Pristine Grace

Stand Fast in Liberty
by Gary Shepard
Stand Fast in Liberty

     The greatest preacher and defender of sound doctrine apart from Christ Himself was most likely the apostle Paul. None could charge him with compromise, none could call his message unclear, and none could accuse him of giving anyone a false hope. But as one who earnestly contended for the faith of God's elect, he stood firmly in defense of the liberty of those in Christ and their total deliverance from all bondage. His admonition to all true believers rings loud and clear today. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1)

     He knew that all whom the Son had made free were free indeed, He knew that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. There had come to the Galatians whose who, though zealous, had by their preaching brought these people under the spirit of bondage and fear. They no doubt preached Christ and all the particulars concerning salvation by grace but there was a subtle spirit of legalism and works woven into their message. It produced in the hearers a feeling of fear and great heaviness of heart due to the unbearable yoke that was always being laid upon them. Paul, knowing full well that false professors and religionists always wrest the scriptures to their own destruction, was not hindered in encouraging those in Christ to untangle themselves from this yoke of legalistic bondage and to rejoice in their liberty in Christ.

     The message he preached to them was the same message of God's grace and full salvation accomplished solely by the merits and blood of Christ and that was good news. Those who were trusting in Him went away rejoicing! The gospel is our "emancipation proclamation" and the joy in our Lord Jesus Christ strengthens, liberates and lifts us. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." When those who truly believe on and confess Christ hear His gospel they breathe the fresh breath of freedom; but when they hear something else they feel stifled under the tightness of the yoke. "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?" The truth is that those in Christ are "Free from the law, O happy condition! Jesus hath bled, and there is remission." Stand fast!