“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Nineties-era country music is a treasure chest of hidden gems. I was born in 1985 in the Midwest and spent a large amount of time on my grandparents’ dairy farm. When I hear people talking about standing for something, a song begins playing in my mind— “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” sung by Aaron Tippin, written by Buddy Brock, and released in 1990. The song is a classic, and I can assure you the music video will take you right back to the nineties in a hurry.
The song speaks about finding something to stand up for, about having your own self-identity and moral code to keep from being persuaded to believe anything. Without something to stand firm in, you’re at risk of falling prey to the lies and half-truths of the world.
It’s true you’ve got to stand for something, or you will fall for anything. Many things seem good and true at first glance.
The question is: what do we, as Christians in 2020, stand firm in?
We, along with both Luther and the Galatians find the answer in the Book of Galatians. We are to stand firm in the Gospel. We are to stand firm in the work of Christ.
We stand firm in the knowledge that we are forgiven, and therefore free.
Paul asks the Galatians some pointed and important questions.
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and work miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith…?” (Galatians 3:1–5)
These are questions we can ask ourselves and as always—we find the answer in Christ.
What is turning our eyes away from Christ? Did we receive the work of Christ because of our work, or was it a gift? Are we really so foolish to believe that we are in control?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10)
So many things distract us from the work of Christ in our lives. Yet we still receive this gift of faith in spite of ourselves. We foolishly believe we are in control. Yet in all actuality, Christ gave us the gift of faith, and He prepares the service we do for our neighbor as well.
We stand firm on the rock of our salvation: Christ.
Standing firm in the Gospel means that no matter what is changing around us, we are on a firm foundation because we are standing on Christ’s works and not our own.
We stand on Christ and what He has done for us. Our foundation is not in us or what we do. Our rock, our foundation, is the one who has already been and always will be.
“He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’” Psalm 89:26
Today and every day, remember you are forgiven and therefore free. You are standing on the firm foundation of Christ. You are free on account of Christ.
Explore Galatians 1 and 2 in the Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers podcast.