Summary: America was founded on the principle of Christian Liberty, where 95% of those who settled here were Christians. Today only about 5% of Americans are Christian. This country has traded Freedom for slavery. The answer to get back to our heritage is
Switching Gears To Freedom
Eleutheria! Eleutheria is the Greek, word for freedom. When Paul penned this word it spoke volumes to the churches in Galatia. He was writing to people that came from a past of being abused by the province of Rome, but who recently have been given the golden opportunity to be set free spiritually. The Galatians were being enticed by a Jewish Christian Sect called the Judaizers who were adding duties to the faith-based gospel Paul originally preached. A commentator by the name of John Philips states that when the Galatians heard the term, ¡§for freedom,¡¨ they would flash back to the way the Greek gods secured freedom for slaves. The process for a god to purchase a slave was that the slave would have to supply the money and since the slave did not have any legal standing, he would not be able to purchase himself so his master would pay the set amount to the temple treasury on the slave¡¦s behalf. The temple administrators would then execute a document bearing the words, ¡§for freedom.¡¨ This would then give the god full ownership of the slave, so now the slave was free and nobody could ever enslave him again.
This is the same way with Jesus; He paid the price for our freedom and has given believers access to a similar document found in Paul¡¦s letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, verse 1:
¡§It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.¡¨
The main idea of this passage is two fold.
True freedom is gained by faith in Christ, and maintained by the ability to stand firm for the gospel at all times. Putting our complete faith in Christ for our salvation is mandatory to experience the freedom God has made available to the world.
(Firstly) True Freedom is found in Christ alone!
The Galatians were at the thresh hold of believing another gospel, a gospel that was adding to God¡¦s equation for salvation. By adding to the gospel, the Judaizers were trying to put confidence in their own efforts. This contradicted Paul’s message, which stated that salvation, was solely by faith in Christ alone.
In essence, Paul was trying to convey the truth that freedom in Christ is not found in what you can do, but in whom you believe. Believing in the Judaizers gospel would switch the individual¡¦s focus to their works, instead of the work of Christ. Faith based freedom, has only one condition, to have faith in Christ for your salvation. Placing our faith in Christ initiates our freedom, but it is experienced in our daily relationship with God.
Like the Galatians who received Christ¡¦s freedom began to compromise the truth for a lie. To counter compromise, we must protect our freedom by maintaining a commitment to standing firm for the gospel at all times.
(Secondly) True Freedom calls believers to stand firm in Christ!
Because of what God has done by making freedom available to those who put their faith in Christ. This gives us the opportunity and power to do what we must do as believers so that we protect our freedom. Protecting our freedom can only be possible by gaining a deeper understanding of truth.
Paul was ultimately challenging the Galatians to keep standing firm in their freedom on a daily basis. Like Paul, we have to be freedom fighters, when any type of compromise is brought against the truth of the gospel. Jesus stood firm on the cross to make freedom available to the world, how much more should we stand firm in our daily lives to make freedom a reality to the people around us?
What would be worth it to you, to compromise your freedom in Christ? The Galatians were willing to compromise their freedom by adding the law to their salvation. Just like the Galatians, our freedom can also be in jeopardy, if we do not maintain our commitment to the truth. Freedom is found in Christ and truth about Christ is found in the Bible. Not being consistent in our devotion times will limit our knowledge of the truth. This will then place us in a self-imposed prison where our lack of knowledge becomes a bondage to our spiritual maturity.
In conclusion, when Paul commanded the Galatians to stand firm, he had the Judaizers in mind. Today we are in a different battle, but with similar consequences. The Galatians were trying to put confidence in themselves by adding to their salvation, and today a lot of Christians are convicted of a similar crime, a crime of not giving God top priority in their daily lives. The reasons might have changed to why one must stand firm, but the command, to stand firm, lives forever. Today, we must develop consistent, deep intimate relationships with God. This is where true freedom is cultivated and where a solid foundation is built to stand on, so that error has no chance in robbing us of our freedom. Today is the day to be set free from this type of bondage; today is the day to reaffirm your commitment to the truth of God¡¦s word. Would you switch gears to freedom with me?