Stand Fast in Liberty - Galatians 5:1-12

Stand Fast in Liberty

My wife jokes that she doesn’t bake and I am the one who does all the baking. And by ALL the baking, I make chocolate chip cookies. My wife does so much more, and one of the things she likes to bake is fresh bread. We all have heard that yeast allows the bread to rise.

But what happens in our lives when we let a little bit of sin take place in our lives? Just a small amount can raise that entire loaf and exponentially affect the entire structure.

Galatians 5:1-12
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

Stand fast…
Paul has explained why we should turn from legalism and rely only on faith. He calls us to stand firm in our freedom and liberty through Christ. Stand firm, or stand fast, essentially means to refuse to abandon and be immobile in your belief. When sin comes around and tempts our hearts, we must stand firm and remember that Christ freed us from the yoke, the bondage of slavery and sin. He is saying we already know the answer, so why are we backsliding? In today’s world, it is no different. We know the truth, but the media and political correctness make us think twice. But we need to remain firm and not waiver. There is absolutely no reason to pick up that heavy yoke and carry it around. 

Living by legalism gets us to an empty space without salvation. If we revert to the ways of legalistic requirements, then why do we need Christ? Paul is ‘foot stomping’ in his letter. Re-emphasizing what he already has emphasized. It is through the Holy Spirit in faith that we are free. Christ provides us the hope of ultimate righteousness when Jesus returns or when it is our time to meet Him. What matters is love. God loved us unconditionally before we were even born. He desires us to spend eternity with Him, so He poured out his love, which only requires faith. 

As we run through our days, weeks, months, and years, there are times when we get fatigued and suffer some cramps, which may slow us down. But don’t let these hinder us from continuing on toward the final goal in Christ. As we run or walk with Christ, we must stand firm in our faith. Don’t let the smallest amount of sin take root in our lives. A little leaven will leaven the entire lump. That small amount becomes destructive in our lives. Soon, it affects those around us, even our church congregation. Again, stand firm in the true faith and become unwavering when legalism and sin approach. Have the ability to seek the wisdom that only God provides during difficult times. God says in James 1 that wisdom is provided to those who ask…in faith. Trust that God will do as he promises, and remember that it only requires faith in the resurrection of Christ. 

Be encouraged and steadfast in your faith. Trust that God provides the wisdom required when facing difficult situations. God grows us through trials, but be aware and not allow the smallest amount of sin to enter because it can be devastatingly destructive in our lives. God will give us what He knows that we can handle. Legalism amongst Christians and in churches is no different. It takes away from the one simple truth, and that is that faith is the only requirement. We can do it; we just need to ask God in faith. 

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