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Watermark Community Church

A Journey Through the New Testament Letters

Rachel Lawrence

Rachel Lawrence

Howdy, y'all! My name is Rachel, and, while I have lived on both the west (California) and east (New York) coasts, I was born and raised in Dallas and am a Texas girl through and through. I love all things summer, including the weather. Yeah, I'm that crazy! In my dream job, I would have been the personal assistant to C.S. Lewis. I think every occasion deserves celebration, and I love parties, dancing, and just merriment in general. I am passionate about community because it was absolutely the game-changer in my life. Have you found it?

April 24, 2014

FOR FREEDOM YOU SET ME FREE, AND YES, I AM FREE INDEED.

Galatians 5:1-12
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Galatians 5:1-12

Christ Has Set Us Free

5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified [1] by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, [2] still preach [3] circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 5:4 Or counted righteous
[2] 5:11 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 13
[3] 5:11 Greek proclaim

Comments

The views expressed under “Comments” are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Watermark Community Church.
  1. Lisa O

    Apr 24, 2014 14:32

    Thank you Rachel! Boy do I ever relate to slipping back into old patterns when also trying to seek The Lord. That is like the story of my life! : ) I guess the truth is though, it is everyone's story. Our struggles may be different, but God knew that each and every one of us would be doomed without Him because we can can not stop the sinful deeds of the flesh on our own, much less save ourselves for eternity. That was His reason to come and save us. Thank You Lord!!

  2. Trey Collins

    Apr 24, 2014 12:35

    Rachel, thanks for sharing and leading us in the gospel! We cannot out-sin the grace of the cross. God did not save us from our sins at salvation, and then leave it up to each of us to figure out future sins. May it never be! He saved us from all sins: past, present, and future. Thank you Jesus for that sweet mercy! Praying for you today Rachel!

  3. Sue Bohlin

    Apr 24, 2014 11:33

    From one of God's Party Girls to another--*GREAT* devo, Rachel!!! I was gratitude-struck as I read about losing your freedom and slipping back into slavery, realizing that the freedom Jesus won for us was not like a balloon that can only be popped once and then "too bad, so sad," we've lost it forever. His freedom is so strong, so robust and so supernatural that if we lose it, He will give it back if we repent and ask. As I read today's passage, pausing on verse 1, an iceberg came to mind: the majority of it is unseen, under the waterline. I asked the Lord to show me more of the unseen glory of this truth . . . and then I read your devo! Bam!

  4. Brian

    Apr 24, 2014 10:51

    Rachel, I'm with Angie, your journey sounds so familiar to mine. My journey to fully understanding grace just tooke me about 12 years longer, but for the past 20 years I've lived a life out of freedom - not works and shame thinking I had to try to "fix" my past. Thank you for this reinforcing devotional & the scripture references. I'm going to bookmark them in my app. Blessings to you!

  5. Sylvia

    Apr 24, 2014 10:11

    Awesome Devo Rachel. Thank you so much! Definitely the sweet thing that our mighty, agape God has been reminding me of, and so beautiful to read it here in your honest words! That He resurrected/resurrects our bones COMPLETELY and that by allowing ourselves to be entangled in guilt or jealously or (_insert_here) is just what the enemy wants to keep us from running fast and hard under His Grace and bringing others to run with us! So grateful for your honesty and transparency. Super encouraging! 2 Cor 12:10

  6. Cane

    Apr 24, 2014 09:30

    This instructed and blessed me, thank you. I've shared it with others too!

  7. Arlene

    Apr 24, 2014 09:26

    I am learning it is not the toil of my/our own works that earns God's favor. Rather it the giving up the the things of this world; material, money, selfishness. Releasing my/our will and resting in His will and purpose for my life/our lives, will bring His power and His glory into freedom in Christ Jesus. WOW! Let Go and Let God...what an interesting concept! lol....Release and Rest in His freedom.

  8. JH

    Apr 24, 2014 09:19

    Rachael, Thank you for giving us a look into your life and explaining the passage so clearly. I am very appreciative of your story about feeling the glorious & perfect freedom through Jesus Christ, but then hitting a bump in the road and feeling like an imposter. What stands out most to me is what you said next - that a friend had consoled you in the truth. So often I find myself in these shoes of turning back to the slavery of my flesh, and the last thing I want to do is tell someone in my community because I am ashamed or feel like I let God down. But this isolation and emotional response is what the enemy wants. Your story confirms for me the importance of James 5:16, and salvation is through Christ Jesus alone and not my own performance.

  9. Bryson Price

    Apr 24, 2014 08:50

    One thing I love about this passage is verse 4 (Galatians 5:4). It says that if we are using our "good works" to be seen as justified and forgiven by God then: 1. Christ is of no advantage to us 2. We are enslaved 3. We are 'SEVERED' from Christ We can't be good enough to be justified by God (Isaiah 64:6). If we are using our good works as a means for outweighing our sins, Jesus's death on the cross was pointless. The GOOD NEWS is that our sins have been paid for by Jesus Christ. Amen! Can I get a witness?!

  10. Sarah

    Apr 24, 2014 08:47

    Sweet friend- thank you for your honest reflection on this liberating passage. It is full of rich truth. And thanks for living out God's love daily!

  11. HopeH

    Apr 24, 2014 08:28

    Thanks for your thoughts this morning Rachel. Your key verse jumped right off the page at me. Here it is in the message. "Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." As a person who committed themselves to being "free to be me" and loving who I wanted , I was uncertain of the Christian concept of freedom. At first it looked like death to me. It has been through process of surrender and self denial and surrender that I have gained new life, freedom, and discovered my true self. A benchmark verse in my own process has been Mark 8:34-37 in the Message Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? For me Standing firm continues to be an act of surrender and obedience

  12. Ralph douglass

    Apr 24, 2014 08:15

    Rachel, that was awesome today! I'm blessed in reading your message, and thank you for the very powerful scripture verses.. GOD Bless you in all you do!! Thanks to you I can go through another day of rejoicing with my SAVOIR!!

  13. HH

    Apr 24, 2014 07:16

    Ol Satan, works so hard and effectively on too many at having us measure our cherished freedom by the patterns of this world and what we do...or don't. Us little worker bees toil AWAY under that cloud. When the Spirit of The Lord finally takes up residence in our hearts there is freedom...and we collapse to our knees with arms open wide and our gaze firmly on Him. Amazing grace we get. Amazing freedom too. Thanks for articulating that reminder Rachel...lest we forget and I do. It is just that simple. It ain't us but Him!

  14. Patricia Simmons

    Apr 24, 2014 07:13

    Rachel, Thanks for your transparency...your devotional resonates with many of us who still struggle with trying to earn God's grace. I pray we will all walk in the truth of John 8:36 "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Praise God for the truth of His Word!

  15. Angie Mosier

    Apr 24, 2014 06:16

    Rachel - Your story is similar to mine. I, too, grew up in a Christian, God-fearing home and went to a Christian school, but fell away from the Lord in my early 20's. I experienced what I thought was insurmountable shame (about which I write in my devo next month!), BUT He pursued me. And, to now know the peace and grace of God - tis nothing sweeter than that! I'm grateful beyond words. PS, I share your love for Lewis and dancing.

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