I was traveling on a train from Sanford, Florida to Jesup, Georgia when God poured this message into me before I embarked on the mission field. This was working in my life as I was still in Teen Challenge visiting my mother for the very first time out of rehab from drug and alcohol entering the world. I wanted to be free from so many things in my life and a Slave mentality is one of them I can say now that I am. I am going to expound on the holy scripture from Galatians 5:1-7 and I going to expound on each verse so bare with me I believe this has helped me in a major way. This is going to be from the English standard version :
Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.
Gal 5:3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.
Gal 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Gal 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Gal 5:7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
In verse one Paul is saying “Christ has set you free!!” so never let sin ever ever hold you in bondage ever again. So many times as Christian we repent and remember and never do like God says once our transgression are blotted he remembers no more Jeremiah 31:34 “declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”Paul says in verse 2 in accepting circumsion let yourself not be cut off from Christ in accepting law instead of grace. In John it says in the first chapter Moses brought the Law but Christ brought grace and peace.
Going back to verse 3 where we talk about the circumcision Paul is furthering the warning by saying ok you won’t let go of this circumcision issue ok here the point a reminder as a man of God the high God you are obligated, accountable and held to higher standard above the world. Let reiderate verse 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Paul is saying some monumental things here he is clarifying this warning by telling who justify you sin you are separating yourself from Christ and fallen from this undeserved gift of salvation. A side note this great verse your foundation is cracked like a weather beaten road way with weeds of sin starting to grow in solidity of your faith in our savior Jesus Christ resulting in alienation from Christ maybe you need some holy ghost weed pulling. Now faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we wait to be approved in our righteousness of hope. Now faith is the sure mixing agent of our faith when we set our foundation in Christ. Paul lets you know rich or poor, black or white. The only thing, now this is foundational only means, singular is my faith, your faith, your family, and neighbors faith is its LOVE. Every action must be task must be through love not envy, jealousy, pride, covetness, resentment, bitterness, anger, immoralty, must be love.
You are striving for Christ right? What has discouraged you from living in love a brother, a sister, a job, a situation, more important is it YOU?
Conflict of Justice and Love
When thinking of God’s Justice and love you cannot separate the two. In creation you see both and throughout the Bible no separation of God’s justice and love. The character of God is both justice and love. The conflict we are going to see is between God’s character of justice and His character of love. We are going to discuss God’s justice and then his love going into the apparent conflict but not the answer to the conflict.
“25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his bloodto be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”(rom.3:25-26 NIV) God is justice he cannot deny himself of what is of his essential nature. He longs for us to be restored to him but, He cannot ignore our sins. God is merciful but a just God. In all this we are wicked but God had left our sins unpunished. God had to carry out his justice which is the dilemma.
This moves us on to our next point the character of God’s love which brings us to the person of Jesus as stated “8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Rom.5:8 NIV) God loves his creation he wants fellowship with all of us. So, he sent the holy spirit as stated “5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”(Rom.5:5 NIV) God’s dilemma that was apparently faced was His love and Justice being carried out so his word which is all truth would not contradict itself God’s love and justice was answered and but none could comprehend how God justifies the wicked.
A statement, a truth that God proves more than evident as described by Paul in Romans 3:24 it says “yet God with undeserved kindness, declares we are righteous. He did this through Jesus Christ when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”(Rom.3:24 NLT) In this version it translates the words very differently, the key phrases “freely by His grace” and “ justified”
(Rom.3:24 NIV) the parallel of translation of “justified” declaring our righteousness and “freely
by grace his grace” giving undeserved kindness. We can only ask what is freely truly means it
has been defined as without restriction.
We can’t truly understand why God is doing this unless we look at what Paul says in Romans before this “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Rom.3:23 NIV) So in this we are being literally put in a place right with god with the redemption of Jesus Christ. All men have not met this standard by the law but only by faith. In this giving the true since of the word “justified” a complete definition.
What is this work that Jesus Christ has done with redemption and what is the work of redemption? What is the price of this redemption and what is the meaning of this redemption?
Redemption can mean to rescue, deliver, ransom, and recover what was lost. (Lasley 2002, 198) The price so high for redemption is an atonement as described so deeply in Hebrews says this “ He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”(Heb. 9:12 NIV) The result of the great sacrifice for all is by faith that we believe God died on the cross for our sin and we are justified, the opposite of condemnation, which by God’s justice we would of so rightly deserved. The redemption of Christ can only be done by this idea of atonement which, all are saved by to, justified the wicked.
In this we need to describe the dimensions of atonement which include the sacrifice, Day of Atonement, and the mercy seat. The sacrifice of atonement cannot be mention unless it is paralleled with the Day of Atonement. We see Jesus dying on the cross redeeming man with a one-time sacrifice but this is to mirror a day which had to be performed every year by the Aaronic priesthood. In Bruce he states a great explanation between the two it says “The death of Christ, then, is the means by which God does away with his people’s sin – not symbolically, as in the ritual of Leviticus 16 in which the material mercy-seat figured, but really. And really in a twofold sense: the sin has removed not only from the believer’s conscience, on which it lay as an intolerable burden, but also from the presence of God.” (Bruce 1985, 100)
In this the explanation of the Day of Atonement we know some definite facts as follows, it was temporary meaning their removal sins only covered them for a year. The sacrifices were many different animals and this was the only time Aaron could come in front of God. This system God created only pointed to the new system or new covenant. This was only for the Jewish people and not for all men.
When talking about the sacrifice of atonement we see some answers to the Day of Atonement. The sacrifice of atonement was permanent using the blood of Christ. Christ was the only one to be sacrificed and no more animal sacrifices were needed. This created the new covenant with God and man. Jesus Christ sacrifice gave us confident approach to throne of God, being a sacrifice not just for the Jewish people but all men of every tribe and for every tongue.
This gives what is this glorious mercy seat briefly described in Hebrews 9 “Above the ark and overshadowing the mercy seat were the representation of the cherubim of glory. We cannot go into detail about these things.” (Heb 9:5 AMP) This is saying by Lasley is stated “God looks down but does not see the Law the people had broken. Instead, He sees the blood of the sacrifice and is satisfied that punishment has measured out. Thus His wrath is turned aside, and fellowship is restored.”(Lasley 2002, 200) There is not much discussed on this topic much but we can say this and know it is truth God is present above the atonement cover.
In concluding the summary of what has been discussed here God’s justice and Love the basis of justification, redemption, and propitiation. These works by God are ignited by one thing and one thing only faith. We have seen God justify the wicked bring redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ all this to fulfill his law and prophecy. Paul makes great reference to this especially in Romans Chapter 3 he states “ only when we have faith we truly fulfill the law.”(Rom. 3: 31 NLT) Faith is the only thing that makes this all possible it starts as a little faith but grows and it is the only thing that keeps in relationship with God. We can do deeds try and make all things work together in our own strength. This doctrine of salvation starts and ends with faith in Jesus Christ.