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“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? … Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?“— Galatians 3:1-3

Certain people once lived under a rigid and complicated code of religious, moral, and ethical laws; even the slightest deviation could be punishable by death.

Then, a respected teacher and spiritual leader came along—one of their own. What he taught was rooted in their ancient belief system, yet so radical that it revolutionized their thinking.

They began to cast off elements of their laws. Without intending to, they launched a revolution, and a new movement grew.


Never before had they experienced such liberty!

But freedom can threaten an existing order, and this was no exception. Authorities challenged the new beliefs. People began to be afraid of their freedom. Maybe it was too good to be true. Maybe we’re turning away from too much of the law. Maybe it’s not right. Maybe it’s not even true. Doubt crept in, and with it, bits and pieces of the old ways.

They began to lose their freedom.

Their teacher was so upset that one day he cried to the people, citizens of Galatia, “O foolish Galatians!”

He was appalled, frustrated, and burdened for his brothers and sisters. Since his own conversion, he had devoted his life to teaching them about Jesus the Messiah and what it means to live under grace and freedom.

He understood laws, social conventions, and religious expectations. “I was a member of the Pharisees …I obeyed the law without fault,” he said. Been there, done that. He knew the danger.

How easily we slip back and burden ourselves with unnecessary rules, laws, and social conventions. In our attempts to be religious, we forget that Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.”

Nowhere did God set down dress codes, music codes, building codes, social conventions, or lists of rules upon which to hang our salvation.

Jesus hung on the cross.

That was enough.

He desires nothing less than our total and absolute freedom to live for Him and to allow Him to live through us. If we concentrate on loving and knowing Him and loving others, we will know what it is to be free!

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Pastor Ray Bentley

Love God. Love People. Pastor Ray Bentley lived by those words. His love for the Lord and the people he served was demonstrated every day through his actions, leadership, ministry, teaching, sharing, and caring.

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