Freedom in Christ
January 1, 1863, was the day that Abraham Lincoln, our nations 16th president, set in motion what will forever be known as the Emancipation Proclamation. This edict granted the right to life, freedom and citizenship to all persons regardless of race, origin, circumstance, etc.
The Lord Jesus a similar proclamation found in Luke 19:10, when he said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” When a person comes to a saving knowledge of Him and accepts His gift He gave by giving His life as a ransom on the cross. They are granted a new life, freedom from the bondage of sin, and citizenship into Heaven regardless of race, origin or circumstance.
With that in mind, tonight, we will look at 3 attributes of living w/FREEDOM in CHRIST.
Turn me with to Galatians 5:1-15
BACKGROUND-Setting the Stage
In between the visits of Paul to the Galatians, teachers from Palestine known as “Judiaizers” had insisted that Gentile believers could not be true Christians unless they followed the Jewish custom of circumcision. The Judiazers had convinced the Galatian Christians--they must adhere to the Mosiac
Law or the Law of Moses as part of their genuine conversion. The purpose for this book was to combat the heresy that was being proclaimed by these Judiazers which had concluded that the work of Christ was considered insufficient for salvation.
*ATTRIBUTE #1: Living w/Freedom in CHRIST, comes w/Accountability (vss. 1-6)
(#1) “Stand fast”perseverance
“Liberty” = derives from the word free which lends itself to mean = not a slave or under not under any restraint; “Made us Free” = exempt from liability – not accountable “Do not be entangled” [w/the yoke (pair of scales) of bondage]
(#2) “Circumcised” = LawWorks – this is a sign of subjection to the Judiazers. According to Galatians, this is a reference to a condition of salvation.
(#3) “I testify” = affirm/protest; “debtor” = moral obligation
(#4) “estranged” = destruction of growthlifephysical/spiritual – there has been a severance of intimacy. They had put themselves in a place where Christ no longer has an effect on them.
“justification” = is a judicial act of God done once 4 all; sanctification is a process which goes on throughout the course of a believer’s life. (If we could loose our salvation—then we have dumbed it down to being about Man’s Works instead of God’s grace.)
(#5) “eagerly wait” = The word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and an eager waiting for
something. Here it refers to the believer’s intense desire for and eager expectation of a practical righteousness which will be constantly produced in his life by the Holy Spirit as he yields himself to Him
(#6) “avails” = to have power, to exert or wield power “to have power, to exert or wield power.”
In the book Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer illustrates freedom and boundaries by using the example of an ocean liner leaving New York bound for England, piloted by a captain and crew who will not be taken off course. The passengers are free to roam the ship and do whatever they like—within the confines of the ship they exercise their freedom while at the same time being moved toward an ultimate destination. God’s boundaries tell us we are on His ship, heading for a heavenly port. Without boundaries, we would be lost forever.
19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. [1 Cor 9:19]
20For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had you then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Rom 6:20-23]
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever. (1 John 2:16-17)
#1: Living wFreedom in Christ, comes wAccountability
Application: Freedom in Christ does not mean we have the right to do anything we want. Rather, it does mean we have the power to do what we ought.
ATTRIBUTE #2: Living wFreedom in CHRIST, comes wAnxiety [distractions] (vss. 7-12)
(#7) “ran well” = The Galatian Christians were running the Christian race well, but the Judaizers cut in on them and now were slowing up their progress in their growth in the Christian life---by trying to distract them with legalization of salvation. (Distraction comes from your ENEMY; Direction comes from your LORD.)
(#8) This “persuasion” induces words to believe
(#9) “leaven” - Leaven is always a symbol of evil in the Bible. The Jews before the days of unleavened bread, would remove every particle of leaven from their homes. Leaven, which operates on the principle of fermentation, is an apt symbol of moral and spiritual corruption. A very small lump readily permeates the entire bread dough. Our Lord used it as a symbol of the false doctrines of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 16:6–12).--- 6Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. /
In 1Corinthians 5:6-8, Paul uses the symbol, of the immoral conduct of a few in the church which was endangering the life of the entire church, and which un-rebuked, would spread throughout that local assembly.
(#10) “judgement” – do or a tittle
(#11) “cross” = The Cross was offensive to the Jew therefore because it set aside the entire Mosaic economy (law), and because it offered salvation by grace through faith alone without the added factor of works performed by the sinner in an effort to merit the salvation offered.
(#12) “cut themselves off” = The word refers to bodily mutilation. Paul expresses the wish that the Judaizers would not stop with circumcision, but would go on to emasculation.
Illustration: Hurricane Katrina
- Sept-15-2005 - The repairs from Hurricane Katrina will be one of the largest rebuilding efforts the world has ever seen with estimates ranging up to $200 billion for rebuilding New Orleans and other Gulf Coast Cities.
- As of February 2006 an estimated 1,330 people were dead as a result of the storm.
- As of February 17, 2006, there were still 2,096 people from the Gulf Coast area reported missing.
- For the survivors, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been characterized by a mixture of grief, anxiety, and frustration. Around 770,000 people were displaced.
Hurricane Katrina devastated far more residential property than had any other recent hurricane, completely destroying or making uninhabitable an estimated 300,000 homes.
- The storm destroyed so many homes, buildings, forests, and green spaces that an extraordinary amount of debris was left behind covering 118 million cubic yards.
#2 Living wFreedom in Christ, comes wAnxiety (Distractions)
WE can stay focused if WE know the Word of God. (1 Pt 1:6-8)
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
WE can stay focused if WE know our heavenly Father intimately.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. (John 17:3-4)
WE can stay focused if WE invest our time, talent, and treasure in pursuing the kingdom of God. (Phil 3:12-14)
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We are not asked to believe the Bible; instead we are called on to believe the One who it reveals.
ATTRIBUTE #3: Living w/Freedom in CHRIST, comes w/Authenticity (vss. 13-15)
While the Galatians needed to be warned against legalism, they also needed to be warned against an opposite danger: lawlessness. Freedom in Christ should not become a license to sin (Rom. 6:15–23). Rather, it should motivate brotherly love and a willingness to serve. The whole law is summed up in the command to love (Matt. 22:34–40, which commandment).
In the 50 years since he was hanged by Hitler’s henchmen outside Flossenbürg prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has achieved impressive crossover appeal among strikingly diverse Christian traditions and has drawn the attention and praise
Bonhoeffer not only lived boldly, but also wrote boldly -- calling for a rediscovery of costly grace, genuine Christian community, self-sacrificing service to the world, and death-defying witness to Jesus Christ. And since he made good on his vision of discipleship by knowingly exposing himself to death and then actually suffering execution, discerning Christians should take notice. The secret of Bonhoeffer’s continuing appeal can be summarized in one word -- authenticity. He talked the talk and then when the fateful moment came, he walked the walk.
#3 Living wFreedom in Christ, comes wAuthenticity
20 If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also. [1 Jn 4:20-21]
Application: As believers, we are both secure and free when we choose to live in dependence on God.
Living w/Freedom in Christ comes with:
If you are here tonight and have never placed your faith in Christ – I want to invite you do so.
If there is an area in your life that you are wrestling with trusting Him about – Invite U 2 do that tonight.