Wednesday, March 29, 2017


It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

We easily refer to ourselves as a freedom loving people. Despite the fact that we aspire to freedom in our personal lives, and defend freedom among the nations of the world, still there is something about freedom that makes us uncomfortable.
It's not that we mind being free ourselves, it's mainly the thought of what others would do with their freedom if they had it.  We certainly don't want our children wandering the streets with the sense that anything goes.  We don't really believe that the teachers in our public schools should be free to teach anything they want to teach or promote any idea they want to promote.  Television and radio producers should not be free to broadcast any material they choose to broadcast, after all, there are certain limits to what can appear on our television screens.  So, though we are a freedom loving people, we are quick to say there ought to be certain limits upon our freedom.
In the scripture above, even Paul in his letter to the Galatians seems to backtrack from the implications of what his own words clearly attest. For though he makes the flat-out declaration in chapter five of Galatians, "for freedom alone, Christ has set us free." Just a few verses later in verse 13 we find him trying to qualify and circumscribe the scope of our freedom. "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh."
For though it is true that you are no longer "under the law," as Paul puts it, still he has a long list of behaviors in verses 19-21 we are to avoid: namely, "fornication, impurity, licentiousness ... enmity, jealousy, anger."  Having declared that it is for freedom and freedom alone that God has set us free, the apostle Paul immediately proceeds to tell us what we may not do in the name of freedom. Sounds like the law sneaking into freedom's house through the back door to me! We quickly try to define freedom, confine it, limit it and control it. And there we are back to law where we are more comfortable.
Ironically freedom is something we are prepared to fight for and if necessary even to die for, but once we have achieved it, we're all too anxious about the consequences of our victory.  For the truth is, we don't really trust either others or ourselves to appreciate or handle freedom when we've found it.  Freedom is a dangerous thing for those who are not concerned with the consequences of the abuse of their freedom.  God does want us to enjoy our freedom, responsibly.  
We are only free when we allow God to freely come to help us and we gratefully and joyfully trust His help instead of becoming slaves of the law.  When we turn to a yoke of slavery, we have wasted His beautiful gift to us.  We can live joyfully free lives, basking in His mercy and grace because Christ has set us free. 

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.   Romans 5:1

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