September 24th, 2012 | By admin
By Paul Holland
The call for freedom made to the Jews and Gentiles in Paul’s day is recorded in the letter of Galatians. Not only did men and women need to be set free from the law of Moses, they also needed to be set free from the works of the flesh. In Galatians, Paul presents three facts relative to this idea of freedom.
First, it is in Christ that freedom is found. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (5:1). Freedom is in Christ – freedom from the philosophies of men, freedom from the constraints of man-made religion, freedom from the yoke of the Law of Moses, specifically circumcision. Freedom from the grip of Satan. Mankind needs to be taught about Jesus.
Second, that freedom is available through faith and baptism. In Galatians 3:26-27, Paul writes that we are children of God through faith – but not faith alone – but “for all of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Freedom is only available for those who have obeyed the Gospel through faith and baptism. One who has not been baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) has not been clothed with Christ. Mankind needs to be taught about faith and baptism.
Third, this message cannot be changed or “perverted” as Paul says. In Galatians 1:8-9, he writes: “Even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” We cannot change/pervert the Gospel message. Mankind needs to be taught the same message.
Teaching salvation by praying at a “mourner’s bench” is a perverted Gospel. Teaching salvation comes by inviting Jesus into your heart is a perverted Gospel. Teaching baptism for babies is a perverted Gospel. Teaching that anything other than immersion in water as baptism is a perverted Gospel. Teaching that someone is a Christian simply because he/she exhibits remarkable faith, hope, and love in their lives is a perverted Gospel. You cannot be saved through a perverted Gospel.
Study it. Live it. Teach it.
Paul Holland is the minister at Paris church of Christ, Paris, KY.