Galatians 5:1,12 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. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
The first verse of Galatians 5 has always seemed trivial to me. That is, it is for freedom that Christ set us free. Can I hear a “no duh” please? That’s what I’ve always thought when I read it but as I continue to ponder this statement by Paul it really does resonate. How many Christians who have been set free by Jesus Christ are not living as though they are free? There are likely many and it isn’t anything new. Apparently it has been this way since the beginning of the church. I like to state it this way: “if you believe that Jesus is alive, why are you living like He is dead?” Here in Galatians, Paul is reminding them that Christ gave them freedom. The problem was that they had been led astray and were trying to achieve meeting God’s standards through other means besides Christ. And there is no other way, except by the freedom that Christ has given. But some people were telling them to try something else.
That something else disturbs me and it disturbed Paul, too. These other guys were telling the church that they needed to get themselves in line with the law that God gave Moses. If they didn’t, they were told, they couldn’t measure up. And part of that law was to get *shudder, circumcised. Grown men getting circumcised. I am not a fan of this philosophy for two reasons: 1. Pain. 2. It negates the power of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
That’s essentially what Paul was getting at and he was good and ticked off at these guys who were leading the church astray. He was so ticked off that he wished that someone would go all Lorena Bobbitt on them. That’s what verse 12 is saying. He was essentially saying this – why stop at the foreskin? You might as well go ahead and cut the whole thing off! Then see if you are any more saved. The only thing you will be is in pain. Because salvation does not come through cutting off a part of your you know what.
Salvation comes from Christ alone. He is the only one that can save you. He is the only one that brings freedom. It doesn’t come by being a good person and trying to follow a list of rules. It really was for freedom that Christ set us free. He wants us to be free. Watch out for verse 13 though. He says not to use your freedom to indulge in sin. Use your freedom to have relationship with God and strive to live for Him. What Jesus did was enough; it was more than enough. So let it be.