“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. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” Galatians 5:1-4, NLT
As Paul continues his letter, he explains to the churches what it really means to live in Christ, free from the law. The burden of following the Jewish law has been lifted by Christ, who fulfilled the law entirely. This is the joy of Christianity. Paul writes that we are free to live out the love of God through the power of the Spirit, experiencing joy and peace as we trust in Christ completely for our salvation.
The Galatians thought they would please God more if they followed the law while believing in Christ. They had it all wrong. Christ had freed them from the obligations of the law. By his grace, his free gift, they were saved. Salvation is free. God gives it to us out of love for us, not because of what he gets out of us in return. In response to his generosity, we live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving to glorify him.
Christians are free from the law, but we do not have a license to keep on sinning. We have a choice, either to rely on the Holy Spirit or to yield to our sinful nature. The power of the Spirit within us will guide us to a life filled with peace, love, and joy. If we allow our sinful nature to dominate us, we will live in chaos, strife, and bitterness. We don’t have to battle sin on our own. We have the Spirit’s power to fight our sinful desires and to change our hearts to follow God’s will.