When I was a young believer, I struggled so fiercely with the weight of all the things I had done wrong. I believed that my sins were of a different caliber, somehow worse than any sin ever committed by anyone else. Therefore my sins were unforgivable by God.
I was wrong.
My hurts were deep; both the self-inflicted hurts and the ones inflicted by others. I couldn’t imagine a kind of love, a kind of grace that would cover these terrible things. I had lived so long with the weight of these sorrows that when I finally was freed through the death and resurrection of Christ, I still kept myself in the chains.
It wasn’t until I studied Galatians and read Paul’s words that I began to recognize who I wasn’t and who I was through Christ. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:20-21).
Still the chains pulled at me like a phantom weight. Could I really be free? Released? Redeemed? New?
Then I turned the page to Galatians 3- I felt like Paul’s words were a “Gibbs’ smack” on the back of my head. Read these chain breaking words and see if you feel the same.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Galatians 3:1-6).
I was still living my life in the Law with consequences already paid in full by Christ. When Jesus had opened my cell door wide open, broken the lock, and thrown away the keys and yet I still lived bound to my small room. What was I thinking?
Over time I have caught myself trying to re-enter the jail cell by living according to the Law. Each time I realized where I was I would shake my head and leave to return to my life of Grace. The verse from John 8:36 resonating in my heart, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (bold mine).
So Best Beloved, where do you stand today? Are you still standing in your jail cell with the door wide open? Have you forgotten your freedom?
Come with me, come with Jesus, embrace this amazing Grace and amazing Freedom we have when we receive His amazing Forgiveness.