It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

-Galatians 5:1


The Gospel is offensive. It asserts that there is nothing we can do to earn or add to our salvation. We are saved by grace through faith alone. As time goes on, however, it can be easy to feel less needy; to begin relying on our own efforts; to take pride in our advancement. The message of Galatians draws us back to humble and life-giving reliance on Christ.


Along his missionary journey, the Apostle Paul brought the Gospel to people in the region of Galatia, where many were converted to follow Christ. A few years later, however, Paul learned that religious legalism had infiltrated the church. False teachers were claiming that obedience to Old Testament laws, such as circumcision, was necessary in addition to putting one’s faith in Christ.


Eager to restore the Galatians to the freedom of the Gospel, Paul reminds his readers that salvation is not about rule-keeping but about accepting God’s gift of grace! In our sin, there was nothing we could do to save ourselves, helplessly dependent upon Christ and his sacrifice. And just as the Christian life begins by simply responding to God in faith, so the whole of the Christian life is fueled by faith. “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Paul questions (Galatians 3:3). Spiritual growth has nothing to do with self-propelled striving and everything to do with trusting God to work within us.


Paul looks back at the history of God’s salvation to show that God’s purpose has always been to create a family that relates to him on the basis of faith. Paul says Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was made right with God because of his faith. He trusted in God’s promise to bless the nations through his offspring.


Then, God gave Israel his law. Its teaching instructed people on how to live in a relationship with God and conduct oneself as a member of his family. The law was never meant to communicate that someone could earn salvation with good works; rather, it helped people understand God and his ways and prepared them to receive the promised Savior. A standard of perfection, the law also highlighted humanity’s sin, proving the need for a savior.


When Jesus came, he fulfilled God’s law by perfectly loving God and others. Those who believe in him are clothed with Jesus’s life of perfect obedience to the law and set free to live in grace.


Do you find yourself ever striving to earn the approval of God? Maybe you think you can earn God’s favor with a long track record of quiet-times. Maybe you believe you can merit God’s presence with good behavior. Or maybe you’ve been taught the necessity of certain religious practices that are not actually grounded in scripture.


The Gospel declares that those in Christ are always and forever accepted by God! “For freedom Christ has set us free,” Galatians 5:1 declares, “Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The Gospel urges us to reject the burden of religious legalism and live freely in grace!


In case his reader might mistakenly take God’s grace as a license to sin, Paul emphasizes that Christ has set us free from sin to choose God’s way of life. To revert to our old ways only leads to feeling unfulfilled, lonely, and stagnant. But when we live God’s way, embracing his promises and his work within us, fruit comes into our lives! According to Galatians 5:22-23, this fruit looks like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”


Are you advancing in life by the power of God within you?


RESPOND: Take a moment to place your dependence on God rather than your own efforts, that you might live in freedom and bear fruit today.

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Encounter God through his Word

with Renew Devotionals

 

How do you grow in your faith? What does it look like to become closer with God? 

 

The Bible is God's gift to us that we might know Him and His great love for us! And it is knowing God and his love that fuels a journey of spiritual growth and faithful living. 

 

Centered on God's Word, Renew’s devotionals dive deep and shine clarity on Scripture's teaching. Drawing out tangible application, devotionals weave together your story with the Bible's narrative.

Meet with God anywhere! 

Listen to a 10 minute devotional with scripture, teaching and a worship song!

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FOUNDER & AUTHOR

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"I doubted God’s existence for the first time when I was eleven years old on the night of New Year's Eve. A Christian worldview was all I had ever known. Too anxious to sleep, I found my dad’s laptop and googled “good bible verses.” As you might have expected, this google search did not bring an end to my doubting. 

For the next year, I was unable to shake the fear, anxiety and loneliness that doubt brought on. I found myself wondering, if God and an eternal existence with him weren’t real, then what was the purpose of life? I finally decided to face my questions and look to God and his Word for answers. I started in Genesis and read through Revelation, and then I read through again and again. As time went on, through the help of good mentors, teachers, books and eventually seminary classes, God began to reveal himself to me in the Bible.  My quest for answers transformed into a relationship, and that relationship with God is deepened each time I meet him in his Word.  

 

I know how daunting it can be to approach the Bible, so I wanted to create something to help others in their walks of faith. I have experienced so much purpose and joy, so much fulfillment and peace in knowing God through his Word, and I wanted to share that with others. So, I created Renew. I pray that God uses the devotionals to bring you into a deeper, richer relationship with him."

-Grace 

GRACE THWEATT

CONTRIBUTORS

JUSTIN LEU

Producer

KAREN HENSON
 
Content Editor 

Dallas Theological Seminary: M.A.C.E.

LESLIE PEACOCK
 
Content Editor 

Covenant Theological Seminary: M.A.C.

MADELEINE GRIEGE

Social Media Management

DEVON CURRY

Instrumental Music

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