FREE OR IMPRISONED

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. —Galatians 3:23

Going into the state Prison to work with new believers has been a great joy and I thank God that I can be serving Him that way. I cannot imagine living in those conditions though and this prison is “nice” compared to other prisons in the world. I know one man that I met almost 30 years ago and he is still in prison, never to get out. But, he is freer than those on the outside who do not know Jesus. He may be in prison but when Ernie trusted Jesus almost 3 decades ago, he was freed in Jesus. Many on the outside may have all this world has to offer, but they are in a worse prison than concrete, bars and wire. They are trapped by “the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26), but they think they are living as they want to. It matters not who they are. They are living an imprisoning lie without Jesus.

The law does not bring freedom, but captivity. There are those who believe we need to keep the law today, but they are absolutely wrong according to God’s Word. Those who claim the law has to be kept today are encouraging people to be in bondage. This was a warning that Paul gave to the Galatians (Galatians Chapter 3) and it is a warning to us as well— don’t go into bondage under the law!

Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Galatians 2:6). The law did not come until 430 years later (Galatians 3:17), but the promise to Abraham did not depend on the law, but on God’s grace (v.18). The law was added because of sin until the promised Seed came, Jesus. But, when Jesus came there was no more need for the law. The law could not give us righteousness (v.21), “But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (v.22-25).

How clear can it be? We are no longer under the law which was our guardian (a boy’s guardian or tutor, a slave who had charge of the life and morals of the boys of a family, not strictly a teacher). We are no longer held captive by the law, no, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). We are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24) “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5). “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:15-18).

Those of us who have trusted Jesus are free! Now, “do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). For those who have not trusted Jesus, you are being held captive to do the devil’s will. Oh, trust Jesus and be set free! For those seeking to keep the law, you are in bondage, not free!

Thank You Dear Father for the freedom I have in Jesus. Now, may I live faithfully.

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