For Freedom Christ has set us Free

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For Freedom Christ has set us Free (Galatians 5.1)
Reading: Galatians 1.1-12

This is the theme of our series this term, for sermons, for home reading and for home studies – please do join a group! Tuesday afternoon, Weds daytime, Weds evening (2 groups), Thursday evening. You will be welcome. See the pewsheet, or speak to me.

This letter was written to the new Churches in Galatia, Northern Turkey. The Galatian Christians had no previous knowledge of Christ, and no Jewish background, but came from a heathen or pagan culture – much like ours today. They might have worshipped the sun, moon and stars, or made gods out of precious metals to worship.

They had heard of Christ and the Cross of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ through the preaching of St Paul (Galatians 3.1) and as written in this letter to the church (Galatians 1.1). Paul says that they had received a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when they became believers (Galatians 3.4-5). It may have been like Pentecost. They heard about Christ, and they believed, and they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But Paul is writing this letter because he has heard that they are being put under pressure to obey Jewish laws as well as believing in Christ. He is very anxious for them, and describes it being like the pains of Childbirth (Galatians 4.19). He cannot go to visit so he writes this letter.

He explains again to them that the Christian Gospel is all about GRACE (Galatians 3.1). Christ gave himself to die for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, and that our only response is to receive that grace with gratitude, and be thankful. It is a gift of God. We then live in freedom.

Paul does not want the Galatians to go backwards, and start obeying rules and regulations to add to everything that Christ has already done for them.

Christ offers us grace and the opportunity to live in Freedom, forgiven and joyful people.

Amen.

 

Rev’d Dr Marion de Quidt. 8.30am Hook. Sunday 29th May 2016