What is Freedom in Christ?
What is freedom in Christ? It seems as if many Americans think that freedom means that we can do literally whatever we want to. But, that is not what it means, is it? In the United States freedom is basically, in my opinion, freedom to do what we choose as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights and freedoms. We just need to basically obey the laws, be nice and be considerate of each other.
What about freedom in Christ, though? Are you living out your freedom in Him?
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.”
Freedom in Christ is very different from freedom in the US.
Let’s go to the Verse:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
For Christians, freedom in Christ is freedom from the bondage of sin – we can choose not to sin because sin does not have the same kind of hold on us that it did before we were reconciled back to God. It is also freedom from the ultimate penalty for our sin – Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. However, this does not mean that we will not suffer the earthly consequences of sin.
“Stand firm, then…”
In the Time of Paul
Paul is telling the Galatian church, here, that the freedom he taught them about, from sin and penalty of sin is true. There were false teachers who were trying to convince them that they had to be circumcised just as the Jews had to be beginning in the time of Abraham.
Paul had told them that under this New Covenant in Christ, a spiritual circumcision of their hearts had taken place. Also, He was telling them that the need for a physical circumcision was no longer necessary.
Now, for a person who does not have a good understanding of salvation in Christ, they may think that they have to stop using foul language, stop drinking alcohol, etc to hold onto their salvation. This is the same kind of false teaching/understanding that Paul is talking about.
Back to the Verse:
“…and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
As I said earlier, before we become Christians – trusting Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were in bondage – slavery to sin. We did not have a choice.
A yoke, as you probably know, is a part of a harness that is put on a work animal such as a horse or an ox. Then the animal can be controlled and pull a wagon, cart or plow. It is the part that goes around the neck.
Only Through Christ
We put ourselves in bondage if we think that we have to behave a certain way to maintain our Christianity. We do not lose our salvation if we sin after we are saved. Our salvation was only through the work of Christ and we did nothing to merit it. If we did nothing to merit it then we cannot do anything to lose it.
We will, however, from our hearts want to please God when we have been given this fantastically merciful gift of salvation! We did absolutely nothing to earn it, yet God has so graciously poured out His mercy and grace to save us. He has brought us from a place of enmity with Him to the place of friend of God. Out of our hearts will flow gratitude and praise to Him that will be exhibited in our lives and bring Him glory.
The best part of freedom in Christ is that we are free to glorify Him with our lives! We are free to walk closely with Him and call Him our God. We are free to get to know Him and love Him and fellowship with Him. What in this life could be better than being able to walk closely with the Creator of Everything – the Lover of our Souls – this Mighty God?!?
Things to Ponder:
- Are you living in the freedom of Christ or are you trying to obey rules and do certain things in order to “stay saved”?
- Do you know this Christ that I speak of? If not please comment and let me get in touch with you. I would love to have the joy of telling you about Him!
- Is this gratitude (mentioned above) toward God a general outflow of your heart? If not, why? What needs to change in your life?
May we walk in the freedom and peace of Christ today and every day!!