So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 1:5
When I first read this I thought, “Well this doesn’t apply to me….no danger of me wanting to follow Jewish Law. “But then I thought, what other laws might I be a slave to?" Here are a few:
1) The slave to the Legalistic way of thinking that makes me believe that God will love me and approve of me if I am “good” and if I am not, He will abandon or disapprove of me.
2) Related: The Law of Good Works. As if I can buy God’s blessing and approval.
3) The law of guilt—that God can never want me because I am so sinful. This completely robs the cross of its power and purpose. It is a rejection of the gift God offers us.
All of these slaveries amount to the same thing…and it is the same trap that the Judaizers were falling into. And that trap simply stated, is that somehow God’s plan for me involves my effort in some way; that somehow salvation relies on me and my goodness, works or obedience.
It is the slavery I fall into when –after some time goes by when I am not in close fellowship with God but am doing my own thing—and I think of Him but feel unworthy to return to His embrace. It is then that I need to preach the gospel of grace once more to myself and fall to my knees in gratitude for His loving forgiveness.The only effort I need to invest is in keeping myself safe within the confines of the freedom of the Gospel. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t. There is slavery and there is freedom. And we need to firmly reject every thought, belief or teaching that wants to imprison us once again in the belief that God wants anything more from us than our love. It is true that our love will lead us to desire to obey God…but that is the whipped cream on top. The meat….is to gratefully accept God’s offer of love and salvation from an eternity in darkness away from Him and to love Him in gratitude and surrender in return.
Mark 12:30 (NASB)
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’