Tonight, some of my employees were joking around and saying how I was a slave driver. I played along and told them that I have been easy on them so far, but I am about to crack the whip and to really make them work hard. All of us had a good laugh, but do not worry. I do not treat them like slaves. A slave has no rights and is treated as property to be used as they are forced to work.
In Galatians four, Paul brings up slavery by using allegorical terms to help get his point across.
Galatians 4:22-23 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman (slave) and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
Jews took this as I was born as a child/grandchild of Abram so by birthright; “I am considered one of Abraham’s children.” Sadly, this group was still in slavery, because they did not have faith in Jesus Christ, but rather was depending on the law. Slavery and the law go hand in hand. Man is unable to do everything that is required by the law, but even so, if you want to be under the law, then you are a slave to it and forced to work it. If you want to live by the law, you are under obligation to keep the whole law (Galatians 5:3). James says that if you fail in one point, you have become guilty of breaking it all (James 2:10). You must keep it in every point. Of course, this is impossible. Paul is just building his argument that our works cannot save ones self. Christ does the saving and since Christ saves us; we are now no longer a slave of the law, but now are set free from the law.
Without a doubt, I have to say that as I continually study the Book of Galatians it has been the eye opening event in my Christian walk. I cannot say that I was taught a works based gospel, but it was implied that I had to perform a certain way in order to prove that I was a Christian or to keep favor with God. Somehow the idea was then put in my head that the Christian life is a list of do’s and don’ts. With this thinking, the Law is then used as a score card to see how one is performing. Let’s see, “I haven’t murdered any one today.” Check! “I haven’t stolen a car today.” Check! And the list goes on, but it does not stop there. “I threw some money in the offering.” Check! “I went to church twice this week.” Check! Check! “Oh look, what a good boy I am.” This type of mentality causes you to focus on self instead of Christ.
A lot of people like to be a slave to the law, because it is about them and what they do. They know that they cannot completely keep it, but they probably do a better job at keeping it then their neighbor. One’s standard then becomes comparing to their neighbor, instead of having Christ as one’s standard. Just remember, Christ does the saving and since Christ saves us; we are now no longer a slave of the law, but now are set free from the law.
Philippians 3:9 9 and may be found in Christ, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,