Scripture Reading: Isaiah44:24-46:13 / Galatians 4:21-5:6 / Psalm 108:6-13
At the heart of every person is the desire to experience true freedom. Men and women have risked their very lives in order to be free. More American lives were lost (625,000) during The Civil War than any other war that our nation has fought. World history also shows astounding sacrifices for the sake of freedom.
The Civil War set people free from the bondage and hold of slavery. They were emancipated from a life of bondage and control. They were free to leave oppressive lives without any retaliation from former masters. They had the freedom to choose where and how they would live…they were free.
The greatest freedom that man can ever discover is spiritual freedom. Man has been held in bondage by sin since the beginning of creation. There is only one hope for their freedom…the redemptive work of Christ. Jesus is the only one who has and could ever pay the price for redemption. He who knew no sin gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus made a way for man to find freedom from sin’s penalty and power. Through His sacrifice, we have been declared Free!
Those who followed The Law of the Old Testament had difficulties accepting and believing in Christ’s redemptive work. The Galatians were being told that The Law of the OT had to be observed along with the message of Christ. Paul reminds them that The Law only enslaved them to rules and regulations that would never bring them redemption. The Law reminded men of what they weren’t and presented a spiritual ideal that could never be reached.
Those who lived by the Law were not encouraged but condemned by the Law. They experienced constant dread and hopelessness. At times, man thinks they must suffer for their sin…the greater the sin, the greater the pain. The greatest error is the belief that we can pay the price required for complete restitution. But the greatest tragedy is to go back to a life of slavery, to a life from which we have been set free.
Paul writes, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) Believing Jews were not to go back to the enslavement of the Law – to an old life of bondage. We as well are not to go back to the bondage of our old lives. Under the façade of pleasure and fulfillment is the deceitfulness and destructiveness of sin. May our eyes be opened to the bondage of the past and to our present freedom!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!