One of my favorite letters of Paul is the letter written to the churches in Galatia. These guys had started off right but somewhere along the way, they had forgotten how they were saved and got caught up in the law of doing once more. Though they had been saved by grace through faith (“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith.” Eph.. 2:8) they were seeking to live the Christian life in their own strength, with their own effort. Living as if keeping their salvation depended upon their works. Though they had been set free from the yoke of slavery, they had put this yoke back upon their necks. Paul says in Gal. 5:1 that this should not be. He says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Now, one of the reasons I like this letter so much is because it seems I have the same trouble these Galatians had. I have been saved by grace through faith and yet instead of living by grace through faith, I often find myself with the yoke of slavery upon my neck. As I am trying to live this Christian life in my own strength and striving to dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s to keep the law. I become weighed down with a burden I was never intended to carry. I become discouraged thinking it is just too hard to live for Christ. I want to give up because it seems I’m constantly failing.
When I find myself in such places, I often read Galatians and am reminded once more that in order to walk this Christian walk, I must walk by grace through faith. This is a constant theme through out all of Paul’s letters. Why, because it is so important. For it is impossible to be a Christian in our own power. It is impossible to love our enemies in our own strength. It is impossible to be a witness for Christ apart from His help. And just as we are not saved by our own works, we are not to continue our Christian pilgrimage with our own works.
The person who seeks to walk the narrow road apart from the grace of God and apart from faith in Him, is a very miserable person. Believe me, I know. Yet, what freedom is found when we walk by grace through faith. When we fully grasp what Paul said in Gal. 2:20-21, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Jesus did not die for nothing, He died for our sins and to set us free from the law. He died that we might have freedom in Him. Let us then walk in the freedom we find through His blood.