Liberty in Christ
This Sunday we covered Galatians 5:13-18 which spoke of our Freedom or Liberty in Christ. While the first part of the chapter deals with the freedom that Christ has purchased for us through his life, death, resurrection, and vs. 13-18 deal with the practical outworking of the freedom that we now have.
Much like zombie stories that tell tales of people waking up in a new reality, Christians are regenerated and spiritually awake to the new reality of our life in Christ. And now the Holy Spirit is leading us into the new reality / new creation.
So, what does Christian Freedom look like? It does not look like selfish living in the pursuit of pleasure, money, notability, or anything else that our “flesh” or lures of immediacy promise. Although Christians are free from the law and it’s stipulations in regards to our righteousness before God, we are now compelled by a new reason and have a new target for our affections.
Paul’s emphasis on Freedom here in chapter 5 essentially says no matter how free we are the underlying fact of the Christian life is that we are not our own. We never have been, we are weak people who have been redeemed by a strong God, Christians are not their own.
This is the paradox that Paul is putting forth, YOU ARE FREE , but not in the way the world thinks of freedom, in that we are the masters of our fate and captains of our destinies, rather the true christians freedom is found in the other worldly way of serving other people out of love.
Only a free person can genuinely love other people. Why? Because they don’t enter a relationship with the pretense of being served (meet my standards so that I can get what I need), rather they are able to enter a relationship with the desire to serve (my needs have been met, I owe nothing to you but freely give of myself). (phil. 2:3-8)
We are compelled by the Spirit of God which holds onto us in order to direct, inform and guide our whole life. Although verse 17 says that there is a part of our internal being that still desires to run from God and pursue sinful desires. But through submitting to the desires of the spirit we have a way to combat the desires that are against God himself.
This is the Christian life, the New Reality we find ourselves in, one where our selfish ambitions are not central, rather Love for God and Love for others are central. Christ’s law abiding life, and sin bearing death has fulfilled the law so that we could be counted righteous before God. And the righteousness fully provided for us through Christ allows us to stop looking to people for only what God can provide, righteousness, full acceptance, purpose, and lasting hope.
May our freedom lead us to love others, rather than using our freedom to indulge in what Christ has died for.