Today on Good Friday, let us remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross to set us free. And let us remain free! The Galatian church walked in Christ’s freedom for awhile but then allowed Judaizers to take them back into the legalistic bondage. Paul had to remind them of their liberty in Christ. He said in Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
Actually, I talked about this topic with my three daughters during devotions yesterday. We know a Christian family whose daughter is rebelling against the parent’s legalism. I don’t know the whole story, and I’m sure the daughter is partly to blame. Yet as as we’ve gotten to know this family, we concur that they often emphasize outward conformity to external rules over inward transformation. The message of the gospel in Galatians is that Jesus came to set us free from the outward standards of the law, so that we might live a new life empowered by God’s grace. Paul 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” (Galatians 5:1).
Many legalistic believers today make the error of demanding unqualified adherence to their own Biblical interpretations and traditions. Some feel that to be spiritual, a person has to avoid certains sins, like dancing, movies, etc. The truth is that avoiding such things does not guarantee of spirituality.
I’ve also noticed legalism in the cell church. Some have become more caught up in rules and regulations over life and liberty. I just talked to someone on the phone yesterday whose church decided to leave the strict interpretations of the G12 movement. This person said that certain churches who left the G12 model were told that they were under a curse. So sad. On Monday I’ll talk about other forms of cell church legalism and how to walk in freedom.
On this GOOD Friday, let’s remember that Jesus died to set us free. And He rose again to give us abudant life!