Summary: We have been set free in Christ now we much use our freedom to choose to do what we ought, not what we want!
Scripture: Gal 5:1,13, 16-26
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self–control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Allow me to read for you again verse 1. This time from the “The Message” by Eugene Peterson. It says, “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you”
Christ has set us Free… did you hear that!
• Was bought and paid for by Jesus Christ
• He died a ransom for many (Mk 10:45)
• He is our Redeemer (see Isa 47:4)
• “Jesus Paid it all, all to him I owe” wrote the song writer
• You are not your own, you were bought with a price (1Cor 6:19,20)
Yet we must understand the true nature of Freedom. It is not freedom to do what you want, but freedom to do what you ought!
• Freedom to do what you want is not freedom at all.
• It is to go back to what you were under before Christ set you free
• It is to return to listening to you old carnal nature
• It is to become entangled again in the yoke of bondage
To which Paul exhorts us to “Take a Stand! Never let anyone put a harness of slavery on you!”
• Take a stand / stand fast
• Draw a line in the sand
• Establish a point of no return in your life and hold your ground
• Don’t let anyone or anything move you from it
Real freedom is experience only by doing what you know you ought to do! It is obedience to the voice of the Spirit of God.
Paul says, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.
Before us lies the year 2008 and God’s will is that we live in Freedom! AMEN! Not just on the occasion – but all the time. And the only way we can do that is to abide in him all the time. We must learn to “Walk in the spirit and not in the flesh”
Listen to what Paul said in vs.16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish”
Paul then tells them that the works of the flesh are evident. In other words, you really don’t need anyone to explain to you what they are because you can easily see them for your self. However just to make sure they understand he lists some of them for them in vs. 19-21.
They are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Note he says, “those who practice such things!” It is one thing to fall into temptation or into sin. John says, “these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1Jo 2:1)