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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

The Gospel in Galatians

Christian Liberty
Christian Liberty

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing” (Galatians 5:1, 2).

“Paul pleaded with those who had once known in their lives the power of God, to return to their first love of gospel truth. With unanswerable arguments he set before them their privilege of becoming free men and women in Christ, through whose atoning grace all who make full surrender are clothed with the robe of His righteousness. He took the position that every soul who would be saved must have a genuine, personal experience in the things of God.”1

“Jesus died to save His people from their sins, and redemption in Christ means to cease the transgression of the law of God and to be free from every sin; no heart that is stirred with enmity against the law of God is in harmony with Christ, who suffered on Calvary to vindicate and exalt the law before the universe.

“Those who make bold assumptions of holiness give proof in this that they do not see themselves in the light of the law; they are not spiritually enlightened, and they do not loathe every species of selfishness and pride. From their sin-stained lips fall the contradictory utterances: ‘I am holy, I am sinless. Jesus teaches me that if I keep the law I am fallen from grace. The law is a yoke of bondage.’ The Lord says, ‘Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city’ (Revelation 22:14). We should study the Word of God carefully that we may come to right decisions, and act accordingly; for then we shall obey the Word and be in harmony with God’s holy law.

“While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law.”2

“Those who believe on Christ and obey His commandments are not under bondage to God’s law; for to those who believe and obey, His law is not a law of bondage, but of liberty. . . . Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression.”3

“Paul in his Epistle to Timothy describes the very men who are under the bondage of the law. They are the transgressors of the law. He names them lawless, disobedient, sinners, unholy, profane, murderers, adulterers, liars, and all who depart from sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:9, 10.

“The law of God is the mirror to show man the defects in his character. But it is not pleasant to those who take pleasure in unrighteousness to see their moral deformity. They do not prize this faithful mirror, because it reveals to them their sins. Therefore, instead of instituting a war against their carnal minds, they war against the true and faithful mirror, given them by Jehovah for the very purpose that they may not be deceived, but that they may have revealed to them the defects in their character.

“Should the discovery of these defects lead them to hate the mirror, or to hate themselves? Should they put away the mirror which discovers these defects? No; the sins which they cherish, which the faithful mirror shows them as existing in their characters, will close before them the portals of heaven, unless they are put away, and they become perfect before God.”4

“For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:3–6).

“Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the non-performance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith.”5

“The faith of the genuine believer will be made manifest in purity and holiness of character. Faith works by love and purifies the soul, and with faith there will be corresponding obedience, a faithful doing of the words of Christ. Christianity is always intensely practical, adapting itself to all the circumstances of actual life.”6

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).

“When you yielded to temptation, you must have ceased to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. But, having confessed your sins, believe that the Word of God cannot fail, but that He is faithful that hath promised. It is just as much your duty to believe that God will fulfil His word, and forgive your sins, as it is your duty to confess your sins. You must exercise faith in God as in one who will do exactly as He has promised in His Word, and pardon all your transgressions.”7

“This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:8, 9).

“Has the leaven of truth been at work in your heart? Has it absorbed the whole heart, the whole affections by its sanctifying power?

“Our first work is with our own hearts. The true principles of reform should be practiced. . . . What is there that I must cut away from my life in order that I shall not stumble?”8

“The first work for all Christians to do is to search the Scriptures with most earnest prayer, that they may have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every thread of selfishness. If the truth is received into the heart, it works like good leaven, until every power is brought into subjection to the will of God.”9

“I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:10–16).

References
1 The Acts of the Apostles, p. 388. [Emphasis added.]
2 Faith and Works, pp. 95, 96. [Emphasis added.]
3 In Heavenly Places, p. 146. [Emphasis added.]
4 The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1077.
5 Ibid., p.1111.
6 Messages to Young People, p. 200.
7 This Day with God, p. 89.
8 Ibid., p.48.
9 That I May Know Him, p. 327.