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Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Extra Reading: Galatians 5: 1-15.

Let me begin by saying that the quest for freedom is high on most people’s agenda today, and it has also been one of the main threads of human history. People speak of freedom in many ways-personal freedom, freedom of speech and association, academic freedom, free trade, freedom of the press. We also talk about individual liberties, liberation theology and religious liberty. Other basic freedoms people speak about are freedom from want, fear or interference, and freedom of choice, conscience or opportunity. There are other common phrases that sum up many people’s attitude towards freedom including “doing your own thing”, “going your own way”, or “it’s up to you”.

The Word of God encourages us to live as free men (1 Peter 2:16). Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Bible also states that “for freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). There are those who abuse their freedom. Hence Paul taught Corinthian believers to “take care your liberty does not become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Cor. 8:9). The freeing of God’s people from Egypt was more than a liberation from the tyranny they were experiencing. It was a freedom to become a nation in their own land. From that point Israel’s story is the struggle of God’s attempts to preserve and deepen that freedom in the face of the people’s willingness to yield it to alien gods, or for some among them to deprive others of it. Interestingly, it is on behalf of a deeper freedom that God for a time exiles the people from their own land and self-government. It is with the coming of Jesus that a fuller freedom becomes available (John 8:32).

From the verse 13 that we have read, Paul distinguishes between freedom to sin and freedom to serve. Freedom or license to sin is no freedom at all, because it enslaves you to Satan, others, or your own sinful nature. Christians, by contrast, should not be slaves to sin, because they are free to do right and to glorify God through loving service to others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to understand what true freedom means. Help us to guard against license to sin. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise         

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