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Summary: Like a raging fire, freedom without limits is dangerous. But when controlled, it is a blessing to all

How to Make the Most of Your Freedom in Christ

(Gal 5:1-15)

Illustration:Do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. --Galatians 5:13

Freedom is dangerous in the hands of those who don’t know how to use it. That’s why barbed wire, steel bars, and concrete barriers confine criminals. Or consider a campfire that is allowed to spread in a dry forest. It quickly becomes a blazing inferno. Unchecked freedom can create chaos.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Christian life. Believers are free from the law’s curse, its penalty, and its guilt-producing power. Fear, anxiety, and guilt are replaced by peace, forgiveness, and liberty. Who could be more free than one who is free in the depths of his soul? But here is where we often fail. We use freedom’s luxury to live selfishly, or we claim ownership of what God has merely entrusted to us. We slip into patterns of self-indulgent living, especially in affluent societies.

The proper use of freedom is "faith working through love" to serve one another (Gal. 5:6,13). When we rely on the Spirit and expend our energies on loving God and helping others, the destructive works of the flesh will be restrained by God (vv.16-21). So let’s always use our liberty to build up, not to tear down.

Like a raging fire, freedom without limits is dangerous. But when controlled, it is a blessing to all

(Our Daily Bread)

1. Know that our freedom in Christ is given not for selfish reasons, but to through love to serve one another. Paul had to remind the carnal Galatians of this fact when he wrote, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

2. Thank God for the freeing power of Christ’s atoning blood to cleanse us from our sin, guilt and the consequences of our iniquities. Showing vocal appreciation to the Lord in prayer and song has a way of reminding us of our riches in Christ. Too many times we forget the great resources that we have in Christ and fail to facilitate the freedoms we possess. (Col. 2:13-15)

3. Focus your attention on God’s purposes, plans and processes rather than on your own interests. When we are focusing our thoughts on things above in actively contributing to the advancement of His church we are able to let go of many non-essential concerns. (Col. 3:1-4)

4. Tell others how the Lord has freed you from compulsive behavior, attitudes and thoughts through the meditation on the scriptures. God’s word has a way of freeing our thoughts from inconsequential thoughts. Paul wrote, "Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness so that the person of God could be equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16,17)

5. Utilize the fact that you are no longer a prisoner to selfish desires. Many people are slaves to their own sinful desires and are not even aware of it. Paul reminded the Roman believers. "Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield (make a mental choice) yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life and your members to God as instruments of righteousness." (Romans 6:13,14) Everyone has to serve somebody. Choose to serve God instead of yourself. Serving the Lord allows us the freedom to be empowered with His supernatural strength!

6. Appropriate the fact that Christ has freed you from fear. Paul wrote, "God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline." (2 Tim. 1:7) God wants us to live lives that are not fearful of anything but Him. "David wrote, "Fear the Lord you His saints, for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing."

7. Teach others the truths of God’s word. Jesus said, "You will know the truth (really experience it as a lifestyle) and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31,32) The more you apply God’s word the more He will reveal the insights of His greater will for your life. The more you obey the more God will reveal!

8. Only allow God to judge you. Do not give in to the temptation to judge yourself or allow others to judge you by their standards. Paul said, "I do not allow others to judge me and I do not even judge myself." Remember that God’s evaluations, judgments and assessments are the only ones that matter.

9. Thank God for the new freedoms He gives you moment by moment through the Spirit. Look forward to the new ways everyday that He will open up doors of opportunity to expand His kingdom and

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