What Does Galatians 5:1 Mean?

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Legalists and law-mongers decry the gospel of grace and accuse those that rejoice in the liberty that we have in Christ's finished work at Calvary, of promoting a dangerous doctrine that leads to a carnal lifestyle and a license to sin.

But this is a serious misunderstanding of the gospel of grace and a gross misinterpretation of the apostolic teachings of Paul, who was Christ's chosen apostle to the Gentiles and through whom were given the marvellous mysteries of the Church which is His Body.

Paul taught that this treasured freedom we have in Christ, is ours by grace through faith in Him. It is this very liberty that we have in Christ's finished work at Calvary, which has released us from our former legalistic yoke of bondage and set us free from the curse of the Law.

God's perfect Law demanded an unattainable standard of moral perfection and an outward display of disciplined living, but we fall short of that perfect standard that God requires and we all have need of a Saviour Who is willing to pay the price for our sin.

And so, Christ came to fulfil the Law on our behalf. Christ lived a perfect life so that He could attain God's perfect standard on our behalf. He then chose to pay the price for our sins so that by faith we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.

In order to pay the price for our sin, He died in our place. But having lived a perfect life that was not deserving of death, God raised Him from the dead and highly exalted Him so that all who believe on Him would not perish but have life - eternal life - His resurrected life within - His new born-again life: "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."

Christian liberty is not a dangerous doctrine as the legalists and law-mongers would have us believe. Legalism seeks to change the old sin nature from the outside and forces it to obey God's perfect, unachievable Law in our own strength - but it fails every time.

The surrendered believer who is walking in spirit and truth, is yielded to the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit Who works through our new life in Christ, and over time we discover an inner discipline at work. The spiritual Christian discovers the righteous requirements of God's law being fulfilled in and through him.

How wonderful to discover this godly liberty we have in Christ Who has set us free from the yoke of bondage by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is working in us, day by day, transforming our new life in Christ into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. "May we stand fast in this liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the legalistic yoke of bondage."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been set free by Christ and am no longer under bondage to the Law. Thank You that through the Holy Spirit's work within, I am enabled to live my life for others and not for selfish inclinations. Continue to work in me and through me so that I may live a life that is pleasing to You and glorifying to Your holy name, and keep me from falling back under bondage to legalistic practices, knowing that I have been set free by grace through faith in Christ's finished work on Calvary. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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