You are not Free if You are a Slave to Religion

In listening to ThroughTheWord’s lesson on Galatians chapter 6, Pastor Kris Langham said something very interesting. The word “religion” actually means re-bind-up. Think of the word “ligature”, which means “a thing used for tying or binding something tightly.” Now, that was an eye-opening revelation!

I remember as a kid growing up Catholic, I was more worried about breaking a rule rather than why I was in church in the first place — to learn about Jesus.

Jesus told us when he quoted the prophet Isaiah in Luke 4…

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19     and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”…

…“The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

Luke 4:18-19, 21

Captives? What captives? The Jews who were bound by the law.

Freedom from the Law

As we finish with the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, let’s review a couple of key points. The Galatians began in grace, but let legalism slip into their beliefs.

  1. A believer is no longer under the law, but is saved by faith and grace alone. Judaism is said to be the cradle of Christianity, and we need to think of Paul as the Moses of the Christian church who delivered us from the bondage of the law. Galatians is like the Declaration of Independence for born-again believers.
    20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. ~Galatians 2:20-21 NLT
    Jesus didn’t die so we could have religion!
    So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. ~Galatians 5:1 NLT
  2. Freedom doesn’t mean we are free to sin so we can get more grace points! That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in and we’re supposed to “walk in the Spirit”. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! ~Galatians 5:16, 22-23

Galatians 6

Paul finishes his letter with good advice on Christian Living…

We Harvest What We Plant (or reap what you sow)

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Paul’s Final Advice in His Own Handwriting

11 Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.

12 Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.

14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

17 From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.

18 Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Galatians 6 NLT

Jesus Paid the Price for Our Freedom

Photo by Alem Su00e1nchez on Pexels.com

We are freed from sin — justified — by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross when He died bearing all our sins. However, freedom is deceptive. If you are bound by law — religion — then you’re not really free, are you?

But temptation is everywhere! Sure, and that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in as our gentle guide, convicting us like a loving parent. Like when you mom stops you from touching the hot stove, “No, honey, you’ll get burned.”

You are not free if you belong to religion. Your freedom is through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. If Jesus truly set us free, then why do we bind ourselves in religion that gets us nowhere?

It’s because many “religious” or “spiritual” people don’t really have the Holy Spirit in their hearts! I didn’t for over 50 years!

How to Invite Jesus into Your Heart

Jesus won’t force Himself into your life. You have to surrender your life to Him and invite Him into your heart. To do that you must…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…

  1. Start reading the Bible daily to get to know God. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great Bible studies.
  2. Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
  3. Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!

69 thoughts on “You are not Free if You are a Slave to Religion”

  1. Pingback: Focus on the Apostles’ Creed: Our Beliefs Exposed – Seek the Truth

  2. Pingback: I Believe in One God: Focus on the Apostles’ Creed Part 1 – Seek the Truth

  3. Pingback: Belief, Baptized and Forgiven: Focus on the Apostles’ Creed – Seek the Truth

  4. Pingback: Proven Truth: How Paganism and Idolatry Started in the Church – Seek the Truth

  5. Pingback: Truth: Confessing to a Priest doesn’t Get You Saved – Seek the Truth

  6. Pingback: Truth: The Church Failed to Educate the People in the True Gospel – Seek the Truth

  7. Pingback: Urgent Warning! Escape from Catholicism Now and Run to Jesus! – Seek the Truth

  8. Pingback: Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ – Seek the Truth

  9. Pingback: Don’t Wander from the Truth: How to Come Back to God! – Seek the Truth

  10. Pingback: How to Follow in the Footsteps of Jesus – Seek the Truth

  11. Pingback: Are You Off the Right Road Going in the Wrong Direction? – Seek the Truth

  12. Pingback: Make Jesus the Guide of Your Life not Just ‘In Case of Emergency’ – Seek the Truth

  13. Pingback: There’s a Special Rest Prepared for the People of God – Seek the Truth

  14. Pingback: Jesus is the One Who Can Intercede with God for Us – Seek the Truth

  15. Pingback: If the Seed of the Good News is in Your Heart, God will Make it Grow – Seek the Truth

  16. Pingback: How to Stay Connected to God so We Can Walk in Faith and Victory – Seek the Truth

  17. Pingback: Why Not Everyone Gets the Good News of the Salvation of Jesus – Seek the Truth

  18. Pingback: Why Not Everyone Gets the Good News of the Salvation of Jesus – Seek the Truth

  19. Pingback: We are No Longer Slaves to Sin Because of the Redemption of Jesus – Seek the Truth

  20. Pingback: We’re Actually Supposed to Thank God in All Situations?! What?! – Seek the Truth

  21. Pingback: Hypocrisy, Greed and Worry: 3 Major Pitfalls in Your Walk with God – Seek the Truth

  22. Pingback: Preaching the Good News of the Salvation of Jesus Christ No Matter What – Seek the Truth

  23. Pingback: Peter’s Great Amazing Escape from Prison Helped by a Church’s Prayers – Seek the Truth

  24. Pingback: Are You Walking in Darkness? Time to Seek the Light of Jesus! – Seek the Truth

  25. Pingback: Matthew 1: Who is Jesus: Son of Abraham, Son of David, the Messiah, and King of Kings – Seek the Truth

  26. Pingback: Jesus Spoke and Heals with Authority, Now We Must Walk in Faith – Seek the Truth

  27. Pingback: Matthew 20: Jesus, the Savior, Gave His Life as a Ransom for Many – Seek the Truth

  28. Pingback: Legalism is Finished – Seek the Truth

  29. Pingback: Did You Know that Legalism is Finished? How Jesus Opened a Gateway Between Us and God – Seek the Truth

  30. Pingback: Genesis 15: Abram Learns to have Patience and Trust the Promise of God – Seek the Truth

  31. Pingback: Genesis 16: Impatient Sarai takes Matters into her Own Hands Instead of Waiting for God – Seek the Truth

  32. Pingback: Exodus 1 and 2: The Israeli People in Captivity. Where was the Promise of God? – Seek the Truth

  33. Pingback: Exodus 5 and 6: It Got Worse. Why, God, Why? Understanding God’s Plan – Seek the Truth

  34. Pingback: Exodus 7-10: Here Come the Plagues, Why did God Harden Pharaoh’s Heart? – Seek the Truth

  35. Pingback: Exodus 13-15: The Long Way Home, the Egyptians Pursue and God Parts the Red Sea – Seek the Truth

  36. Pingback: Exodus 15-17: The People Grumble but God Provides: Miracles in the Desert – Seek the Truth

  37. Pingback: Jesus in Leviticus Part 8: What is the Year of Jubilee? – Seek the Truth

  38. Pingback: Jesus in Deuteronomy Part 4: Worshiping the One True God – Seek the Truth

  39. Pingback: Jesus in the Old Testament Part 3: God Performs A Powerful, Astounding Miracle – Seek the Truth

  40. Pingback: Jesus in the Old Testament Part 4: Jericho is Destroyed, Now War Begins – Seek the Truth

  41. Pingback: Jesus in Joshua Finale: Choose Today Whom You Will Follow and Serve – Seek the Truth

  42. Pingback: 1 Samuel 2: Those Who Are Supposed to Represent God Don’t Know Him – Seek the Truth

  43. Pingback: 1 Samuel 6: Religious Rituals Do Nothing to Grant Us Salvation – Seek the Truth

  44. Pingback: 1 Samuel 10-11: How the Holy Spirit Changes us to be Different People – Seek the Truth

  45. Pingback: 1 Samuel 12: Leave a Legacy of Integrity with a Servant Heart for God – Seek the Truth

  46. Pingback: 3 Psalms Where King David Noted All the Great Things God Did – Seek the Truth

  47. Pingback: 1 Kings 14: Devotion of Idols Leads to Slavery, Loss and Death – Seek the Truth

  48. Pingback: Hosea 4-6: Want to Know God? You Need a Repentant Heart – Seek the Truth

  49. Pingback: 2 Kings 15-16: More Bad Kings and Good Kings in Israel and Judah – Seek the Truth

  50. Pingback: Isaiah 8: Immanuel – God with Us, Conqueror, Savior, Lord and King! – Seek the Truth

  51. Pingback: Isaiah 9: The People Who walk in Darkness Will See a Great Light – Messiah! – Seek the Truth

  52. Pingback: 2 Kings 21: Think You Can Undo the Negative Effects of Sin? Think Again – Seek the Truth

  53. Pingback: Isaiah 43: Listen to God Who Says — I Am About to do Something New! – Seek the Truth

  54. Pingback: Jeremiah 2: Once Being a Faithful People, Blinded by Paganism, Abandons God – Seek the Truth

  55. Pingback: Jeremiah 3: Where is the Ark of the Covenant? Is it Important to God? – Seek the Truth

  56. Pingback: Jeremiah 8-9: Do You Have the Joy of Knowing God Personally? – Seek the Truth

  57. Pingback: Jeremiah 10-11: For Salvation, God Needs a True Attitude of Surrender – Seek the Truth

  58. Pingback: Grace: the Greatest Gift God Gives You When You Know Jesus in Your Heart – Seek the Truth

  59. Pingback: Jeremiah 24-26: Who in the World is God Not Angry at? You? – Seek the Truth

  60. Pingback: Jeremiah 30: You Will Be My People and I will Be Your God – Seek the Truth

  61. Pingback: Jeremiah 34-36: God Wants Respect. Can We Be Made into Devoted Christians? – Seek the Truth

  62. Pingback: Ezekiel 2-3: God Speaks to You Via His Word, Embrace It in Your Heart! – Seek the Truth

  63. Pingback: Ezekiel 29-30: Egypt is Next in Receiving the Judgment of God – Seek the Truth

  64. Pingback: Ezekiel 34: A Prophecy that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Fulfilled – Seek the Truth

  65. Pingback: Mark 2:18-28: The Pharisees had a Meltdown when Jesus Turned their World Upside Down – Seek the Truth

  66. Pingback: Mark 6:1-13: Hear the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Right Attitude – Seek the Truth

  67. Pingback: Esther 7-8: Here we Have Another Epic Reversal of Fortune Crafted by God – Seek the Truth

  68. Pingback: Ezra 1-3: God Sends the People to Reclaim, Restore, and Rebuild the Temple – Seek the Truth

  69. Pingback: 3.1.2: Jeremiah 30: You Will Be My People and I will Be Your God - Seek the Gospel Truth

Leave a Comment