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Archive for December 14th, 2022

Stand fast lest you fall from grace.

Posted by appolus on December 14, 2022

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 

In Galatians we see a real encounter. Paul faces them head on. How often do we see this nowadays? A traveling “apostle,” or “prophet,” will come to your church and tell everyone how good they are and how blessed they are going to be in the coming year. They will not be invited to visit near the end of the year, for that is when the resident senior pastor encourages everyone to give in order to get  a tax break. An end of year giving. Yet when that year is over, here comes the wolves. Its bonus time. They invite each other to each others churches  to come and “speak a word.” Listen to the word Paul speaks to the churches in Galatia, people that he had brought to the Lord  himself. 1. O foolish Galatians who has bewitched you? 2. How is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements to which you desire again to be in bondage. You observe days and months and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. 3. Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth. 4. I have doubts about you. 5. You have become estranged from Christ (let that sink in) you who attempt to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace. 6. You ran well, who has hindered you from obeying the truth.

That’s the diagnosis and it is a devastating one. Now here is the remedy. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. It seems incredible that this has to be restated. And there is no doubt that Paul is somewhat astonished at how far they have fallen, in fact, they had fallen from grace. The unmerited favor of God had been replaced by their own attempts to create merit and standing before God. This is not only a refutation of the truth, this is a denial of Christ Himself and Him crucified. Had they suffered so many things… in vain? Was it all for nothing? Were they merely dogs that had returned to their vomit? No, but they were in great danger of that. They must now repent and remember that it was the liberty that Christ gained for them on Calvary that had set them free and He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. The flesh wars against the Spirit brothers and sisters. It would rather rule over itself in bondage than to be vanquished and the spirit set free. We must decide these things. Shall we not trust in the finished work of the Lord? Shall we not consider this established fact that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh? That we have been called to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us?

Nothing that we can do can establish our righteousness in Christ. Our call is simply obedience to the Word of God and the Spirit of God and this shall produce love and joy and peace and long-suffering. Goodness and faithfulness and gentleness shall be our mark. Self control shall be our way. For those of us in Christ have crucified the flesh with all of its passions and desires. The world will see something of Christ in us. They will see a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. God’s special possession called out specifically to declare the praises of Jesus who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God. Sons and daughters who move and breathe and have our being in His grace and in His mercy. We live by His grace and in this are justified by faith. If we indeed live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit brothers and sisters. Let us not deceive ourselves for God is not mocked. What a man sows he reaps. If we sow to the Spirit we shall reap everlasting life as opposed to the flesh which reaps corruption and death. Let us not boast in anything other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world has been crucified to us and we to the world. Stand fast brothers and sisters.

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