It Is For Freedom That Christ Has Set Us Free

chain” For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

We are free in Jesus if we have trusted in Jesus as our personal Savior. Free from the ultimate penalty of sin. We have been redeemed; we are no longer slaves to sin. We now belong to God. We are His and there is no changing it. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! What joy! This is indeed a blessing, as it is only in Jesus that we have true freedom.

True freedom is Jesus buying us by His precious blood, so we are free to be the person God created us to be. This is a person who enjoys a personal relationship with God. This is a person who by the power of God can live a righteous life. This is a life that is free from guilt, fear, and worry. It is for freedom that He has set us free. God wants us to enjoy liberty in Him.

“Stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Jesus has set us free, but we have choices. We have free will and can choose how we are going to live. This verse makes it clear that we can continue to live as slaves to sin. When we continue to live a life that is controlled by anything other than the Spirit and Truth, we are submitting to slavery.

A freed prisoner generally looks forward to their independence. Most of us would think it incredulous to leave prison just to move into a studio apartment and by choice imprison ourselves there. After being incarcerated, I would think that I would want to eat out, explore nature, and visit with friends and family without constraint. It would seem odd for an ex-prisoner to stay in a small apartment, alone, virtually locked up by their own choice. But this is the choice many Christians make.

We have freedom in Jesus to move away from the hold sin has put on us. We can now feast on the riches of Christ, explore the goodness of God, and visit with God and others without constraint. We have a new life and new opportunity. We are now at liberty to enjoy and explore. Let us make the most of the opportunity by choosing to live by the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:16-26).

We have a choice. Living by and walking with the Spirit is freedom. In Him will exhibit the character of a truly free person. The fruit of the Spirit will be the fruit of our lives. The old person that was bound by sin is powerless, and we do not have to go back to old familiar patterns. We have been given true freedom. The freedom to do what is right.

Jesus, Our Savior and Redeemer, Thank you for saving me from slavery to sin. Please give me the will, the desire and the strength to continue to live by the Spirit. Do not let me look back at my sinful past in a nostalgic way. Remind me of the bondage and the pain that the old life put me through and put you through. Let me cling to what is good. Let me be free!

The Freedom To Do What Is Right

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:16-17
Many Christians today are proclaiming that Jesus gives us freedom. I agree, but they mean something different. By a weird twist, some extend this freedom to allow immorality and sin. This selfish idea of freedom is not what God intended. We have distorted true freedom and replaced it with narcissism.
True freedom is the ability to do what is honorable and noble. What is honorable and noble is defined by God and not by people. Living by the Spirit, with His ideals, will, and motives as our standard, is true freedom. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:18). The law was condemnation and living in the Spirit is freedom. God’s freedom gives us the ability to rise above the corruption that resides within our fallen selves and live the abundant life in Jesus.
It seems odd that Christians, followers of Jesus, would want to go back to a life of slavery, but many are choosing bondage. Whole churches and denominations are condoning or covering up sin issues that cause serious harm. I believe it is because many have an incorrect view of freedom. I have met Christian’s who believe that freedom is the right to live their lives in any way they choose and still have God’s blessing. They believe that loving others means that we tolerate their sin. It seems that a prevailing belief is that Jesus’ biggest concern is that we should feel good. But these ideas do not lead to freedom, but rather to oppression.
How is sin and bondage defined? It is defined by God. He did not leave us guessing. There are signs that indicate slavery to sin. “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). This is a list of some of the things we find in the lives of those that are oppressed.
These are things that should not be habitually practiced by the children of the King of Kings. We have all of the resources we need to live well and to enjoy our freedom. Why do we choose to live bound by the limits of sin?
In my next blog, I will continue to discuss the freedom to do what is right.

Dear Lord, Give me the strength I need to stand true to your values and principles. Give me the power of the Spirit so I can remain in your will, living in freedom. Constantly remind me of the resources you have provided for me. Let me use them for your glory and for the benefit of those around me. Keep me from abusing my freedom and causing harm to others. I love you Lord and thank you that I am free in you?