Monday: The Nature of Christian Freedom

Paul’s command to stand firm in freedom is not made in isolation. An important statement of fact precedes it: “Christ has set us free.” Why should Christians stand firmly in their freedom? Because Christ has already set them free. In other words, our freedom is a result of what Christ has already done for us. 1

This pattern of a statement of fact followed by an exhortation is typical in Paul’s letters (1 Cor. 6:20; 10:13, 14; Col. 2:6). For example, Paul makes several indicative statements in Romans 6 about the facts of our condition in Christ, such as “We know that our old self was crucified with him” (Rom. 6:6, ESV). On the basis of this fact, Paul can then issue the imperative exhortation, “Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies” (Rom. 6:12, NRSV). This is Paul’s way of saying essentially, “Become what you already are in Christ.” The ethical life of the gospel does not present the burden of trying to do things in order to prove that we are God’s children. Rather, we do what we do because we already are His children.

From what has Christ freed us from? Rom. 6:14, 18; 8:1; Gal. 4:3, 8; 5:1; Heb. 2:14, 15.

The use of the word freedom to describe the Christian life is more prominent in Paul’s letters than anywhere else in the New Testament. The word freedom and its cognates occur 28 times in Paul’s letters, in contrast to only 13 times elsewhere.

What does Paul mean by freedom? First, it is not a mere abstract concept. It does not refer to political freedom, economic freedom, or the freedom to live any way we might please. On the contrary, it is a freedom that is grounded in our relationship to Jesus Christ. The context suggests that Paul is referring to freedom from the bondage and condemnation of a law-driven Christianity, but our freedom includes much more. It includes freedom from sin, eternal death, and the devil.

“Outside of Jesus Christ, human existence is characterized as bondage—bondage to the law, bondage to the evil elements dominating the world, bondage to sin, the flesh, and the devil. God sent his Son into the world to shatter the dominion of these slave-holders.”—Timothy George, Galatians, p. 354.

What things do you feel enslaved to in life? Memorize Galatians 5:1 and ask God to make the freedom you have in Christ a reality in your life.



Monday: The Nature of Christian Freedom — 5 Comments

  1. we owe our liberty to christ finish work. Our freedom is the position with christ. The gospel of grace gives christians the freedom.
    This does not give us the liberty to unethical.
    Students in the Tetiary institutions have freedom but that does not give them the liberty to violate school regulations. He that abide by the rules by first knowing them is said to be decipline.
    The nature of christian freedom is with our relationship with christ
    Outside of Jesus christ, human existence is characterized as bondage

  2. The Nature of Christian Freedom

    *** True, Christ gives us the freedom but not the freedom to abuse His grace.

    When He says, “… for my yoke is easy and my burden is light…” He means that though we are His children, He still longs to have us serve Him. And believe me, it is much soothing to serve God because even as His servants, He does not impose burdens over us. Everything He requires of us is for our own good

    • "For , bretheren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh..." (Galatians 5:13)

  3. Happy sabbath to everyone.
    If we could sum up our understanding of "freedom", it would be this, "Christ our Righteousness" and the freedom it brings us from guilt and shame.
    Freedom is that Christ has removed our guilt and shame. What I mean by that is for instance when we say, think or do something in a knee jerk reaction in response to something someone said or did to us (all the while we are Christ's servants) and we cursed or thought something the next split second the Holy Spirit convicts us that our reaction was something feel bad/shame/guilty. The sin makes us feel separated from the love and flow we have in our relationship with our Lord. We ask ourselves...?why did I say that? When this scenario happens our pride steps in and the separation from the flow and love we have in Christ is clearly discerned....What can be done is to apologize to God before pride takes us to far. Or we can rationalize that our reaction was justifiable. It could take us hours before we feel back in Gods grace. But my experience and understanding of "freedom" is to remember -in that instant-that Jesus DIED for my guilt and shame when I break His law. So I hang my head and say to my Lord..THANK YOU SWEET Savior. I DONT want to be that way. And almost instantly my burden of guilt and shame is gone away. I then receive the strength to make the correction in that case. I have been practicing this on my journey and God is showing me the depth of His love for me and my days have more and more happiness with Him in our love relationship.
    I am so deeply grateful that "freedom" "in Christ" removes the guilt and shame that sinning creates. Yes I am truly free. Yea!!!!!!!!!!
    ps I hope this story helps someone. Also it's the 1888 message in a nutshell. God bless you all! Niece


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