Galatians 5:1 KJV
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Stand fast. Unmovable. Unshakeable. Unrelenting. Don’t allow anything to move you away from the Liberty that you have found through the grace of God. The words stand fast are actually one word in the Greek – stékó. It has the connotation of persevering or persisting. Paul is telling the Galatians, and us, not to give up on the message of grace. Stay in that freedom that Christ brought to us through His sacrifice. This liberty did not come by anything or any work that you did. The only thing you applied was your faith and even that was a gift of God. Once you have accepted the loving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ you must stay in that place of trusting Him through every situation, every circumstance, every trial, every test, every false doctrine and any other thing that would separate us from this truth. The enemy wants to make your salvation complicated. He wants to add rules to it so you are less likely to feel saved. He wants to convince you that you must do more to earn God’s favor. Nothing could be further from the truth. God loved us way before we loved Him – He loved us while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8)
The words standing fast remind me of Psalm 1. We are like a tree planted by the waters when we do those things that are mentioned in this psalm
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Walk not in the counsel of the ungodly but stand fast in His grace. Do not stand with sinners or stand in their way to receive Christ. Stand fast in the message of grace for all mankind. Do not sit in places where people are always grumbling or complaining. Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has given you Christ. Stand fast in His word and meditate in it day and night.
Standing fast means to keep ourselves pure and undefiled from the world and from the bondage of sin and the law. We should never allow ourselves to fall into a place where we think our works or something that we do is what is keeping our salvation alive. Don’t get me wrong! As we talked about before works are necessary but they still do not provide us our salvation. It is grace that provides us our salvation and I do not want to get to a place where I think my works are what is pulling me through to heaven because that will never be true.
If I start to rely on works then I am relying on myself to get to heaven and I cannot get myself to heaven. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can get me there. Relying on myself is only Pride. Pride says I’ve got to do something to get to heaven. The human being inside of me wants to feel that I’ve accomplished something. And by accomplishing that I have earned my right to heaven. But the truth is we cannot earn our right to heaven. No matter how much work we do, no matter how much time we give, no matter how much labor we put into our church. If we are relying on those works to set us free then we are in trouble.
Galatians 5:1 also reminds me of the armor of god mentioned in Ephesians chapter 6. Tells us when we’ve done all then we need to stand.: Eph 6:13 says Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
No matter how much we do and how much we prepare ourselves standing in his presence and on his grace opens up the doors of Heaven for us. When we stand, He prepares us for the spiritual warfare that is ahead (v 12). The armor include righteousness, truth, the gospel, faith, salvation and the Word of God. All of these things are supplied by God, not us. Our works do not produce these things. Christ produces them in us. The Holy Spirit brings them alive within us. In this warfare that we are in, the enemy wants more than anything to make us think we can earn our salvation – that we are worthy, that we are like God. That started in the Garden and continues to this day. When we have the whole armor of God on and we have done everything we can do standing in His Grace is what saves us. Standing in His Grace is what gives us Liberty. Standing in His Grace is what gives us freedom.
There’s one more verse that comes to mind when I think of standing fast. And it is a very simple verse that has been speaking volumes to me lately.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
When we are busy working and doing things for God we can lose sight of God. Our senses are so full of the world around us that God can be secondary to the works. We’ start relying on our works to gain us some kind of favor. Maybe it’s favor from our pastor, the board or visitors coming to the church. Now again don’t get me wrong. God is pleased with our works but not to the extent that we should rely on them to please Him. What pleases God is our love for one another and our praise to Him. This verse tells us that when we are still, He will be exalted. That should be the goal in our lives – to exalt Him above all else.
So often we get off on our own little bunny trails during the things that we want to do and we forget about the things that God wants us to do. The only way to truly know what God’s will is in your life is to stop and to listen. Being still before him opens me up to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. The distractions of the world are set aside and I have an opportunity to commune directly with God. That’s when I’ll know him more intimately. Those are the times that He will reveal himself to us. Those are the times that he longs for. He wants to be with us in the quiet of the day or the stillness of the night. Oh, how I long for those moments.
Persevere, be persistent- stand fast in the liberty, in the freedom, that has been supplied by Jesus. Nothing should distract you, nothing should stand in your way. Determine that you will always acknowledge the work of grace in your life and be at peace in your walk with Him. That is the way it should be.