ALL OR NOTHING
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again with a yoke of slavery.
“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Galatians 5:1-4.
Imagine how foolish it would be for a slave whose ransom has been paid and freedom bought by a benefactor, to insist on paying the ransom price again, even though he has been a slave all his life and has never earned a cent. How silly to think that way and yet this was what the Galatians had been deceived into thinking. Although Jesus had paid their debt, they thought they still owed God something. They had to be circumcised to make sure that they were okay with Him.
Paul reminded them that Jesus was passionate about setting them free. That’s the reason why He came. Sin and Satan had enslaved them. This was never God’s purpose. He intended for people to be His sons and daughters in His family, created in His image to live in the joy and freedom of a loving relationship with Him.
The first human pair was ensnared by the devil’s deception which brought the whole world into slavery to sin. God gave the law to show His people just how enslaved they were. They were trapped into disobedience and rebellion by the requirements of the law. When God said, “Don’t!” their sin nature rose up in defiance and said, “We will!” That’s what sin does. How can we ever live in harmony with God when our very nature is against Him?
The problem is that sin brings the penalty of death, not only physical death but, far worse, spiritual death. We were all born dead to God. For most people God is a phantom figure whom they hate, fear and from whom they flee by ignoring Him and pretending He doesn’t exist. The problem is that God created us with an inner awareness that we were made for Him and that we are accountable to Him. However hard we try, we cannot escape that.
So what did men do? They made up their own gods to try to appease their conscience. Religion is man’s attempt to get to God their own way; like Frank Sinatra’s famous song, “I did it my way.” But it does not work because every religion is a lie, even religion that believes in the one true God but tries to get to Him by people’s own efforts is a lie.
Atheists insist that there is no God and yet they use the very word “God” in their vocabulary. If He does not exist, where does the idea of God come from? Who made it up? Agnostics say that if there is a God, we cannot know Him? Who told them that? Evolutionists have concocted an unbelievably ridiculous story, against all the evidence of a super-intelligent Designer, that the entire universe just happened by chance, and that it took millions of years to happen. Only fools believe that rubbish.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” Psalm 14:1.
As soon as a person acknowledges that God exists, he also has to acknowledge that he is answerable to God for the way he lives. People don’t like that because they know that they are guilty of going against their own conscience and the awareness of God which He put inside them as a witness to His existence.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19, 20.
It is impossible to free us from these false notions and the consequences of believing them. Jesus came to set us from our guilt, our sin and our slavery to deceptions. He did it all by dying in our place on the cross. Why would we think we should and why would we want to add anything to what He did?
As soon as we do that, we cancel out His free gift. Paul said when we do this, we have fallen away from grace.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.