Thursday, June 24, 2010

Freedom to Live

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our independence and Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. America’s freedom means many things but one thing is sure, we no longer live under anyone else’s rule. We are free to live under our own laws and ideals, and we are willing and able to protect ourselves against any others who may threaten our safety or freedom.

Spiritually, all of us have been offered a freedom that far surpasses that of the United States of America. Christ offers us spiritual freedom sin, which ultimately offers us eternal life with Him. We no longer have to be bound by sin. Galatians 5:1 explains, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Can you imagine the US going back to Britain to be under their rule and authority? It just wouldn’t make sense now that we’re free. Similarly, once we are saved and freed from sin by our faith in Christ and by His grace, it would be unimaginable to go back to a life living under the bondage of sin. Yet, many are lured back into ungodly behavior, and they are fooled into believing that when they are free to do whatever they want, this is freedom.

However, people thinking that they’re free when they’re living lives that are not submitted to Christ is a very prevalent deception today. In fact, when we live a life free to do whatever we want in the flesh, we become slaves to our desires. Without a life fully submitted to Christ, people are driven by the desire for material things, greed, power, position, sexual immorality, and a host of other ungodly behaviors.

Because of Christ, as believers we are able to live a life of freedom. We can live, reigning victoriously over sin. Yes, we can! Through Christ’s perfect sacrifice, we have access to have the chains and bondage of sin broken. None of this is accomplished by us—it’s all by Him. In exchange for our total dependence on Him, we are given freedom from the penalty of sin and death. We have to make the right choice though.

Paul goes on to explain to the Galatians in 5:4 that “whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” In other words, we cannot keep certain points of the law and think that we are gaining favor or freedom by doing these things. If we do think that we can do it in ourselves then we must obey all of the law, not just some. This attitude ultimately separates us from God.

Galatians 5:6 goes on to say that “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people who think that because they know scripture, go to church and/or Bible study, or because they pray, they have earned their ‘brownie points’ with God. They are often deceived into thinking that because God can forgive them, they are free to sin. My heart grieves for anyone in this state of mind and this state in life. As my note says in my Bible, “Freedom to sin is no freedom at all, because it enslaves you to Satan, others, or your own evil desires.” Again, we are free from the bondage of sin to live unselfishly, to serve Christ and others, and to bring glory and honor to the One who freed us.
As Galatians instructs us, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit should be evident in our lives by the fruit of the Spirit. Those who are truly free the bondage of sin are not difficult to identify. They are those that display the fruit of the Spirit. They show love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).

I am praying a special prayer for anyone who may be bound and entangled by sin. I pray that the Lord helps you to stand firm and sure in His perfect liberty. Free yourself from the chains and weight of sin. Trust Him to work it out. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Blessings and Love,

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