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A yoke of bondage

As we grow in Christ we are learning to walk by faith and to not be entangled again in the bondage of the Law. In the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ there

As we grow in Christ we are learning to walk by faith and to not be entangled again in the bondage of the Law. In the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ there were some believers who were being circumcised in order to be justified before God. The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Galatians to correct their thinking and keep them in the grace of God.
He said in Gal 5

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Gal 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
Gal 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Why would anyone who has tasted of the Grace of Jesus go back to trusting in circumcision and other outward things? Believing lies.
The lie is that Jesus’ sacrifice was not sufficient for us to inherit the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore getting circumcised so as to really be a child of Abraham was thought to be essential by many believers. Not only circumcision, but also religiously keeping certain sabbaths and Holy days was being encouraged by these confused brethren.
Paul’s response was to warn them that such observances would not in any way profit them, on the contrary they had fallen away from grace and were now debtors to keep the whole of the Law…which is BONDAGE and a burden so heavy that none of the Apostles had been able to bear it.

Act 15:1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

There were believers(ex Pharisees) who taught the brethren- the Christians- to keep the Law and to be circumcised!

Act 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Listen to what Peter said about this….

“by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
Act 15:8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
Act 15:9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

The heart is purified by faith, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to the one who believes the word of the Gospel. Simple. Believe the good news about Jesus, receive the Holy Spirit, your heart is purified by God who is now in you.
This is all too simple for the ex Pharisees who had invested all their lives in studying the scriptures and the writings of the various Rabbis. They had been sticklers for the Law, even making up many more laws and traditions to keep. Suddenly with the death and resurrection of Jesus all of that has ceased…now what??!! They must have rancoured and muttered about it until they could bear it no more….they threw aside the grace of Jesus…The free gift of justification…the free gift of righteousness…and instead preferred to DO SOMETHING TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE WORTHY OF GODS FAVOUR.
Paul says to them, all of your efforts to justify yourselves will NOT PROFIT YOU.
Obey the truth
He asks the Galatians –

Gal 5:7 Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?
Gal 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

They were running the race of faith well, until they were persuaded by the Law keepers against trusting in Christ alone.
Jonathan Mitchell’s Amplified/expanded version says –

“You folks have been running beautifully(finely,ideally)!Who(or What) cut in on you folks, to hinder or thwart you, {for you} not to continue to be persuaded(convinced) by (or: on; with) the Truth of this reality? This “art of persuasion” (or: The enticement; or: The yielding to [their] persuasion) [comes] not from out of the One continuously calling you folks. Gal 5:7-8

The word Paul uses here is Pietho…which means “to persuade” …they were persuaded against Christ.
These Pharisee Christians were no doubt very convincing in their arguments against Christ’s sacrifice, and for keeping the Law. They were induced and persuaded that they must do something more than just simply believing.
This is the same battle today for all Christians. We started off by believing and then somehow we get the idea that that is not enough. The Accuser works 24/7 to convince us that we must do something to be justified. Fear is the Accuser’s main weapon. Millions and millions of Christians fear ending up in Hell or missing the Rapture or not being in the First resurrection etc etc. These fears are what motivate so many to do what they do. Rather than “faith working through love” – Gal 5:6 in their lives—they experience unbelief operating through fear.
Fear is the message preached to most children in Christian homes..and schools and churches. Fear of Hell is a terrifying thing and a powerful motivating force. Fear of missing the Rapture and having to face the wrath of Antichrist and God is also the same powerful motivator. Fear of being disfellowshipped and shunned if we do not do this or that requirement of our particular church.
These fears are not from God or His word. Fear like that is torment and it is from Satan. These kinds of fears drive men and women all their years to “save” the lost, to pray, to give tithes and offerings, to never miss a sunday service, to witness on the streets. All of these activities which are motivated through FEAR are simply dead religious works which shall all be burned up and profit the doer NOTHING. All the years of doing religious duties because inwardly, we are afraid of what may happen if we do not do them are worthless. Satan laughs at all the millions who have swallowed his lies about the Father, who live in fear and torment not able to cease from their dead works and simply trust God.
How tragic!! All these religious activities are works or self made law keeping. The very fact that someone cannot cease doing these things shows that they are in bondage and are living in Fear’s grip.
Believing good news is what saved us…and continuing to believe is what brings us rest and peace. The yoke of bondage brings and intensifies fear and death. There is no rest for the one trusting in his own religious works. The yoke of bondage is not easy like Jesus yoke is. It is a heavy yoke. With it come frowning, seriousness, outbursts of wrath, false humility, pretense, boastings, pressure to do, pressure to pray..everything is forced….The one who is trusting…who is persuaded that Jesus is enough…has love , joy, peace..and all the other fruits going on in his life.
Gal 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
God is not the one persuading you to do things for Him…This obedience to laws(even your own laws) is not the Gospel message that He gives witness to. What God witnesses to is faith..To simply believe in the One Whom He sent – Jesus. In Mitchells version quoted above it says

This “art of persuasion” (or: The enticement; or: The yielding to [their] persuasion) [comes] not from out of the One continuously calling you folks. Gal 5:8

The One continuously calling us LIVES IN US. He calls to us from within saying, GRACE! GRACE! (Zech 4:7)….whereas men and spirits of darkness call from outside us to obey the law…Do! Do!
“Unless you men see signs and wonders you will not believe.”..the natural man must see himself doing things so as to feel like he has earned justification in God’s sight. The things he does are like a sign to himself of being right with God. Jesus Himself said that He did nothing initiated of Himself…the Father is the initiator of all things.
It was Martha who wanted to be busy for Jesus…Mary was content to sit at His feet and hear His word. Mary chose the best option. It reveals an inner attitude. Why are you so busy for Jesus? Does He need you to do anything for Him? What are you trying to prove? Are our actions borne out of “faith working through Love”? If they are, there will be the fruit of the Spirit associated with them. If not borne out of faith working through Love, then our works will be forced and produce flesh fruit.
Jesus does not want us to be entangled again in slavery to the Law. We are children of God through faith in Jesus and have been made free by the death of our Old Man in Christ Jesus. We have been brought into Christ and made ONE with the Father in Him…but if we turn away from this simple faith and begin doing things to be justified…then we become estranged from Jesus.

Gal 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

The symptoms of estrangement are visible and felt in our lives if we are sensitive. These symptoms should shout at us that we are back into working FOR Jesus instead of resting in Him. Here is what estranged (katargeo) means-

1) to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
1a) to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
1b) to deprive of force, influence, power
2) to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
2a) to cease, to pass away, be done away
2b) to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
2c) to terminate all intercourse with one

We are joined in our spirit to Christ…His grace is He Himself…The flow of His grace in our spirit man is hindered severely when we attempt to be justified through doing things for Him. Look at the list above. Apply all those meanings to your spirit man–the New Man- see how he is rendered inoperable by going back to the yoke of bondage = trying to be just through doing??
Repentance remedies the situation. The One in us is calling us to GRACE all the time. He sits upon the throne- our heart- and gently calls to us to REST in Him…cease striving to please Him and believe that Jesus is our life and our will and our purpose. Jesus is our fruit bearer, fruit producer, fruit inspector. Jesus is fully acceptable to the Father..and WE ARE COMPLETE in Him

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