Being Set Free (Galatians 5:1-26)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

This past week I read the story of a Iranian  man who converted to Christianity.  He has sought and received asylum in the United States.  Here is a small sampling of what he said during a Fox News interview, “Following Christ means that I am now a target of radical Islam.  Even here in the United States I fear for my life.”

Question, “Is your life better or worse as a follower of Christ?”  This may seem like a strange question, but it is a legitimate question.  Consider our More For Christ readings, the Apostle Paul speaks with authority when he writes, “Stand firm.”  The truth is, it is not a cakewalk to follow Christ.  The people in Galatia were facing legalistic Jews who were teaching false doctrine and they were exerting pressure to emphasis their point.  Here is and outline of Paul’s response:

1.  Stand firm in your freedom, Vs: 1-15

Notice the contrast:  If we do not stand firm we are trying to live life apart from grace.  If we do not stand firm we will try to live in a way that will not be approved by God.  However, if we do stand firm we live by faith.  This faith brings freedom and this freedom evidences itself in love for God and love for our neighbors.

2.  Stay focused in your freedom, Vs: 16-26

Living a free life is not easy but it is effective.  The freedom we possess must be protected from the attacks of the flesh that would remove us from a place of freedom.  This life demands a focus that understands the war that is taking place.  This life demands a focus that clearly seeks to walk in the Spirit.  Such a person is led by the Spirit into a life that evidences the presence of the Spirit through 9 distinctions (Vs: 23-24).

One of the distinctions is peace.  Certainly our Iranian  brother faces a legitimate threat to his life, but in Christ he has been set free to have peace in his circumstances.

Brothers and sisters, here is where real faith comes into play.  Those who have truly been set free live a life that not only acts correctly but also thinks correctly.

Question:  “What are those things that hold you in bondage in your mind?”  Submit them to God’s Spirit.  Seek His answer to these issues in your mind.  Stand in the freedom of what He says.  This is truly a free life.

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