And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Galatians 3:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The world demands a lot of us. Parents, teachers, friends, bosses, and coworkers demand that we “do this” or “do that.” Sometimes, the Bible seems no different. “Set your minds on things that are above” (Galatians 3:2). “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you” (Galatians 3:5). “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Galatians 3:13). “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Galatians 3:17).
Even that only names a few of the list of demands Paul gives to the Galatians and to you and me. Often the Bible can seem very Law-heavy and demanding. It preaches the Gospel, like Paul does to the Galatians, but then Paul seems to undo it with a list of demands. Sometimes, even the Gospel can seem like a demand. “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). So what are we supposed to do? What demand does the Bible put on Christians?
None. Even here, Paul is not demanding anything of the Christian, nor anything of you. No, he is appealing to our freedom. He is rejoicing in the freedom that we have because of Christ. Jesus has done everything that is necessary and fulfilled every demand for your salvation. Nothing is left for you to do. Even repentance and Baptism isn’t for you to do, but it is God’s work. He does it all for you. He dies and rises for you. It is all His work for you, to make your salvation sure and certain apart from your works. Nothing more is demanded from you or of you. You are free from every demand and command.
What a wonderful gift to be free! How wonderful it is to have our freedom from sin. We are no longer held by sin but are raised with Christ. We are free to love as Christ has loved us. We are free to do whatever we want, in word or deed, in the Name of Jesus, giving thanks to God. We are free to focus on higher things, to glorify God, to bring our neighbor into God’s kingdom with us to set them free. We are free to be God’s means to save others. We are free from worrying about ourselves because Christ has done it all for us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Where charity and love prevail There God is ever found; Brought here together by Christ’s love By love are we thus bound. (“Where Charity and Love Prevail” LSB 845, st.1)
-Rev. Brett Simek is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hilbert, WI. He also serves as catechesis coordinator for Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.