“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?