Summary: The "free-est" person in the world isn’t an American. It’s a Christian! How to live your freedom.
Galatians 5:1, 13-25: LIVE YOUR FREEDOM
Today is Independence Day, the day that we as a country celebrate the fact that we are free. Freedom is such a great blessing, but unless you’ve been a slave, or you’ve been in jail, you’ll probably never really know just how great it is to be free. What do you think is the biggest symbol of freedom in our country? Some might say the Statue of Liberty, standing in New York, welcoming all those who come to our country looking for freedom. Or maybe the biggest symbol of freedom is the flag. Maybe you have one in your front yard today.
Of all the people in the world, what group of people enjoy the greatest amount of freedom? Strangely, the answer is not Americans. Of al the people in the world, the people who enjoy the greatest amount of freedom are Christians. Did you know that? Christians are the free-est people in the world. Many people would say that Christians aren’t free – they’re bound by all kinds of rules to live by. But that’s not true. Christians are free. In fact, a Christian living in communist China enjoys more freedom than an unbeliever living in America.
How is that possible? Today, we’re going to spend some time with God as he speaks to us through the book of Galatians, and he teaches us about greatest kind of freedom that there is. For a Christian, every Sunday worship service is a celebration of freedom, and every day is Independence Day. Today we’re going to ponder our Christian freedom, and as we do, God is going to encourage us to live our freedom every day.
The freedom that God talks about in the Bible is a special kind of freedom. In the first verse of our section, God speaks through the Apostle Paul, and says, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yolk of slavery.” That yoke of slavery Paul was talking about here was the pressure of trying to earn your way to heaven. Every day, trying to be a perfect person, hoping to please God enough to someday earn your way into heaven – that’s slavery in the Bible. And Paul here tells the Galatians, “Christ has set you free from that. Christ has earned salvation for you. You are free from trying to earn your way to heaven, from frustration, from guilt, from fear. You’re free!” That’s the special kind of freedom God talks about here in the Bible.
Now in our country, we enjoy a great deal of political freedom. As Americans, we are free to believe whatever we want, to say whatever we want, and to do whatever we want, as long as we don’t break the law. And all of that is good. But sometimes people use their American freedom in a way that doesn’t please God. People use foul language, promote immorality, or say hurtful things about other people – we can do that in our country, because we have freedom of speech. People live immoral lifestyles, focus their entire lives on money, eat and drink excessively, live incredibly self-centered lives – once again, we can do that in our country, because we are free.