Summary: It is wrong when freedom is abused. Love is what balances grace. Spiritual liberty is not a license to indulge the sinful nature. Rather it is a call to serve one another in love. It was for freedom that Christ set you free. You were called to be free.
There was a woman who was married to a domineering husband that demanded her to follow a list of duties. His demands were full of regulations and the marriage was drudgery for that woman.
Her husband died and she later remarried. This time her marriage was based on love. It was not like the one she previously had, a marriage of regulation which required a list of dos and don’ts. One day she found her old list that was written by her first husband and she read the list of all his demands.
When she read the list she was surprised to realize that she was doing everything her first husband demanded and more. She was now doing all of this willfully and even joyfully. That is the power of love.
In Galatians 5:13-15 we find the counterbalance to Grace. It is Love. Christ’s love keeps us from sinning. Christ’s love is more powerful than rules and regulations could ever be.
Throughout the book of Galatians the theme has been the same. Have nothing to do with legalism or salvation by works. Avoid it like the plague. Avoid a system of living that earns favor of God through regulations, rules or human effort. Stand against all of that.
Salvation is an undeserved gift of God. Receive it freely. You will never earn your salvation. It comes only through faith in Christ because Jesus Christ paid it all. Your salvation is all by grace.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Freedom in Christ does not mean a freedom to sin. It is not a freedom to indulge in the sinful nature. It’s a freedom to obey Christ. It is a new kind of freedom that we never had before. If we are under grace then anything goes right? Wrong. Spiritual liberty is not liberty to sin. It is liberty from sin.
It is wrong when freedom is abused. Love is what balances grace. Spiritual liberty is not a license to indulge the sinful nature. Rather it is a call to serve one another in love. Read the Sermon on the Mount to discover that even though Christians are not under the law we are called to go beyond the law.
Live as free men. Don’t use your freedom as a cover up for evil (1 Peter 2:16). It was for freedom that Christ set you free. You were called to be free.
This is underscored in Titus 2:11-12: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
The law of the OT is full of detailed regulations. We don’t fulfill the law by observing all those regulations. We fulfill the law when we put love into action. It’s true that love is all you need, but it must be Christ’s love. In Christ’s love you are related right to God and to each other. Observing the law’s regulations is external. Love is an internal principle.