Posted by: missionventureministries | June 7, 2018

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE TRUE FREEDOM IN CHRIST? – Galatians 5:1

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. (Galatians 5:1) 

The Bible tells us that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Those who are slaves to sin cannot free themselves from it, but once we are freed from the penalty and power of sin through believing in His atoning sacrifice on the cross and making Jesus the Lord of our life, we become a different kind of slave, and find complete peace and true freedom in Christ. 

Why, then, do so many so called ‘Christians’ continue living as though they are still in bondage? It is because they are, and those with false faith do not recognize their own slavery to sin. Sin is the ultimate cause of evil, suffering and the lack of freedom. So, what does God want us to do about sin? Why does He command us to repent, and what is repentance? 

The Bible shows that repentance is a significant, personal, life-changing decision, because, repentance is characterized by an understanding of the seriousness of sin, a deep desire to be forgiven and a determined commitment to change our behavior and thoughts in order to stop sinning. Repentance is an unconditional surrender to God and to seek to do what God tells us. 

If we do not repent, we cannot be forgiven or receive the gift of eternal life and instead, we will receive the penalty of death that we deserved. But if we repent and submit to God, He will forgive and provide the help we need to change and prepare us for eternal life (Acts 3:19). 

Paul tells the Ephesians with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22–24). 

A true Christian realizes that he has been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and that he has been reborn as a complete new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian life is one of death to self and being re-born to “walk in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and that new life is characterized by obedience to Jesus who saved us. 

It is vital that we strengthen the new freed nature by continually feeding on the Word of God, and through prayer to obtain the power we need to escape the desire to return to the old life of sin. Then we will realize that our new status as slaves to Christ is the only true freedom, and we will call upon His power to “not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12). 

Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).  Freedom in Christ is the only true form of freedom, because it provides lasting freedom beyond this life. On the other hand, those with false faith are trusting in their own righteousness or religion to save them, not in Christ alone. 

A person who has experienced true freedom in Christ is called to live as His servant. The apostle Paul was an example of this, as many of his letters began with the introduction of himself as a “servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). True freedom comes from knowing Christ through genuine faith, which comes by studying His word and consequently obeying His commandments. 

Remember, sin enslaves people causing spiritual death and eternity apart from God. Knowing Christ provides freedom from the control of sin, and eternal life with Him. 

We are set free to serve Christ because Christ’s word is the truth that truly sets us free when we abide in it. When we truly believe in Christ, He gives us the desire to please Him and gives us the ability to obey Him as we walk in the Spirit who lives in us. He gives us opportunities daily to say no to sin and selfishness and to serve others with love.

The most beautiful words a Christian wants to hear from Jesus is, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21), but first make sure you are really saved. The unbelieving will never hear those words, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And recognize that Jesus is not only your Savior; He also asks:  “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).

And the most devastating words anyone believing to be a Christian will ever hear is: “Away from me, you evildoers!’ Because, “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Please know that a true born again Christian has freedom in Christ, because the Scriptures tell us: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:1-2).

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