Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom August 18, 2014

 To understand the faithfulness talked about inGalatians 5 we need to understand its theme.  Galatians 5:13-14 says, “Foryou were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as anopportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the wholelaw is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
    There are two ways to go wrong on freedom:
        – The danger ofself-indulgence.  If we try to be free but indulge in the anger, envy,jealousy, and bickering of Galatians 5:19-21 we have missed freedom (and forthat matter, happiness) entirely.
        – The danger of legalism.  Wecan march along in grim endurance trying to check off the qualities inGalatians 5:22-23 isolating them from anything else, but those qualities aren’tout on their own.  Christians are free from the Law, not serving a newversion of it.  Just gritting your teeth and hanging on is not theabundant life that Jesus came to give.  “I am come that they might havelife, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10).
    What does the faithfulness of freedom look like?
    A Christian life is born in faith.  John Bunyanillustrated this in “Pilgrim’s Progress” by “Christian” starting his pilgrimagewith his friend “Faithful”.  We can’t be faithful unless our faithfulnessis grounded in our faith in Jesus Christ.
    What does it mean to be faithful?  The good servants inthe parable in Matthew 25 were good because they were faithful.  They didwhat they had been asked.  If we can be counted on to do what we’ve saidor to remain committed to the good of another then we are being faithful.
    How do we or anyone else see if we are faithful? That’s one of the points of Galatians 5.  It will be very clear whether wehave the desires of the Spirit or the desires of the flesh because we have todeal with other people.  Our faithfulness to God will be seen in how weare faithful to others.
    Don’t be discouraged or proud of where you are but encouragedand joyful as you consider the one who shows us what faithfulness is, the onewhom the Holy Spirit is making us like.  We will be faithful if we followthe one whose name is “Faithful and True.”