Freedom in Christ
Category : General
Galatians 5: 1 (KJV)
1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
It has been noted, “it usually happens that that people who cannot govern themselves, are delivered up to the sway of those whom they abhor, and made to submit to an involuntary servitude.”
This is intimately connected with the preceding chapter: the apostle having said, just before, So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond woman, but of the free, immediately adds, Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. Hold fast your Christian profession; it brings spiritual liberty: on the contrary, Judaism brings spiritual bondage. Among the Jews, the Messiah’s reign was to be a reign of liberty
This liberty was procured for us by Christ on the cross: the fruit and possession of it are bestowed upon us through the Gospel. Well does Paul, then, to warn the Galatians, not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage, that is, not to allow a snare to be laid for their consciences. For if men lay upon our shoulders an unjust burden, it may be borne; but if they endeavor to bring our consciences into bondage, we must resist valiantly, even to death. If men be permitted to bind our consciences, we shall be deprived of an invaluable blessing, and an insult will be, at the same time, offered to Christ, the Author of our freedom. But what is the force of the word again, in the exhortation, “and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage?” For the Galatians had never lived under the law. It simply means that they were not to be entangled, as if they had not been redeemed by the grace of Christ. Although the law was given to Jews, not to Gentiles, yet, apart from Christ, neither the one nor the other enjoys any freedom, but absolute bondage.
It is that same liberty where, with Christ hath made us free.” It is a liberty purchased at a great cost. Christ, the Son of God, became incarnated, suffered in a degree unparalleled and incomprehensible, and died the shameful and ignoble death of the crucified to win back the liberty man had forfeited by voluntary sin. The redemption of man was hopeless from himself, and but for the intervention of a competent Redeemer he was involved in utter and irretrievable bondage. Civil liberty, though the inalienable right of every man, has been secured as the result of great struggle and suffering. “With a great sum,” said the Roman captain to Paul, “obtained I this freedom;” and many since his day have had to pay dearly for the common rights of citizenship. But Christian liberty should be valued as the choicest privilege, remembering it was purchased by the suffering Christ, and that it has been defended through the ages by a noble army of martyrs.
Let us remember that the Galatians had been bondmen, enslaved by the worship of false and vile deities. If they rush into the snare of the legalists, they will be bondmen again, and their bondage will be the more oppressive now they have tasted the joys of freedom. Friends disobedience involves us in many entanglements. It is among the most potent of the energies of sin that it leads astray by binding, blinding and blinds by leading astray; that the soul, like Samson (the strong champion of Israel), must have its eyes put out, when it would be bound with fetters of brass and condemned to grind in the prison-house (Judges 16). Redemption from the slavery of sin should fill our hearts with gratitude to the Lord for what He has done for us.
Have a great and God filled day!