Jesus Came to Set Us Free
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” – Galatians 5:1
Freedom is very important to God (Galatians 5:1-15). He is not trying to control us, but what does it mean that it is for freedom you have been set free (v.1)?
Free people have the right to choose. You can make good choices or bad choice, but they are your choices. That’s why God put the tree He did not want us to eat in the middle of the garden. He wanted to give Adam and Eve the choice to follow Him. That’s why the father of the prodigal son allows his son to go with his half of the inheritance. God knows if you don’t have a choice than it cannot really be called love.
You Can See God’s Heart Behind the Rules
Some may argue that God hasn’t given us freedom, but instead a lot of rules. First in the Old Testament He gives Moses 10 commandments, then in the New Testament He make them harder. I would agree that the rules have in themselves have gotten harder, but God is not trying to get us to conform to rules anymore. Jesus fulfilled the law because we never could. Now that the pressure to obey is gone, we can see the heart of God behind the rules. Rules in themselves subvert dependence and deny you responsibility for your decisions. God is aiming to lead us to greater faith where are dependence is on God to keep us from going astray (v.6).
The whole offense of the cross was that we did not have to do anything to become righteous before God (v.11). Why were people going around insisting circumcision? They were trying to insist that you must do something to prove to God that you are worthy. Paul’s issue was not that circumcision (or any part of the law for that matter) was bad; it was the heart that you must earn God’s favor.
Use Your Freedom to Grow Closer to God
But, God still hates sin though. How does the command to not indulge the sinful nature fit with freedom (v.13)? We are free to indulge, but it will pull you away from love. It will hurt the heart of God. God has given us the freedom of to chose, but not every choice will end well for us. We are now free to love God and free to trust that His heart and intentions for us are God. If we truly believe this, then we will readily obey Him because we know it is good for us.
“‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23