Free In Christ
Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the fifty-six, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.
At the battle of Yorktown, the British general Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson told General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion.
"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Standing Fast In The Liberty Of Christ (5:1)
INTRODUCTION [The liberty we have in Christ is indeed precious, and it is imperative that we stand fast in it. Yet exactly what does that liberty entail...?]
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I. THE LIBERTY WE HAVE IN CHRIST
A. FREEDOM FROM THE LAW OF MOSES... 1. This is Paul's primary concern in this epistle - cf. 2. Upon which he expounded in the first four chapters - e.g., 3. Concerning which he wrote elsewhere - -- Christ has delivered the Jews from their obligation to keep the Law of Moses B. FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN... 1. Writing of being "justified", Paul refers to being "not guilty" of sin - cf. 2. Concerning which he wrote elsewhere - 3. Jesus also spoke of the deliverance from bondage of sin - -- Christ has delivered all men from the guilt and power of sin C. FREEDOM FROM THE TRADITIONS OF MEN... 1. Paul wrote of this in chapter four - 2. Also in his writing to the Colossians - 3. Jesus also spoke of the danger of human traditions - -- Christ has delivered us from the need to keep human traditions D. FREEDOM FROM WORKS OF THE FLESH... 1. Paul will have much more to say about the works of the flesh - ,,; 2. As he warned against in writing to the Corinthians - . About which Jesus also warned - -- Christ offers deliverance from deeds of the flesh which endanger our salvation [Such are the things we experience through the liberty that we have in Christ. Of course, that presumes that we are indeed...] II. STANDING FAST IN OUR LIBERTY A. HANDLE THE LAW PROPERLY... 1. The Law is good if used properly - ; 2. It was written for our learning and admonition - ; 3. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness - 4. But it has its limitations a. It has ceased as a system of justification - cf. . It has been replaced as a covenant - cf. . Its religious observances have been replaced - cf. ; -- The Law must be properly handled if we are to preserve our liberty in Christ B. APPLY OUR BLESSINGS IN CHRIST LIBERALLY... 1. The blood of Christ frees us from the guilt of sin - . The remission of sins is promised to those who repent and are baptized - . The blood of Christ remains available for Christians who repent of sin - . Christians need to repent and pray when they sin - 2. The Spirit of God can free us from the power of sin - . God can strengthen us by His Spirit in the inner man - . We can do all things through God and Christ - ; -- We must not hesitate to access the blood of Christ and the Spirit of God to make use of our liberty in Christ C. DEAL WITH TRADITIONS OF MEN CAUTIOUSLY... 1. Traditions may have a place on an individual level - cf. . When not taught as a doctrine of God - . When not done instead of keeping a command of God - . But they must handled with the utmost of caution on a congregational level a. Things done on a congregational level necessarily bind them upon all the members b. That is why religious holidays are reasons for such grave concern - -- We must be careful not to let human traditions destroy our liberty in Christ D. FOLLOW THE SPIRIT DILIGENTLY... 1. We must not use our liberty as an occasion for the flesh - 2. Our best weapon against the flesh is to follow the Spirit - 3. Those who are led by the Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit - 4. Our new life in Christ makes it possible to walk in the Spirit - -- We must be diligent to set our minds on the things of the Spirit if we want to enjoy life and peace - CONCLUSION 1. The liberty we enjoy in Christ is great... a. Freedom from the law of Moses b. Freedom from the bondage of sin c. Freedom from the traditions of men d. Freedom from the works of the flesh 2. But it is not license to do whatever we want; we must... a. Handle the Law properly b. Apply our blessings in Christ liberally c. Deal with traditions of men cautiously d. Follow the Spirit diligently With the aid of Paul's epistle to the Galatians, we will succeed in "Standing Fast In The Liberty Of Christ". Have you begun to enjoy the liberty Christ offers through obedience to the gospel...?