GALATIANS 5:1, 6, 13 – 1. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
13. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
There is a common thread knitting together the three verses in today’s scriptures. This thread defines the Christian life in its relationship with other Christians. It begins like this; Jesus Christ, through His gospel, releases us from the slavery of sinful self-love to a life of self-less love in sacrificial service to others. Notice the flow: set free by Christ to live by faith empowered by love in order to serve one another in love. Yes, this is the whole of the Christian life in relationship with other believers. Jesus modeled it for us in the washing of the disciples’ feet. Here are His Words – When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet (John 13:12-14). We are familiar with the act but don’t miss how the chapter opens. It reveals the motive behind this example of sacrificial service to His disciples – Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (John13:1). Jesus did what He did because of His heart of love. As goes our Master, so go we. The Christian life is a life modeling the love of Christ in tangible acts of sacrificial service to His people.
So, are we? Is our freedom gained in Christ producing lives of love in sacrificial service to His people? Remember salvation is liberation from ourselves to live for Christ and others. When we became new creations in Christ, the old that passed away is our old life consumed with and in bondage to selfishness (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation that at any moment might be real. If God chose to call us home to heaven right now, would our churches and Christians in our spheres of influence feel our absence? What I mean by that is would our places of fellowship and our brothers and sisters in the Lord miss our loving service to them? If the answer by our current level of sacrificial service in love to fellow believers would be “Not missed at all. Our loss would have zero impact on the ministries of mutual edification and encouragement”, then we should really evaluate our understanding of what salvation and Christ’s love does in a believer.
The Christian life is a life of love leading to a life of service. Just like Jesus. Never lose sight of what our Lord said would mark us as His people, and it is not our profession of faith – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see that if I know anything of Your love then it will show in my service to Your people.”
QUOTE: “The Christian experiencing the love of Christ will be a Christian sacrificially serving His people.”
Because of Him,