“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 ESV
Growing in up we are told, if we study we get As, if we work hard we get paid good.
We are also told, when you disobey God is angry at you. But mom and dad will always love you.
1- FREED FROM WHAT?
Paul in this moment of the letter is reminding the Galatians that they have been set free from the law, so now they must walk in freedom.
Some people think that the law is evil, that it is something that would hurt us.
- We know that the law is not to blame for our sin.
The law does not cause sin, it just manifests it. The law is not bad, on the contrary, God’s commandment is holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12).
“So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.”
Romans 7:12 ESV
- If the law is good, why Paul is saying that we need to be set free from it?
The law is not the problem, the law is perfect. The problem is with us. We are the ones who are unrighteous and unable to fulfill it.
Once we are unable to fulfill the law, it becomes an unbearable burden for us.
Those who seek to please God by keeping the commandments of the law live under constant condemnation and anguish.
Although they are believers, they have no peace of heart, as they are always feeling that they need to do something to appease the wrath of God. Despite being saved, they still live as slaves.
- The law is a bondage from which every believer must be set free.
Paul says, do not submit to slavery again after you have been set free. Do not accept living in prison after you are released.
“For freedom Christ has set us free” Gal 5:1
In other words, “Christ has set us free so that we are truly free.” Our previous life was slavery, Jesus Christ is our liberator, conversion is our letter of freedom, we can no longer subject ourselves to living a life that is not one of full freedom.
To the surprise of many believers, our freedom is not, in the first place, a deliverance from sin, but rather a deliverance from the law.
Christian freedom is freedom from the tyranny of the law, from the terrible struggle to keep the law with the intention of pleasing God.
- “To be set free from the law is to be set free from having to please God.”
2- STOP TRYING, START TRUSTING
Free from the law = Free from having to please God.
“For sin will have no dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
Every believer needs to be delivered from sin, but he first needs to have an experience of being delivered from the law.
- Grace means that God does something for me. The law means that I do something for God.
If the law means that God requires something from me, then being released from the law means that He does not require anything from me anymore, because He Himself made the necessary provision.
If the law implies that God requires me to do something for Him, being freed from the law implies that He has already done everything for me by His grace. So I don’t need to do anything to be accepted by God or to please him. Because of the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross, He is already at peace with me.
When we accept Jesus, we understand well that we are saved by grace and that we do not need to do anything to obtain God’s favor except to believe.The problem is that after we become Christians, we begin to believe that we need to do something to please God.
This attempt puts us immediately under the law.
- Dead to the law, Alive in Christ
In the book of Romans chapter 7, Paul speaks about the bondage of the law, and the illustration is that of two husbands and a wife to show the relationship we have with the law.
Imagine a man with a strong and demanding personality. He is a perfectionist to the extreme and demanding to the last degree. This man, however, is married to a slothful woman. For him everything is defined and precise, but for her everything is transformed into a big mess.
How can there be joy in such a home? This woman lives an unhappy life with such a husband. Although the husband is so demanding, no one can condemn him, because he is correct in all his actions.
The man is not to blame, the problem is that his wife does not have the capacity to fulfill all his demands.So the woman is in anguish: everything she does is always wrong, she lives under a constant feeling of condemnation and accusation.
Her husband even went so far as to create a summary of ten points for which he wishes to be pleased. But she just can’t keep up with all the points and that makes her feel miserable and unworthy.
The woman wants to marry another man. The other man is no less demanding, but he helps her fulfill her duties. What can she do? As long as the husband is alive, she is bound to him by law. Unless he or she dies, she cannot marry another.
You already understood that in our story the husband is the law, the other man is Christ and we are the woman. The law demands a lot from us and does not offer us any help in complying with the requirements.
The Lord Jesus does not demand less, in fact He demands more, but what Jesus requires, He Himself fulfills in us.The way to freedom for the woman is in the death of the first husband, the law, but we know that he cannot die.
“For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18 ESV
Since the law will continue for eternity. How can I get to connect with Christ? There is only one way out: if the husband does not die, then we have to die.
In this way, Christ included us in his death. When He died, we died with Him.
“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4 ESV
So, we see that when we were crucified with Christ, we were not only freed from an old master, sin, but we were also freed from an old husband, the law. Both sin and the law continue to exist, but I died and so I am free from them.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 ESV
- What to do now? If there are people that use this freedom to sin even more.
3- PREACH CHRIST
- The love of God
Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom; we, however, preach Christ crucified..
1 Corinthians 1: 21-24 NIV
“For I have decided to know nothing among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2: 2 NIV
Crucifixion was the greatest expression of Love towards us. We need to understand this, because when we choose to know nothing but Christ crucified all that will come out of us will be God’s love.The way we behave, what we do will change. We no longer think only in ourselves but also of the people around us. We love them.
We are no longer selfish, but we are selfless. We no longer do only what we like, but we seek to see what needs to be done, what Love would do.
- Christ in us
Instead of condemnation remind them that Christ is in them.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 ESV
Husbands, wives, can you please look at your spouse right now. Can you touch them, can you believe that Christ is in them. When you speak to each other you are speaking to Christ and through Christ.
Instead of trying to convince your brother and sister that they shouldn’t go to clubs and get drunk, or that they shouldn’t sleep around with people, or that they shouldn’t sin.
Remind them that every time they are doing such things and are in such places, Jesus has not left them, Jesus will not leave them.
Jesus is in them, and they know that Jesus would not submit to anything less than God’s perfect will. You also, should not and need not to submit your life to anything less.
Jesus is in us, lets live out the life of Jesus.
We have tried to preach “do’s” and “donts” trying to achieve holiness, the truth is.
- “If preaching Christ doesn’t lead people into holiness, then nothing else will.”
So what does it mean to be freed from the law in a practical way?
Regarding the law, we have three types of people:
1. The first type is the legalist.
He is a slave to the law, he believes that his relationship with God depends on his obedience to the commandments of the law. He never feels at peace with the Lord, because he is always in debt. He will never be able to keep the law to be accepted by God and that is why he lives under the curse of the law.
⁃ They need to stop trying and start trusting. They need believe that God is already pleased.
2. The second type is the antinomian or libertine.
I know that antinomian is a difficult word, but it is composed of two particles: “anti” and “nomos”. Anti means against; nomos means law (in Greek), so antinomian is one who lives without law or is against the law. They believe that there is no law for the believer and that everything is now lawful for us. These people live in the practice of sin and still justify their wrong doings with the grace of God.
⁃ Preach Christ to them. They need to have revelation that is Christ who lives in them.
3- The third type is the Spirit-filled believer.
He keeps the law, but not by his own effort. The precept of the law is fulfilled in him because he walks in the Spirit. By letting the Spirit control his life, he experiences the peace of not having to keep the law to please God and, at the same time, the joy of seeing the law being fulfilled by the Spirit who dwells in him.
Freedom from the law does not mean that we are free from doing God’s will. We are not now lawless people.
The real meaning is that we are freed from having to do, by ourselves, what He wants. And we are also free from trying to please Him on our own.
We no longer need to try to please God by keeping the law in order to feel good with Him. We are accepted by God because of the righteousness of Christ. The law cannot justify man, but by grace we receive Christ’s righteousness.
– The law demands justice from the sinner, while grace grants justice to the sinner. The law demands perfection, but grace grants perfection to everyone who believes.