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Freedom: An Intro to a Study on Galatians

June 4, 2013

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By Trillia Newbell

There’s a theme I’ve noticed as I peruse social media; women are hungry for freedom. “Messy” is a familiar word. Women want to know that they aren’t alone in their messy lives. They want to know that they don’t have to be perfect or have it all together and to be assured that it’s okay. We all know we aren’t perfect and we don’t have it all together. Perhaps it’s the same social media I enjoy perusing that is part of the cause of this angst. Social media (namely Facebook) has a way of displaying the best parts of us—we aren’t likely going to post a picture of an angry outburst.

And then there’s the question of legalism. I recently wrote a piece on where I explored the definition of legalism. It seems to me that we are confused by these terms and how they apply to our everyday lives. But if we are looking for true freedom, we can’t look within ourselves or to some list or five step program. We can define terms and debate theology all-day-long. There is only one place to find true freedom and that is in the gospel. That’s why I’m excited to announce a Monday devotional series we’ll be doing on Galatians.

By faith alone

What happened to the Galatians could happen to any of us. They had succumbed to the teachings of false teachers and had fallen hook, line, and sinker. They began adopting a “gospel” that required following the Mosaic law and becoming a Jew (Galatians 2:3, 11-12). Paul recognized this and faithfully rebuked the Galatians.

The customs of circumcision or “observing days and months and seasons and years” (Gal 4:10) may have been the issue of that day, but what about today? Perhaps for us it’s homeschooling, giving birth naturally, having a quiet time early in the morning. What is your “law”? Is there anything that you find that you must do or say in order to feel accepted by God? (I emphasize feel because though we may not feel accepted, we are indeed accepted because of Jesus.)

The answer is that we all struggle with the temptation to forget the gospel.  The hope is that with the guidance of Paul and the Holy Spirit, we will be reminded of the grace saturated, freely bestowed, amazing work of Christ on the cross. The work of grace and death was done on our behalf. My prayer is that each Monday we will be reminded that the gospel is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in it is true freedom.

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