Galatians 5:1 (New English Standard Version)
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Freedom is one of the most important foundations of the modern world. For those of us living in the United States, the ability to freely act in terms of business, politics, speech, and religion are enormous advantages we tend to take for granted. After all, many people living in other parts of the world do not have the ability to live freely.
For countless generations, people have fought and died in the pursuit of freedom. It is such an honorable activity that we take time to celebrate their efforts each year during Memorial Day weekend. It is so important that we reflect on the selfless actions of those dedicated to liberation. But there is another Liberator we should not fail to thank this holiday weekend.
Like many of our human heroes, Jesus Christ fought and died for the liberation of all men and women. Not just within a mortal or earthly understanding of physical freedom, but a spiritual, mental, and emotional freedom from the chains that bind us to the Father of Lies. Born into the world as a lowly carpenter, Christ sacrificed His life as a blameless lamb to free each and every person on Earth. That means you too!
Christ has freed us from every form of human bondage: death, sin, and even the clutches of Hell. However, this does not mean that our spiritual battles are over. Far from it! As mortal men and women, we will always struggle with the temptations of the flesh. But thanks to the marvelous redeeming powers of Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin; we are only fallen, carnal people who may still stumble. Like the prodigal son, we are able to escape from our captors and run into the loving, open arms of our Father.
It is important to remember that freedom in Christ does not mean ‘a cover for sin’ as Peter says so eloquently in 1 Peter 2:16. Instead, we are to use our freedom to live in a way that is holy and pleasing to the King.
Many people incorrectly believe that freedom can be found by living in a way that makes them happiest. In their eyes, freedom is living according to the ways of the flesh, which are very often sinful but pleasing in the short term. By following the rules of an unrepentant heart, we not only fall deeper and deeper into Satan’s clutches, but we lose our freedom as well. After all, is the slavery to sin really ‘liberation?’
This is where Christ makes His gentle, yet powerful statement: liberty is only found through the gateway of Jesus. Following the laws of God do not remove our freedom, but instead, empower us to live in a way that truly breaks our chains. This way, we are able to function in the way Christ has designed us to function. Not as slaves to evil things, but as servants of the Lord Most High. And what a glorious function it is!
In what ways has Christ set you free in your personal, professional, and familial life? Do you truly understand the work of the Cross? How does the light of Jesus’ freedom illuminate His will for your life? Christ has set you free, my friend! Let us rejoice now and always!
Galatians 5:13 (Berean Study Bible)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (New International Version)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.