Summary: Paul in rebuke of the Judizers who seek to bring God’s people back into the bondage of leagalism answers (3) questions for us regarding Christain Freedom: What is Chrsitian Freedom? Can Christian Freedom Be Abused? How Do We Remain Free?
“FREEDOM IN CHRIST”
Fr. Christopher M. Nerreau
Introduction: (READ PASSAGE)
• If someone who knew nothing of Christianity were to watch a video of your life, how would they describe the Christian faith? If the only example they had was your life, what would they say about Christianity?
• Unfortunately, it seems to me that in many cases the video would demonstrate a life of legalism. That somehow Christianity was far more about being good than being His. While there are a whole lot of words that can be used to describe Christianity the word that should be used most often is “Freedom.”
• The purpose of Paul’s epistle to the Church in Galatia is to remind the Church that Christianity is not about legalism, which leads to bondage and slavery, but rather about freedom and liberty. In the time of the apostle Paul it was typical for Jewish zealots known as Judiazers come behind him preaching a legalism that included circumcision and obedience to Jewish customs and practices.
Proposition: But in Gal 5:1 Paul reminds the Church that “it was for freedom that Christ has set us free”.
Interrogative sentence: Does your life reflect the fact that you are free in Christ?
Sermon Preview: In our sermon today we are going to explore this a little further as our passage answers (3) question about Christian freedom:
1. What Is Christian Freedom?(5:1)
2. Can Christian Freedom Be Abused? (5:13)
3. How Is Christian Freedom lived out?(5:16)
Transitional Sentence: So let’s begin today by asking…
I. WHAT IS CHRISTIAN FREEDOM? (5:1)
Explanation: Paul begins our passage today by reminding us that Christ is serious about providing freedom for His children. THE BIBLE SAYS – Gal 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free…”
• The Judiazers threatened to bring Christians who are free in Christ, back into a life of bondage, a life of trying to earn the approval of God by their own merit. (Which is not possible – “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law.”)
• So what is this Christian Freedom that Paul is so concerned the Church will lose?
A. CHRISTIAN FREEDOM IS TRUE FREEDOM (v.23 “Against such things there is no law”)
• Moving Out of our house – When you moved out of the house for the first time, your parents were not there to tell you when it was bedtime. You simply went to bed on time because it was the right thing to do. That is like Christian freedom, we do not live under law but grace.
• The law of God is for the untamed heart, to be the parents telling us what we ought do. But now having a tame heart we are no longer under law but under grace.
• Christian freedom is doing what is right out of love not out of REGULATION.
CHRISTIAN FREEDOM IS A TRUE CHALLENGE (v.1 “Stand firm”)
• Moving Back Home – Sometimes out of fear we seek to move back home for something familiar. It was easier to have someone commanding us than to be responsible on our own.
Illustration: To exchange our life of liberty (living alone) for that of legalism (commanded what to do) is to remain in a cage that has an open door.