October 25, 2023
In speaking about the rights of American citizens, Benjamin Franklin once said, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the law of God and nature.”
As citizens of heaven, we have the right to be free! Some have called the book of Galatians our spiritual “Emancipation Proclamation.”
Being free is a Christian’s birthright! It is one of the main themes that runs through the book of Galatians. Paul said, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Early in the book we learn that freedom has been purchased at a high price. As Paul writes the opening welcome he says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:3-4).
Our deliverance is fully attributed to the one who “gave himself for our sins.” He gave Himself for us upon a rough Roman cross with the intention of setting us free from our sins. Every believer has come into the wonder of this magnificent reality. We are indeed free from sin!
Sadly, there are those who don’t want you to enjoy Christ! They were around in the early church, and they are still around today. They insist that the work of Christ upon the cross is not enough. It is what Paul calls “another gospel” or a “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6-7).
They were coming around the believers to trick them. “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—” (Galatians 2:4).
Any addition or deviation from faith alone in Christ for salvation from sin is an attempt to bring God’s people into slavery.
Because of our nature and because of the appeal of rules, it is easy to fall under the enemy’s spell. The Galatian believers had received Christ by faith alone. They were freed and justified before God. So Paul pointed his figurative finger at them and asked with earnest concern, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1).
As you read down the chapter, you find that they were saved by faith and were saved through the power of the Spirit, but were deluded into thinking that they could continue the Christian life by the flesh. This is a terrible mistake for any believer to fall for. It reduces our lives to performance Christianity.
Living in freedom requires persistent steadfastness. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Christ did not set us free for bondage but for freedom. If we, like the Galatians, are going to enjoy it, we must take a firm stand against falsehood and for the truth.
The one big danger with enjoying freedom is the possibility of abusing it. After telling them to stand firm in their freedom, Paul says, “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).
Don’t use your freedom in Christ as a license to sin. To do that would only be a different kind of bondage. Rather, live out your freedom by serving each other in love. Seek out the welfare and blessing of those around you.
Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival among us.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel