Freedom

Freedom:

1.  the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.

2.  exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

3.  the power to determine action without restraint.

4.  political or national independence.

5.  personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

To be free is to no longer be held back or down by anything else, to be able to make a choice rather than be forced into an action.

We read last week about the law and its limitations, but that Jesus gives us freedom from the things we have got wrong.

Galatians 5:1, 13-25

Christ Gives Freedom

Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.

13 My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. 14 All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. 15 But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals, you had better watch out or you will destroy yourselves.

God’s Spirit and Our Own Desires

16 If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.

19 People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. 20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.

22 God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23 gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. 24 And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. 25 God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit.

Now we are reminded that with freedom also comes responsibility of how we use it.  If I am free to do anything then the temptation is there to do so.  But,

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

Freedom in God means that we are released from the power of the things we might want to do, freed from our inability to say no.  Such freedom should be used to serve and to love.  If we are no longer held captive by the things we shouldn’t be doing, and are given choice, we can choose to do good things – those things that God would choose for us.

Our own way leads us to all those things in verses 19-21.  God’s ways take us to the things in verses 22-25.  Because Jesus death has freed us from the hold that life can have, we are free – free to choose – and he shows us the right way, and enables us to follow it.

I know which way sounds more life-enhancing and enriching.  I pray for God to make me strong to make the right choices.

Lord
I thank you for the freedom you give me;
that I am no longer need be caught up
in all the things that might seem attractive
but are wrong.
Lord,today and every day
help me to make the right choices,
choices that are life enhancing
for me
and all those around me.
Forgive me
my wrong choices
and the effect they have had on others,
give me your strength I pray

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