Sabbath: Freedom in Christ
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 5:1-151 Cor. 6:20Rom. 8:1Heb. 2:14-15Rom. 8:4Rom. 13:8.

Memory Text: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, ESV).

In Galatians 2:4, Paul briefly referred to the importance of protecting the “freedom” that we have in Christ Jesus. But what does Paul mean when he speaks about “freedom,” which he does so often? What does this freedom include? How far does this freedom go? Does it have any limits? And what connection does freedom in Christ have to the law?

Paul addresses these questions by warning the Galatians of two dangers. The first is legalism. Paul’s opponents in Galatia were so caught up trying to earn God’s favor through their behavior that they lost sight of the liberating nature of Christ’s work, of the salvation that they already had in Christ through faith. The second threat is the tendency to abuse the freedom Christ has purchased for us by lapsing into licentiousness. Those who hold this view mistakenly assume that freedom is antithetical to the law.

Both legalism and licentiousness are opposed to freedom, because they equally keep their adherents in a form of slavery. Paul’s appeal to the Galatians, however, is to stand firm in the true freedom that is their rightful possession in Christ.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 9.
Amen!(44)

Comments

Sabbath: Freedom in Christ — 10 Comments

  1. All of us have been given the right to choose what we want or want to do. but if we want to stop doing some of the choices we made, it can be difficult because of the addictive attraction towards it. But when we choose Christ, the only attraction is by choice and not by addiction. This is how I see my freedom in Christ because I am not forced to follow Him, or tricked into accepting His ways, There is complete transparency in our relationship with Christ. But sinful choices are full of deciet and deadly addiction. Truly we are free in Christ Jesus.

    Amen!(36)
  2. Paul tells us that we have gained liberty through Jesus Christ. He's our liberty and life. Paul goes on to caution us about the danger of abusing our Christian liberty. This freedom does not mean nothing stands in the way of self-indulgence or a free rein in sin. We must always remember Satan always counterfeits everything God has established and in this context he tries to turn our liberty granted us by Christ into licentiousness. Jude 4 complains: "There are certain men crept in unawares. . .turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness. But we are admonished love and assist our fellow human beings. In all of this we are given the freedom of choice. Of course the wise exercise this freedom prudently. True freedom is only found in Jesus.

    Amen!(15)
  3. Freedom in Christ is love.Love will make us choose what is right,do what is right.I will sometimes stumble but I wll get up back again because I have tasted and know what real freedom is.......Love will always draw me back to Jesus......because in Him I am free from sin.....

    Amen!(19)
  4. Although we are free to make choices, and we can make this very general, in the context of the lesson at hand, Paul is talking about specific freedom.

    He is calling on the Galatians to rejoice in their liberty and not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Again, Paul has been talking about the specific bondage for 4 chapters, and he means the same thing here.

    In verse 2 he becomes specific. The bondage is circumcision at the first level, and the whole law at the second and deeper level. These are not my words, but the exact words of Paul.

    In verses 3 and 4 he is saying: seeking to become circumcised ----> leads to keeping the whole law ----> which equals estrangement from Christ ----> which equals falling from grace. Gal 5:3,4. This is not twisting Paul's words but expressing the literal words of the apostle.

    It is interesting that he is saying that in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any importance, but faith working through love.

    But circumcision was an element of the Abrahamic covenant, which was mandatory and was called an everlasting covenant. Gen 17:7,9,10,13,14. As a matter of fact, the Jews were so sure about the elevated status of the rite of circumcision that they were willing to "break" the Sabbath to comply with the rite. John 7:22,23. Therefore, to them circumcision was on a higher level than the Sabbath commandment.

    Paul summarizes the passage by saying that all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Gal 5:14, Lev 19:18.

    Paul, in effect is summarizing the meaning and substance of the law with the overarching principle of LOVE. We know that if we have true Godly love, we will be in total harmony with the character and will of God.

    We should therefore be seeking for that depth of love, and if we have that, we will be fulfilling every single requirement of the law.

    Amen!(16)
  5. There are two extremes that oppose the freedom that Paul is commenting on. The first is legalism; believing and behaving that the law can save us. The other is believing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ but walketh after the flesh and committing indwelling sin.
    To counteract the second extreme Rom. 8:1 expressed that we are saved only by Jesus Christ if we walk in the Spirit.
    In terms of legalism; at Paul's time if the Galatians believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ the why circumcise?

    Both legalism and licencousness opposes freedom because they bring us back to entangle/bondage of sin. True freedom is only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ and walking with him dily through the Spirit.

    Amen!(5)
  6. It seems the freedom can only be used to do the right things.Whilst God wants us to follow him freely, choosing not to follow him means we have become slaves of sin.While if we follow him because we are motivated by fear and duty we become slaves of the law.Its an interesting dichotomy

    Amen!(9)
  7. God made us free when he sent his only son to die for our sins at the Calvary.But because we fall into the trap of sinful world we are no longer freed unless we go back to our Savior's feet for freedom again.How I pray that am freed.

    Amen!(2)
  8. Paul, defining our possible three relationships with the LAW, are as follows: One of these, with the help of the Holy Spirit, frees us from enslavement; the other two, attempted in our own strength either keeps us in enslavement and/or returns us into it.
    The latter two are, on one hand, the Legalism that results from our efforts to keep the LAW in our own strength: 'our doing the LAW'; and on the other, the abandonment of any keeping the LAW, Licentiousness that accompanies our 'undoing the LAW'.
    For these two, the LAW becomes a source of enslavement. For the third, it is the LAW of LIBERTY.
    And why?
    The third relationship is of our being able to 'keep the LAW', because we do so not in our own strength, but in that of the Holy Spirit. In this, we do not do nor undo the LAW; instead, we 'fulfil the LAW!' As expressed in Romans 13:8-10: 'LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW. Thereby, are we capable of loving our Creator, and loving His Created beings.

    Amen!(2)
  9. Paul’s concerns for the Galatians, defining our possible three relationships with the LAW, are as follows: One of these—with the help of the Holy Spirit—frees us from enslavement; the other two—attempted in our own strength—either keeps us in enslavement and/or returns us into it.
    The latter two are, on one hand, the Legalism that results from our efforts to keep the LAW in our own strength: 'our doing the LAW'; and on the other, the abandonment of any keeping the LAW, Licentiousness that accompanies our 'undoing the LAW'.
    For these two, the LAW becomes a source of enslavement. For the third, it is the LAW of LIBERTY.
    And why?
    The third relationship is of our being able to 'keep the LAW', because we do so not in our own strength, but in that of the Holy Spirit. In this, we do not do nor undo the LAW; instead, we 'fulfill the LAW!' As expressed in Romans 13:8-10: 'LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW. Thereby, are we enabled into loving our Creator, and loving His Created beings, including ourselves.

    Amen!(0)

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