All About Liberty - Galatians 5:13-15

All About Liberty

What does liberty truly mean? We use this word often. In the Navy, being granted ‘liberty’ means you are free to roam around for a few days on shore after coming off of a ship. As Americans, we often hear Patrick Henry's quote delivered in a speech in 1775, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” The use here was about the need for standing up a militia put the colony in a posture of defense. What about the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia? This is a symbol of American Independence when it was rung on July 8, 1776, during the reading of the new Declaration of Independence that was signed on July 4, 1776.

Liberty is used in many different contexts. Webster's definition is the quality or state of being free, such as the power to do as one pleases, the freedom from physical restraint, and even the power of choice. 

Galatians 5:13-15
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Christ has given us liberty. We have the power to choose eternal life. We have the freedom from the physical restraint of sin in our lives. We have the power to do as we please in Christ. Paul says that we are CALLED to freedom. Called to the grace of God that provides us the opportunity to be free.  As mentioned, we have the power of choice within the freedom of Christ. But that doesn’t mean we need to go out and do whatever we feel like with the mindset of, “Well, I’ll just be forgiven anyways.” Don’t let sin have a foothold. We are called to freedom and to serve through love. Yes, we have the power from the restraint of sin as well. But the power given comes from the Holy Spirit. 

Without love, we are nothing. Faith without love accounts for nothing. Paul then emphasizes Matthew 22 with the call to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, there are times when siblings disagree, as churches and other Christians also may disagree, but we are still family under Christ. We shouldn’t tear each other down and devour them for our gain. We are to love one another and build each other up in the Lord. Our personal love for Christ allows us to have faith. Then through faith, we gain freedom. 

Liberty comes from love. Because God loved us, He sent Jesus. Because Jesus loved us, He died and rose again, allowing us access to the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit loves us, we have the freedom and liberty to have an intimate relationship with the Divine Trinity. 

Warren Wiersbe said, “What God the Father planned for you, and God the Son purchased for you on the cross, God the Spirit personalizes for you and applies to your life as you yield to Him.”

Remember that we have freedom because of love, but we are to use this to grow God’s kingdom. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Love the will of God and allow the Holy Spirit to personalize your walk with our Lord. So, let us be obedient to the God’s calling in our lives and let the Holy Spirit guide our steps because we are FREE. 

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