“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” – Galatians 5:13-15.
In our society today the definition of freedom has become distorted. The world has confused freedom with indulgence. Christians are called to freedom (Galatians 5:13-15). Yet we are not to use our freedom as a excuse or license for self-indulgence. Freedom is not a permission slip.
It is easy to fall into what Andy Stanley calls our sin bucket mentality. Every day we fill our sin bucket and that evening we ask God to forgive us our sins, thus emptying our bucket. Then we go about filling the bucket again the next day. Yes, we have freedom, and yes God will forgive, but freedom isn’t a license to continue filling our sin bucket.
True freedom is never freedom from responsibility, but responsibility not only for choice, but right choices. True freedom flows out of total commitment to Jesus Christ. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:35) In turning control of our lives over to Him, we find true freedom—the freedom to be what we were designed to be. Using our freedom to indulge ourselves never really satisfies us as an individual or as a group.
There was a far higher cost paid for the freedom that you and I enjoy in Christ. You and I must never take for granted His mercy, love and grace. We are free in Christ. There is no other freedom like it. No king, nation, president, congress, senate, or supreme court can steal it, remove it, or destroy it. We are held firmly in His hand: “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36) And Jesus will not only make you free, if you let Him, He will keep you free.
- How would you have define Christian freedom?
- How does Galatians 5:13-14 define Christian freedom?