To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
In the earliest days of Christianity, people came to the church from a variety of cultures. This resulted in much confusion and disagreement about how Gentile believers should observe the faith. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, sought to address this issue by reminding them that there is a new and transformative freedom in Jesus Christ. (See Galatians 5).
Specifically, the apostle wanted to remind them that adherence to Jewish practices was not required of the new faithful, regardless of their background. He was cautioning his audience against any attempt to earn God’s favor by behaving in certain ways and also against using those customs to judge who did or didn’t belong in the community.
Jesus had already come to fulfill the law—He gave Himself for the freedom of those who called upon Him for salvation (Matt. 5:17). But still, the temptation to be legalistic was strong back then, and it’s just as strong 2,000 years later.
Think about it
• Consider how Paul’s words might apply today. What can we do to make new Christians feel welcome and free in their newfound faith?
• In what ways have we hindered their freedom?