GALATIANS 5 v. 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.’
Paul bridges all of his doctrinal, ‘belief’, concerns (that it is ‘faith in Christ’, not works of piety/rules, which brings salvation) into the final two chapters concerning the outworking, ‘practice’ of such faith – what it should look like in daily living, whole-life discipleship – with this wonderful verse.
Simply put, it underlines what Jesus has done for us, and our response.
Jesus sets us free, and if we are freed by Him, we shall be ‘free indeed’ (Jesus’ own words in John 8 v. 36).
The freedom Jesus brings is freedom from sin, shame, guilt; freedom from self-righteousness, of it all being about what we can (or rather ‘can’t’) achieve; freedom from the past, a new life, ‘the old has gone’; freedom from living to please others, or even trying to earn God’s favour; freedom to be who were always designed/created to be.
And our response – we must ‘stand firm’, protect this freedom, guard it well, for it is vulnerable to attack, we can so easily drift from it, so we must be vigilant, careful, determined to ‘live free’ continually, and not be bound by anything that is thrown at us.
Christ has set us free to experience freedom, not any other form of slavery, or being bound.
He will now go on to spell out what this freedom looks like, every day.
thank You for paying the price
for my freedom.
Free me today
from all that seeks to lay hold of me,
and stifle me
as I seek to live for You
and for You alone.
Free me to love You,
to love others
and to self
and so fulfill
Your purpose in my life.
Consider (and perhaps write down) those things / issues / people / situations which you sense have an unhealthy hold on you, which at times bind you and make you feel trapped (enslaved). Speak them out to God, and ask for an awareness of how the Son of Man might set you free, completely free, from them (it doesn’t always, or even often, mean that those situations change, but our response and reaction to them, and the hold they might have over us, could be changed, in Christ).