Sep. 19, 2022

It was for freedom that Christ set us free

Galatians 5:1-12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

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

Look! I, Paul, tell you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who has himself circumcised, that he is obligated to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by the Law; you have fallen from grace. For we, through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough10 I have confidence in you in the Lord, that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear the punishment, whoever he is. 11 But as for me, brothers and sisters, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been eliminated. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even emasculate themselves.


Today’s text says: It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  If it is for freedom that we are set free by Christ, we need to understand what freedom really is. We also need to understand what it is or was that we were enslaved to or by, so we can avoid being subject to its yoke again. Romans 8:2 says: The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  Those three things both individually and collectively are what we are free from, the Law, sin and death. Beginning with death, John 3:16 says: God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.  We are freed from the natural order of death having been given eternal life through faith in Christ.

We are freed from the Law, that is the responsibilities and consequences of the Law, not because the Law is no longer valid, but because Jesus fulfilled the Law for us, freeing us from it. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says: “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished! Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  We are only freed from the consequences of the Law if we believe in Christ and His fulfillment of it for us. There is also a spiritual law which we have been freed from. Romans 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. That sin brings about death, not only physical death, but also spiritual death is a law that has no expiration. It was, is and always will be valid. We are only freed from it in Christ Jesus.

Finally, and equally important, we are freed from sin. We are not free to continue in sin. We are free from the bondage of sin. Sin is an evil taskmaster, never leaving us satisfied, always wanting more. Jesus has freed us from sin. Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.  As we delight in and focus on the Lord, we are freed from our lustful desires of the flesh. Are hearts become aligned with the heart of God and in Christ we are fully satisfied, having all that we need. James 4:7-8 says: Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Our freedom from sin does not come to us by our ability to resist the devil. It begins with our submission to and our drawing near to God. In John 14:15;23  Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments… If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.”  When we come close to God and submit to Him, keeping His commandments not because of the Law but because of love, the devil will flee, not because of us, but because of the One who is with us and who has already defeated him.

Look at the freedom we have abiding in and dwelling with Christ according to the psalmist in Psalm 91: One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who rescues you from the net of the trapper And from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the plague that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that devastates at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the retaliation against the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, The Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will happen to you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels orders concerning you, To protect you in all your ways. On their hands they will lift you up, So that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will walk upon the lion and cobra, You will trample the young lion and the serpent. “Because he has loved Me, I will save him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a long life, And show him My salvation.” Amen. It was for freedom that Christ set us free. In John 8:36 Jesus says: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. I am free! Amen.