No longer a slave
Do you sometimes feel uncertain about what you believe? Do you wonder whether you are on the right track? Maybe the other guys are right? What if everything you believe are not totally in line! And then suddenly you start wondering whether you are completely missing the point. Sometimes I feel like that as well. And often it is children of the Lord who make one another feel like that.
And then we’re afraid. Isn’t there something else we should do to make certain that we’ll go to heaven? Isn’t there some ritual that we could do to ensure our place? Are we reading the wrong part of the Bible?
Look at what Paul wrote: 1Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
Even if people try to convince us with the best intentions that their way of believing is actually better, we must keep holding on to the knowledge that no ritual, no way of believing in the “right” way, no law or regulation can reserve our place in heaven. Because if our salvation depended on something that you or I could do, we wouldn’t need Jesus at all!
Such statements actually say much more! In effect it says that Jesus’ death on the cross hadn’t worked and was not enough. We must do other things as well to get to God. This is exactly what Paul said to the people: 2I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered.
It’s like a stop sign popping up in front of us. Watch out that our little ways of believing don’t actually cause a break in our relationship with God. Do not allow yourself to be disconnected from God: 4When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.
Indeed, Jesus came to free us from the ties of rituals and all those things that we supposedly have to do to earn salvation. Jesus wanted our obedience to the law to be more than that of the Pharisees of old. The Pharisees focused only on what they had to do and not do. They were slaves to the law. There was no relationship with God.
But listen well and listen good: Jesus did not come to break down or delete the law as some would like to hear. On the contrary: He came to give the law its full meaning.
Why is it so difficult to believe that God wants to give us freedom? Why do so many still long for the bonds of ritual or self-made laws? Why do people make me feel bad because I don’t believe like they do?
We must start believing and living like people who have been freed. Let’s make sure that the way we live and what we believe do not again burden us with a new load of baggage. Let’s make a point of living free. Let’s celebrate our freedom and enjoy life to the full. Let’s share the good news with others and help them to also experience the grace of Jesus’ death on the cross as well.
May the world look different because we are living the freedom brought about by Jesus’ death on the cross. May we all stay connected to God’s power and may He charge us up to live life to the utmost and to enjoy it so very much.
What ritual or habit or feeling of guilt still holds you enslaved?
What does your relationship with God look like?
Are you moving within the force field of God’s grace?
Jesus Christ, You freed us from the slavery of sin. Now we have been redeemed by the Almighty God. No one can ever force us into the yoke of slavery again. Your law is now a guideline according to which we want to live and not how we must live. Amen