Friday, June 1, 2012

What is Freedom Worth?

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free.” Psalm 118:5
Freedom is one thing that everyone desires.  From a nation who lives under oppression of a despotic ruler or another nation, to those who do not like the restraints of relationships that bind and hold them, everyone wants freedom.  Freedom is one of those rare commodities that if it is not used we lose.  When we fail to recognize the preciousness of our freedom and live irresponsibly freedom is threatened.  In his writing to the churches of Galatia, the apostle Paul brings to the forefront the source, security and safety of freedom in Christ Jesus:

and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  Galatians 5:1

Freedom’s Source ... by which Christ has made us free  How much is freedom worth?  God is the source of our freedom and He deems our freedom worth the price of His Son.  How much are we willing to pay?
Freedom's Security … Stand fast therefore in the liberty

How much will we pay to keep our freedom?  Will we pay the price of "standing fast" to secure our freedom?

      "Stand" = to be stationary; to persevere             "liberty" = root: not a slave … freedom

Stand fast in freedom's declared lifestyle of the good news:  Philippians 1:27 says Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…One spirit of freedom in Christ.  One mind of freedom in Christ.  Stand fast by working the works of God for the Lord Jesus Christ.  To pay the price of "standing fast" for freedom in Christ is never in vain.

Freedom's Safety … do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage
How much will we pay to keep our freedom?  Will we pay the price of "self control" to remain safe in our freedom?  Freedom is never about loose living with no restraints, guidelines or measures; it is about living responsible lives within the freedom we have been given.  Freedom = Responsibility.

·      The word "entangled" means to be ensnared; trapped (NLT = don't get tied up again).
"bondage" means to be a slave in slavery.
Paul's affirmation is a negative command of "do not" ... do not be tied up again, or do not put yourself back into the bondage of which you have been freed from.  I believe he speaks to living "self controlled" lives so that we do not allow the sin that once held us captive to hold or enslave us once more.

·     "yoke" = beam of balance
The scales of freedom must weigh heavily in our lives.  It must outweigh the things that bind and take us away from our freedom in Christ.  Living in freedom's safety is not giving in to the authority of Sin … but the authority of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:12 says All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Living in freedom’s safety is not lifting up sin … tipping the scales … but lifting up Christ.
All things are lawful for me...but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23

by entrance into some higher servitude."  - Phillips Brooks

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,

Freedom at what price we ask? 
"No man in this world attains to freedom from any slavery except
Scripture to Claim
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthians 15:58

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