In the book of Galatians, Apostle Paul proclaims the reality of Christians liberty in Jesus Christ – freedom from the Law and the power of sin, to serve our living God.
Paul’s letter to the Galatians declares the freedom of the Christian. The early believers in Galatia wanted to grow in Christian life, but they were being mislead by those who taught this could be done only by keeping certain Jewish laws. The Galatians were turning from their faith to legalism.
How strange it would be for a prisoner who had been set free to walk back into his/her cell and refuse to leave! Likewise, how sad for a believer to be set free from the bondage of sin, only to return to rigid conformity to a set of rules and regulations.
The early churches in southern Galatia were founded on Paul’s first missionary journey including Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Most of the first converts and early leaders in the church were Jewish Christians. At that time Jewish Christians struggled with a dual identity. Their Jewish background constrained them to be strict followers of the Law; their new found faith in Jesus Christ invited them to celebrate a Holy liberty. They were confused and wondered how Gentiles (non-Jews) could also be part of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Paul boldly instructs if you believe in Jesus Christ, you have been set free. Instead of going back into some form of slavery, whether legalism or sin; use your freedom to live for Christ and serve him as he desires.
The struggle between the Gospel and legalism is still a crisis and many false teachers today, would have individuals return to trying to earn God’s favour through following rituals or obeying a set of rules. As Christians, we are not boxed in, but have been set free. To preserve our freedom, believers must stay close to Jesus Christ and resist any person who promote subtle ways of trying to earn our Salvation.