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Freedom in
the Spirit
The apostle highlighted how completely inconsistent it was to receive a gift and then try to earn it! Yet this is what
the Galatians were attempting to do; trading freedom in Christ for slavery to tradition. God’s continual blessings
came just as salvation came; through belief in the message they heard about Christ, not through law-keeping.
The Galatians knew that they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed, not when they obeyed the law.
People can still feel insecure in their faith because faith alone seems too easy. Some people still try to get closer to
God by following rules.
While Bible study, prayer and service may help us to grow, they must not take the place of the Holy Spirit or
become ends in themselves. The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God, yet some Christians want
more than this. They want to live in a state of perpetual excitement. The tedium of everyday living leads them to
conclude that something is wrong spiritually.
Often the Holy Spirit’s greatest work is teaching us to persist. The Galatians quickly turned away from the truth
of the good news to the teachings of the newest teachers in town; what they needed was the Holy Spirit’s gift of
persistence.
If the Christian life seems ordinary, we may need the Spirit to stir us up. Every day offers a challenge to live for
Christ. Clearly no religious observance of doctrines will produce the righteousness of Christ in our lives. Only by
faith in Jesus will we be clothed with Christ’ (Galatians 3:27).
It is by grace we have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8), not by religiously following doctrines of the law.
The law came to prepare us to receive Jesus who, in turn, came to fulfi l the law (Galatians 3:24 and Matthew
5:17). Paul shows us that the Holy Spirit is given to all who believe in Jesus Christ and this faith in Jesus is the
only way to receive all the benefi ts of God’s promises. Lord Jesus, please help us to persist in the freedom of the
Spirit. Amen.
Peter Stanway The Way Ministries - www.thewaycm.com
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