Summary: In the Bible the book of Galatians is all about Spiritual freedom, the freedom that is ours in Christ. The freedom that we receive when we, by faith, enter into a real relationship with God.
2013 02 24 ASH AM FREEDOM IN FAITH
We have already spent sometime this morning looking at Freedom.
So let me ask some questions:
How much do you value your freedom?
What does your freedom allow you to do?
Are you free to do whatever you want?
Although we live in a country that promotes Freedom there are some limits to what we can and can not do.
You can’t walk into a crowded room and shout “fire” unless there actually is a fire.
You can’t ignore the speed limit and drive as fast as you feel like.
You can’t go across the road to the shop and take something from the shelves, pop it in your pocket and leave without paying.
We may have physical freedom - but we are not always free to do what we want to do or would like to do.
In the Bible the book of Galatians is all about Spiritual freedom, the freedom that is ours in Christ.
The freedom that we receive when we, by faith, enter into a real relationship with God.
Galatians speaks of the freedom we can have from sin’s bondage.
It also speaks of the freedom we have to receive God’s gifts in worship and the freedom we have to stand in God’s presence because of the Jesus sacrifice on our behalf.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia because there was a real threat to their spiritual freedom.
Some false teachers were saying, “Christ isn’t enough. You still have to submit to Moses, get circumcised, and follow the Old Testament dietary laws to be a true follower of God.”
But the Apostle Paul wouldn’t let that teaching stand.
He said, “No. It’s either all because of Christ, or His death was in vain, for nothing.”
That’s the foundation of our faith in Christ, and anything added to Christ destroys the foundation of our faith.
Anything added to the cross of Christ chisels away at the freedom we have in Christ.
In Galatians Chapter 5 Paul wrote these words
So Christ has truly set us free. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. (NLT)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. (NIV)
Throughout Galatians Paul talks about how Christ’s death takes away fear, and how God provides lasting forgiveness and restoration in knowing that Jesus Christ has set us free not just for a day, but for eternity.
We are set free by Jesus.
We have freedom.
But freedom from what?
As the Apostle Paul says elsewhere, “Before this faith, we were kept under guard by the Law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.
The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so we could be justified by faith.”
Before Christ came God kept us in something like house arrest for our own protection.
God gave us His Law to keep us from hurting others and to keep us from hurting ourselves.
If we are disobedient toward authority, the Law is there, threatening us with justice and even imprisonment.
If we’re tempted to kill, the Law is supposed to contain us and stop us before we do something harmful.
If we’re tempted to steal, the Law is supposed to restrain those outward behaviours.
The Law surrounds us with bricks and bars.
It blocks us in on every side.
It restricts us with rules and regulations.
It restrains us like an electric fence.
The Law also teaches, rebukes, and corrects us--if we are willing to learn and not think we know more than God.
The Law is our teacher and guardian; it teaches and prepares us.
The Law has one real purpose to teach us we can not please God with our works; nothing we do can earn God’s favour.
In Galatians 2:21 Paul wrote, “If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing” .
If you could earn forgiveness and eternal life by what you do or how you live, then Christ died for nothing.
Romans 10:4 says “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,” for where faith in Christ is alive, the Law has been silenced. That’s why “Christ is the end of the Law, that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes”
Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law.
The Law ends in Christ.
It’s that way for all who believe that His death is their death, that His obedience is their obedience, that His life is their life.
We still need to be obedient to God’s commandments, the Ten Commandments for example are something that still need to be obeyed.
But because of Jesus, by faith in Him, by trusting in Him as our Saviour, we are no longer condemned by the Law.