Freedom. It’s ours in Christ – why Christ set us free, according to Galatians 5:1. 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. We already know this, so let’s move on to something deeper, right?
Reading the verse this morning, I was stopped by that word. Freedom. Just what is this freedom Paul tells us Christ died for us to have? Obviously, it runs contrary to a yoke of slavery. But I suggest that maybe – just maybe – this yoke of slavery is actually what we have considered freedom most of our Christian lives. And that we have been kept from living in the true freedom of Christ.
We have let the world and natural thought define our freedom – even in terms of living as Christians. For instance, we consider freedom of religion as a right to do certain things considered religious, without interference by government or others. Or freedom of expression as a right to speak out about whatever we want, whenever we want, in the way we want to, regardless of others’ wishes. You get the idea.
Is freedom in Christ really about rights on earth? Maybe government-given freedom concerns rights, but the Bible tells me Christ-earned freedom eliminated all our rights. Demanding rights to freedom of religion, expression, or anything else, reveals the yoke of slavery that binds us, the one that deceptively disguises itself as freedom. How much greater is the freedom of Christ!
Freedom in Christ (Read all of Galatians for proof) is the freedom to know God as Father, His love, and fullness of relationship with Him through Christ. It is freedom to know Him unhindered, unlimited, intimately, unconditionally, without condemnation and guilt or fear of judgment for our past, present, or future sins. It’s freedom to live in His righteousness, peace, and joy, because Jesus Christ bore our deserved judgment, condemnation, and guilt at the cross. True freedom is all this and so much more.
Freedom in Christ is not about rights and privileges, for those can be given or taken away by the whim of man. No matter what man does, however, we can never be disconnected from fellowship with our heavenly Father or His love. The Holy Spirit is in us from the moment we receive Christ’s free gift of salvation. No one and nothing can separate us from Him from the outside. None of our own bad choices, words, or actions can separate us from Him from the inside. This is true freedom!
Romans 8:38-39 NIV 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the freedom Jesus died for us to know and live in – this freedom that is so much greater than we have ever understood. Thank You, Jesus Christ, for paying it all so we could know true freedom!