Galatians 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.”

     Has anyone tried to tell you that you’re not a ‘good’ Christian because you don’t practice certain rituals or because you don’t exhibit a particular ‘spiritual gift’?  Usually this accusation is made in a very self righteous spirit that makes you feel like a second class citizen.  If you have had experiences like this you know what it feels like to have someone try to put a ‘yoke of bondage’ on you.

    The Forerunner commentary describes what a ‘yoke of bondage’ is all about; “The yoke of bondage is an approach to justification and salvation, or righteousness, that relies on a syncretism of Jewish ritualistic legalism and pagan practices (usually rites of purification), while at the same time avoiding the sacrifice of Christ. This means that what we believe and who we believe in will determine whether we will be justified. Why is this approach a yoke of bondage? It cannot free a person from the penalty of sin or from Satan. It does not provide forgiveness. It will not put one into a position to receive God’s Holy Spirit.”

     Adam Clarke’s commentary describes the context in which Paul was addressing this problem; “The liberty mentioned by the apostle is freedom from Jewish rites and ceremonies, called properly here the yoke of bondage; and also liberty from the power and guilt of sin, which nothing but the grace of Christ can take away.”  If you’re wearing a ‘yoke of bondage’ you will be feeling guilty and worthless.   Guilt and condemnation have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Those that place such yokes upon people are slave traders and thieves of freedom.

     The Bible tells us; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)  The Spirit brings freedom; “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:7)  The slave traders of this world will always try to tell you that you’re not worthy because you don’t behave the way they like or don’t dance properly when you worship or you need to practice Old Testament observances.  These fakes may mention the Gospel but only in passing and only to steal some legitimacy for their outrageous lying claims.


     Jesus nailed these lying hypocrites; “. . . for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see . . . ” (Matthew 23:3,4,5)  Have nothing to do with fakes.  When the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to them – avoid being drawn in by them and ignore their fake preaching.

     Listen to Jesus; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light . . . ” (Matthew 11:28-30)

     Praise the Lord!

    

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