Don’t Worry… Be Happy
Choose Your Yoke – Part XII
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:1-8
Key Verse: Galatians 5:1
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.
We have been looking at the different types of yokes that the Bible mentions. Today’s Key Verse reminds us about the yoke of slavery.
The Apostle Paul is talking to Christ-followers, people who have accepted Jesus into their lives. In today’s Scripture Reading, the believers in Galatia astounded Paul when they returned to a yoke that meant slavery in their lives. Look how serious the Apostle Paul saw this decision:
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
Here is the biblical definition of “grace”: the unmerited (unearned) favor of God in our lives.
The moment we think that we can do things to earn God’s favor, we have “fallen away from grace”. That does not mean that God no longer loves us or that we are no longer in God’s family. What it does mean is that we have replaced Jesus’s yoke for a yoke that is heavy and puts us into slavery.
This discussion is a complicated one.
We believe that God saves us by grace alone, yet we also believe that when God saves us, we then produce good works.
However, as we walk with God, the obvious “works that we do” can start to make us feel that these good works make us acceptable to God.
Or, said another way, when we do not do the good works that we know that we should do, then we think we are no longer acceptable to God. If that is true, then we are acting like our salvation is not by faith but by works!
So, what is the answer to this dilemma of good works or grace? That fact that God saves us through grace is the foundation of the Gospel… add nothing more to that formula for salvation.
When Jesus came into your life to forgive you of your sins, it had nothing to do with how good or how bad you were. All Jesus looked at was your faith in Him and that faith was the basis of your salvation. What Jesus could see was how good you would become because of His work in your life. After you became a Christ-follower by faith, God transforms you into a new creation:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ… (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a)
It is unlikely that any of us knew at the time of our salvation that all things were new in us. This verse is there to tell us what happens when someone puts their faith in Jesus.
Once we truly understand what God has done in our lives, we live a life of good works. We have God’s laws written on our hearts… what freedom! (Romans 2:15).
Father, I will praise You throughout eternity for the work You have done in my life because of my faith in Jesus. It is in Jesus’s Name that I pray, amen.