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Daily Reading: Galatians 5-6

Scripture Focus: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Devotional Thought: Almost from the beginning of history, some form of slavery has existed. In Galatians 5, Paul speaks of freedom in Christ. He instructs the Galatians to “not submit again to a yoke of slavery,” (v.1). What is this slavery to which Paul refers? Jesus answers plainly in John 8:34, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

Paul has much to say about this subject, and not just in this letter. He knows that the human heart is bent towards legalism, towards religious activities that will supposedly save us from our sins. In Paul’s day, this attitude manifested itself in the “circumcision sect,” those who would have the new believers follow the old Jewish law in order to be saved. Paul argues, “If you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you,” (v.2). In other words, it’s either the grace of God through Jesus that saves you, or it’s your ability to adhere to the whole law. The latter is impossible, and there is no middle ground.

Today, we see that the “circumcision sect” way of thinking is still alive and well. We hear and are glad for the news of the gospel, yet we feel like we must somehow supplement his grace with our own atoning works. This is heresy. Nor should we accept the grace of God and abuse it, continuing in unrepentant sin. When we accept the grace of Jesus, we do so to the exclusion of all else. We throw off the yoke of slavery to sin, but we take up another yoke. We become “slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:18), and the fruit we get “leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life,” (Rom. 6:22).


Prayer: Lord, you have created our hearts - that we long to be free. Set us free indeed, that we would happily become slaves to righteousness!

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 106.44-48

44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. 45 For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.

47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!

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