24: Real Thing Or Bust
“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.” - Gal. 5:1
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” - Gal. 5:13
Galatians is all about the Good News of Freedom.
Braveheart-level freedom. And then some. If we could only see it, taste it, believe it, experience it, and walk in it.
The gospel sets us free! The Spirit of God sets us free!
Free from a boring Bible.
Free from dead religion.
Free from law-keeping as the path to salvation.
Free from the need to perform to be justified.
Free from guilt and shame and fear and pride.
Free from slavery to the sinful nature.
Free, as sons and daughters and heirs to love our neighbor and bear the fruit of real religion, powered by the true gospel through the Spirit of God.
Paul is pleading with the Galatians in chapter 5... (1) not to lose their freedom (v.1-12); (2) neither to abuse their freedom (v.13-15); & (3) but to walk in freedom… the fruitful liberating Spirit of God not the sinful nature (v.16-25).
Paul is saying, “You forfeit your freedom when you follow the flesh (vs. the Spirit) and the result is a fruitless faith. Live free! Live fruitful!"
Which is why Paul is so aggressive and adamant throughout Galatians that the true gospel not be “revised” or “updated” or “improved” or “adjusted”.
Any revision of the gospel = a reversal of the gospel.
Any diversion from the gospel = a desertion from Christ & the gospel.
Any adjustment to or addition to the gospel = an abandonment of the gospel and its freedom.
The gospel is not “mostly amazing grace + 2 parts man/law”.
It’s 100% Amazing Grace.
Jesus is EVERYTHING for you or He’s NOTHING.
What caused Jesus to turn the tables in the temple and crack the whip? (John 2:12ff)
What caused Paul to call for castration?! (Gal. 5:12!!)
The answer is false-gospel, fruitless dead religion, & works of the flesh… in the world? Nope. In the “church”. Among the people of God. Yikes.
Make no mistake, the worst thing for Christianity is NOT secular, godless worldliness. It’s “false christianity”… complacent, hypocritical, legalistic, life-less, rigid religion. Fleshly so-called faith.
Now, that, THAT is the worst. Says Paul.
Paul says, “Look, Galatians, look Grace City, here it is… real thing or bust.”
You my friends are called to freedom… to a fruit-bearing freedom that relies on the promise of the gospel not the performance of man.
A freedom that comes from the gospel and the Spirit of God working that freedom into every crack and corner of your heart until it spills out into the way you resist the flesh and love others.
Don’t settle for a fruitless, false, fake, flesh-driven faith.
In fact, Paul says, “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:6)
Imagine, that kind of freedom flooding our Valley… flowing out from the lives of the people of Grace City.
Let’s make that our prayer.