In Christ, We Are Free!

Grace is God’s move to save souls.  Grace is something that has been afforded to us by God.  To revert back to the old covenant would be a moment of rejection, saying what Christ did on the cross was not enough.

The Bible emphatically lets the believer know over and over again, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8).  Our salvation is us receiving what we did not deserve, that unmerited favor.  Thus, we are no longer “under the law, but under grace,” (Romans 6:14).  To return to the old covenant is a return to the law.  Galatians gives this warning, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace,” (5:4, ESV).

That move would undo the work that God accomplished by sending His Son to the cross.  If the law and adherence to those rituals could have saved mankind once and for all, then Jesus Christ would have never needed to come to this earth, be born a babe in a manger just to die on that old rugged cross, bearing the sins of the world.  Paul wrote in the book of Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,” (Galatians 2:20-21, emphasis mine; see also Gal. 3:21).

Jesus very plainly spoke, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” (John 14:6).  John the Baptist also declared, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” (John 1:16-17).

Before Paul’s life was changed on that day on the road to Damascus he was known as Saul.  Before Jesus met him there and shined on his life a new mission, he was a persecutor.  Before grace met him in the midst of his sin, he was bound by the law.  At one point Paul told of his background enveloped in legalism and trusting in works of the flesh, saying, “Though I might have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless,” (Philippians 3:4-6).  According to the law, Paul had all the right marks checked off his list.

Yet, when Christ changed his life all that previous stuff was counted as “loss for Christ,” (Philippians 3:7).  His life now was marked by faith and grace.  He wrote to the Corinthian church, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me,” (1 Corinthians 15:10).  Now, he encourages those in Galatia to let their walk of faith be molded by the grace of God and not by the bondage of the law wherewith they have been made free, as his life now demonstrates.  He wants their life to be marked by the power of Christ living on the inside and not by outward symbols and empty rituals reminding them, and us who are born of the Spirit:

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Galatians 4:28-31

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