For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 ESV
I once heard someone say, “Freedom is not freedom to do what you want but the freedom to do what is right.” Of course the next question becomes who determines what is right? As christians we believe this question and standard is answered by the Bible. Please understand that the freedom I am speaking of here is not the freedom that we adhere to as a nation but freedom in Christ. Individuals may have what they call freedom in this world but be in bondage to sin and death. All freedom is authored by God both physical and spiritual. But in reality there is no physical freedom without spiritual freedom. Sin will always places people in bondage and take away freedom …. spiritual and physical.
Paul says in Galatians, For you were called to freedom. But who is doing the calling…answer Jesus. Come unto to me, all who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give your rest. Matthew 11: 28 ESV You see there is a standard by which God will judge the world and that standard is his law. But because of sin, it is impossible to keep this law; and ultimately, we are all sentenced to punishment. In fact, we could and would absolutely wear ourselves out trying to keep this law. Christ did for us what the law could not accomplish in our lives…. make us free from the law of sin and death. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 ESV
A person might reason if the requirements of the law are fulfilled in Christ, then I am free to do whatever I want. I personally believe that the person who is genuinely freed from the consequence of their sin and love God, will not want to live in this reasoning. Paul addresses this logic by saying, Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. In Romans 6:1 he says, What shall we say then? “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!
Paul tells us we should live….as servants. But through love serve one another. What is the purpose of this service? Paul say in 1 Corinthians 9:19 “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” Paul is referring to the gospel of Jesus which is the good news to anyone who will hear it. We are to live this way in order to bring glory to God. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace; whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV
May we live in the freedom in which we have been called, never just for ourselves but with a servant’s heart, to bring much glory to God!
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David