Freedom is an intoxicating idea. When we are growing up we long for the day when we can make our own choices and not be under parental control. When we become adults we discover that the freedom we so longed for has repercussions as we experience social pressures and the consequences of our choices. Then we begin to long for those golden retirement years when no one will tell us what to do, and then we revisit the burdens of the past and wish we could redo life! Isn't freedom great!?
When I made my confession of faith in Christ, my circle of high school friends came from many different churches and they were all recruiting me. They all had suggestions about what I should do if I really wanted to serve God.
It is sad how easy it is to twist God's truth into something that builds walls, locks people in cages of hopelessness and ignores the truth of God's love and grace. This letter to the Christians in Galatia confronts the destructive authority of religious legalism and human prejudice. Paul sums up the heart of Christianity with a simple statement: “You are all God's children through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:20).
Sometimes I think I've heard it all as people confronted me with my future: tarot cards, astrology's life-shaping power, a demon-possessed man threatening my soul and a high priest of Satan describing the devil's power. There is no shortage of religion or claims to spiritual truth in our world.
The word “freedom” occurs more frequently in the letters of Paul than any other New Testament book. As Americans, we think of freedom as privacy in thinking and choices, but for Paul it was the discovery that he no longer needed to labor under the impossible demands of religious laws and practices that daily reminded him he could never completely meet God's standard.