Liberty in Christ
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” - Galatians 5:1
There are two obvious things about liberty. First, liberty implies bondage, and secondly, someone risked their life to set the prisoner free. Obviously, there is no real liberty without the personal sacrifice of another.
The sad fact is that there are always cruel people waiting to oppress others. Yet, the cruelest masters of all are not political leaders, or even a dictator. The cruelest master of all is SIN! Jesus said in John 8:34, “Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.” The reason we sin is because we are slaves to sin. This sounds strange to a politically correct generation. Our society has become so familiar with the bondage of sin that we accept it as just being human. Nevertheless, we all are born in bondage to sin and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
The great news is that mankind was not left in bondage. All who believe God has a hero in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s life fulfilled all of the law of God that was against us, and then He willingly went to the cross to pay for our sins (Col. 2:14; 1 John 4:10). Christ’s great sacrifice set us at liberty.
The idea of Christian liberty scares some. There is this unbiblical idea that a Christian could sin away ones salvation because of having too much liberty. Yet, Jesus warned the people in His day of those religious hypocrites who would keep them in bondage.
I have been asked this loaded question many times, “Do Christians have the liberty to do what they want?” The answer is, yes! Otherwise it would not be true liberty. So I’ve been told, “Well I’ll get saved, and go out and do whatever sin I want since God has forgiven me, then I’ll slide into heaven.” That mentality demonstrates that the person does not know the seriousness of sin, and most definitely they do not understand the sufferings, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for sin. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13, “use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
Liberty was given so that we can love and be loved. To use liberty as a license to sin shows that the person does not have salvation nor understands God’s unconditional love. Does that sound judgmental? Then let me ask you, “Have you ever heard of a freed slave going back to play with the shackles and chains that had caused him so much pain?” In the end, the real question is about the persons “want to.” A true believer is a new person with a new heart. So the difference in their life is that God’s love changed their “want to.”
What do you want to do?
David C. Hale, pastor