Liberty 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.
Liberty is harmony between the law and the nature and inclinations of its subjects. Law is essential to freedom, but freedom requires that the law shall be such as comports with the best interests and highest reason of those who have to obey it; for then their best desires will concur with their obligations, and, wishing to do only what the law requires them to do, they will be conscious of no restraint. (Newman Hall.)
It is necessary that we first see generally what that “liberty” is, “wherewith Christ makes His people free.” The Jews pretended that they were a free people, and owed allegiance to God alone; hence they were continually rebelling against the Roman government, to which God had subjected them because of their rebellion against him: thus they used their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness – for a pretext of rebellion, and by it endeavored to vindicate their seditious and rebellious conduct. However, the liberty of which Paul speaks is exemption from the ceremonies of the law, the observance of which was demanded by the false apostles as necessary. But let the reader, at the same time, remember, that such liberty is only a part of that which Christ has procured for us: for how small a matter would it be, if he had only freed us from ceremonies? This is but a stream, which must be traced to a higher source. It is because “Christ was made a curse, that He might redeem us from the curse of the law,” (Galatians 3:13😉
It is also important for us to understand that every man by nature is a bond slave, being under the bondage of sin. The Jews were under bondage to the ceremonial law, involving great trouble, pain in the flesh, and great expense. Jesus Christ by His obedience and death has purchased freedom and liberty to His Church—liberty not to do evil, nor from the yoke of new obedience, nor from the cross, nor from that obedience and reverence which inferiors owe to superiors; but from the dominion of sin, the tyranny of Satan, the curse and irritating power of the law, and from subjecting our consciences to the rites, doctrines, ceremonies, and laws of men in the matter of worship. Though civil liberty be much desired, so ignorant are we of the worth of freedom from spiritual bondage that we can hardly be excited to seek after it, or made to stand to it when attained, but are in daily hazard of preferring our former bondage to our present liberty. The liberty wherewith Christ has made men free is a deliverance from a system of rules, positive and prohibitory–a temporary and provisional system which had an educational value, training men to the full privileges of religious manhood. It is an abdication of privilege, when men fall back upon the old standpoint of Judaism, and fence themselves in by rigid rules as if of primary importance.
As is reminded, “Spiritual liberty consists in freedom from the curse of the moral law; from the servitude of the ritual; from the love, power, and guilt of sin; from the dominion of Satan; from the corruption of the world; from the fear of death and the wrath to come.” (C. Buck.)
Have a great and godly day!