Freedom Sets Free Galatians 5:1-6
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
When we speak about freedom in Christ, we are also talking about the fact that we must deny ourselves. Luke 9:23-26 (Here Jesus talks about taking up our cross) In reality, denying ourselves of those things sets us free from their control.
So, is the Christian life one of self-denial or freedom? The answer is “Yes!” (see also Titus 2:11-12)
As we say “no” to ungodliness and sin, God in fact sets us free from the power that sin would hold over us. So, Paul says, “For freedom Christ has set us free.”
It is a thoroughly Christian doctrine that tells us that self-denial and self-control is the pathway to true freedom.
To really believe that we must save ourselves through our own legalistic law-keeping and performance of good works is to commit ourselves to a life of abject slavery. The essence of legalism is that we must save ourselves. That is slavery. And Christ called us to be free.
2 things about trying the Law and trying to keep the Law are discussed here.
- Christ is of no value to you>
Paul sees this as an implication of legalism, “I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.” (5:3) Paul says that if you want to follow the law, then you have to keep the whole law. See also James 2:10.
- We fall from Grace
Read Galatians 5:4 again. The ultimate result of seeking salvation through law-keeping is that you will be lost. And just how do we fall from Grace? We don’t fall from grace each time we sin. (See I John 1:8)
God judges the direction of our life. He isn’t overly impressed with our spiritual highs; He doesn’t give up on us during our spiritual lows.
Falling from Grace: A lifestyle of rebellion that has repudiated Christ’s Lordship over Us. An attempt to save ourselves through our own goodness and law keeping.
What I really am interested not to know is “How am I righteous?”
The only way to truly be righteous before God is to be declared righteous through the Spirit of God.
The implication of grace, that is, what grace will lead us to do, is to live a life led by the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 3:16). Our goal is to incorporate into our life the two most Christian traits, faith and love.
Righteousness depends on God’s act at the cross and not our own good works. Right-standing before God depends on Him and not on us getting everything right.
Being right does not deliver us from sin; being in Christ does deliver us from sin. We are not saved because we are smart enough to figure everything out, or because we are so good. We are saved because we have been drenched in the blood of Christ.
Christ has called us to be free, so thus let us live as free men and women in Christ Jesus.
Please don’t misunderstand freedom.
Free people will not go on sinning so that grace may abound (Romans 6:1).
Free people do not allow freedom to be a cover-up for evil (I Peter 3:16).
Doug Haught, Minister at Cold Harbor Road church of Christ