probably quickly jump to a conclusion and think this is not a problem today. However, the truth is that it is a problem today.
"Works-righteousness will enslave us, similar to more obvious sins, but it's far more dangerous because it appeals to our religious pride." "Religious pride" is an idea that gets to me. Why? Because I have it in my life. I like to compare my "good works" to those around me and think that I am helping God out by all the good "Christian" things that I do. Satan is a fan of this religious pride, because ultimately it dishonors Christ and the work of Christ. The solution for religious pride is found a few verses later in Galatians 5:16, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." So many desires of the flesh, including religious pride, pull us and enslave us. Instead freedom in Christ awaits when I am willing to be Spirit-led, not me-led. "The one possibility that Satan dreads is that we might discover the priceless freedom Christ purchased for us."
Today, I rejoice in the freedom that comes from the work of Christ and am thankful for the work of the Spirit that provides the motive and power to obey. My obedience then comes not from trying to follow after the law, but genuine love for the Savior. His love set me free from the slavery of sin. I cannot help but think of the words of Jesus in John 8:36, "So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Freedom because of the Son and works-righteousness not required.