August 13, 2017
Free to Serve
I have always lived my life in freedom. While I may have been under the oversight, direction, and responsible to my parents, teachers, principals, employers, as well as, a wife and child; I have always had choices to make. None of which were made for me, nor have 1 even been coerced or otherwise forced to do anything that I did not choose to do. Indeed, there may have been moments where l felt compelled to act in a certain manner, and make specified choices based on some measure of persuasion; but ultimately, the decision was mine to make. Although there may be consequences for the decisions we make in our country we have the freedom to say what we want; go where we please; and become what we aspire to be. Never have we been forced into captivity, nor have we been bought and sold into the nefarious world of slavery; where every single, solitary facet of our lives would be dictated by another. Even so, having experienced freedom, would anyone ever choose any other manner of life? Having escaped slavery and been set free, would anyone honestly choose to return? I hope I am not alone in saying: Absolutely not!
In the Galatian letter, Paul wrote to a group of Christians who struggled with false doctrine. As he stated in Galatians 1:6-7, ‘I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” That perversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ came by way of circumcision. There were those who taught that in order to be in Christ, one must be circumcised-carrying over from the Law of Moses a Jewish custom to be bound upon all To which Paul responds in kind, warning of the dangers of being again bound, in any capacity, to the Law of Moses. Notice what Paul wrote in Galatians 5: 1-4, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed 1, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised, that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
As such, we come to understand the same danger. After having been set free from the bondage of sin and death through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, and having been made justified in the sight of God through the resurrection; why would we ever allow ourselves to be bound again by the wants and whims of our flesh, that which separates us from God? Instead, Paul offers the Christians in Galatia, as well as ourselves, a valuable concept. The Bible says in Galatians.5:13, ‘For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. ”
Brethren, it is absurd for one who has been set free from the bondage of slavery to return again to its chains. Even so, it is equally ludicrous to have known nothing but freedom to now willfully choose to be entangled in the snares of bondage. Through Christ, we are not subject to a law that could never justify us in the sight of God, nor are we bound by a law that condemns us to die. Through Christ we are truly free. What you do with that freedom speaks volumes. Instead of serving ourselves, let us endeavor to serve one another. As Paul continues to write in Galatians 5: 14, let us strive to fulfill the whole law and love our neighbor, love one another as we love ourselves.
By Jeremy Tucker