April 19, 2019
Freedom… that word is said and used a lot here in our society. “I have freedom of speech, you can’t tell me what I can and can’t say.” “I have the right to a gun, its my second amendment”… we have the freedom to choose. I mean face it, people in general don’t like to be told what they can and can’t do, typically if they are told they can’t do something they are more inclined to do that something.
Is our relationship with Christ also based on freedom? The freedom to choose what we do and don’t do? The two big things that I hear are 1) we may have freedom to choose but we are still humans and are still sinful and 2) following Christ, there is no freedom, it’s all a bunch of rules and guidelines to follow.
In our relationship with Christ, there is still that freedom. This is what Paul says at the beginning of the chapter, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 Did you catch that? “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (died for us). So if we understand Paul correctly, we did not have freedom before that, and if you don’t know Christ then I’d say you still have no freedom. But Paul doesn’t stop there, he goes on to say “do not let yourselves be burdened again…” So if this “freedom” is found in Christ and by focusing on Him and not our flesh, then what is stopping us?
Back to those questions that I mentioned, 1) we are still humans, we still do have that sin nature… but how long are you going use that crutch to justify and mark it as “ok” in your mind?” Paul tells us that Chrsit wants us to be free and to not be burdened with what enslaved us in the past. Paul writes in the book of Corinthians, “we are a new creation, the old is dead and now we have new life.” 2) most people who say those things have never personally experinced God. If the end result in your life after choosing to follow God is “there are so many rules and no freedom,” then you also aren’t experiencing God. God has so much He desires to do for us, to work through us, and to show us, if we just allow Him the opportunity.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 Are we walking by the Spirit?
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 Are we living by the Spirit?
Paul gives us two sets of lists, they aren’t exhaustive, but it helps to paint the picture of what a life geared towards Christ looks like… and what a life geared towards flesh looks like.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 “Against such things, there is no law…” Paul is just reiterating that these things that God commands us to do/be is freedom, there is law against these things because they are good. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:18 Go with the Spirit and find freedom, go with the Spirit and be changed, go with the Spirit and find life.