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What Does Freedom Mean?

Paul's Letter to the Galatian Churches  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:49
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Introduction

Political & economical freedom are important, but don't bring true freedom.
Freedom of the will which philosophers discuss is also a form of freedom that we enjoy, yet it doesn't bring true freedom.
The freedom discussed by Paul in Galatians 5, is a special kind of freedom, a freedom that trumps all the others. Verse 13 summarized this freedom the best, showing how special our freedom in Christ really is. It's the freedom that allows us to serve one another humbly in love.

Christian Freedom means Salvation

We have been called to be free. In chapter 4 the apostle Paul tells us about the bondage in the Old Testament Law with the Judaizers were promoting as the way to freedom.
Paul points to living our lives for Christ as the true way to freedom (Galatians 5:1-4).
Galatians 5:1–4 NIV

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.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

We are called by freedom and for freedom, the purpose of this calling is to live free from a life of sin (Galatians 4:31).
Galatians 4:31 NIV

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

We are freed from the hopeless task of trying to save ourselves (Romans 3:20; 6:14. )
Romans 3:20 NIV

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Romans 6:14 NIV

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Jesus purchased our freedom by His blood.

Christian Freedom Means Limitations

"Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature." (Romans 7:8). Can freedom actually be a problem in our lives? Only if we don't use it right.
Romans 7:8 NIV

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

Some would argue that because we don't follow detailed legalistic regulations, we can engage in all sorts of poor conduct, we need to follow a system in order to be free from sin.
This makes no sense, we are free from sin because of Jesus, therefore we are subject to Christ. (Romans 6:1-6).
Romans 6:1–6 NIV

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—

Freedom must have limitations in order to be freedom. Some might argue that I am free to do this or that, but find that they actually become slaves to this or that. There is no slavery worse than being a slave to one's wrong desires (Romans 5:16-21).
Romans 5:16–21 NIV

Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christian Freedom Means Blessing

"Use your freedom to serve one another in love." Real freedom is living by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18). It is bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). Peter taught the same thing (1 Peter 2:16).
Galatians 5:16–18 NIV

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:22–26 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

1 Peter 2:16 NIV

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Our freedom should lead us to do right out love for the Lord who freed us from sin.
Freedom brings responsibility as a Christian. Our attitude toward those who abuse their freedom is shown in Galatians 6:1-2.
Galatians 6:1–2 NIV

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Jesus alone brings real freedom (John 8:36).
John 8:36 NIV

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Big Idea: Freedom means we live our lives through the Holy Spirit who pushes us toward the true source of freedom, Jesus Christ. The evidence of our freedom is love producing fruit.
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