Bondage (Galatians 5).

Reading Galatians 5 made me think a lot. I think a lot of times people read this verse for the ‘fruit of the spirit’ part and tend to skip the rest. This entire chapter is laying out how the old law holds no ground and the new law has taken over. It also clearly paints a picture of religious bondage and those who fall back into the traditional laws have labeled Christ as no value to them.

Christian freedom is a topic that tugs strongly at my heart and it almost seems like sometimes I’m the only one who feels this way. I’d love to find someone to understand the way Galatians teaches freedom. According to chapter 5, if you read it in context, Paul is strictly talking about the bondage of religion taking over the freedom of Christ.

I went to a Bible study once on the constellations and how each and every one of the stars represents God and his teaching. This was based on the book by E.W Bullinger, “The Witness of The Stars.” The woman teaching this painted this lovely vivid picture of the constellation Andromeda. Now, if you know anything of Andromeda, she’s portrayed as this beautiful woman in chains. This picture represents the church.

(I don’t want to get too heavily into mythology, but if you look at Andromeda and what she stands for, it’s quite interesting. Her father is the king, and she’s chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a beast. In the end, Perseus, the savior, comes to save her and then take her as his bride. As a sidenote, I’m not saying I buy into mythology, I am however, quite led to believe that everything can be used as a hint or example by God.)

From an outside source, it shows Andromeda as being, “This constellation represents the betrothed or soon to be bride of Messiah Y’shua in bondage. As with the main constellation Pisces, Andromeda represents Israel either going into bondage, in bondage (in chains), or coming out of bondage (when the chains are broken by the bridegroom).”
Fascinating, isn’t it?

This constellation shows an accurate portrayal of this woman in bondage, waiting for her soon to be husband to set her free. It isn’t a coincidence that the church is called the bride of Christ.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2

Now, keeping that in mind, we see that Christ has set us free. However, we keep throwing ourselves into bondage and expecting that somehow it’s God’s fault.
“We can’t preform miracles because that was back then and this is now.”
“God doesn’t approve of that, if you want to be a real Christian and be really blessed, you need to do better.”
“You missed Sunday school again! Don’t start slipping away. God’s going to chastise you.”
“You have to be baptized in order to really be saved.”

Constantly, we tangle ourselves in the chains of bondage.
Galatians 5:4-6 says, “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Now, this doesn’t mean a literal circumcision. Circumcision was the first thing a Jewish male had to do in order to follow the law and be a full Jew. Paul is saying here that if you put yourself back into the chains of bondage, you have fallen away from grace. When you cling to these heavy chains that keep you locked away safely in your little box of religion, you lose grace. You might have a whole lot of truth, but you have no grace. You take the reigns and say, “I can do this on my own” and tell God and his grace to step aside.

In verse six, it says that Christ has no use for laws or rules that keep them in bondage. This idea of ‘sitting in church every sunday’ or ‘doing what everyone tells you is right’ – God has no use for it whatsoever. In fact, the verse even conveniently tells us what God has a use for. The key is simply, “faith expressing itself through love”. If you don’t love what you’re doing, or if you don’t love how you’re living and feel it’s just expectation or what people say is ‘right’, then, you’re missing the point of freedom in Christ.

Now, this isn’t to say go out and get drunk every night or leave your wife. Those sins are pretty much backed up with ‘love’. You need to love. This is strictly talking about the laws of religion.

In verse 7 and 8, Paul makes an interesting transition. He says, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.”

If you read that, and look at the church today, you can clearly see who is in control. Satan doesn’t want to destroy us. He just wants to chain us and make us unusable. Verse 9 says, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” This is exactly what’s happening. Once someone throws in a few rules into play, “Oh, don’t do that. God can’t use that.” Then, the entire church chains itself.

Finally, verse 13-15 says that, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

If you aren’t loving as you should, or living out your faith through love, it’s meaningless. You’ve stepped away from grace and tried to do it on your own.

There’s no question why so many people have stepped away from the church and have gone to starting Christian groups that don’t bear the title of a church – simply because the church has strapped itself back into bondage.

Andromeda was chained to the rock because she was boasted to be the most beautiful. Because of this, she was chained to a rock to be sacrificed.

Perhaps the story has no connection to the church whatsoever, but, maybe it does. Once the church got too full of themselves and laid out all of the rules, God sent Jesus to teach them a lesson in the New Testament. Revelations predicts he’s going to do the same again once more.

Perhaps the church isn’t as ready for Him to come as they’d like to believe.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
– Matthew 7:3-5.

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One comment

  1. Dawnandmel51599@aol.com · · Reply

    Amen..Amen…Amen!!! What a privelage it was to read this. I am so glad a little birdie turned me on toward your blog. Great stuff and no your not alone in your thinking. We are set free in Christ. John 8:36~So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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