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The Freedom Myth

 

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal 5:13).

We have been freed from the law. We are to longer live under the law because Jesus fulfilled the law. Many understand the fact “that there is nothing more that we can do, but Jesus did it all.” But erroneously, many take this freedom and engage in a fleshly variety of freedom.

This may sound contradictory to the previous chapter, but it is not. Usually, out of a reaction to being religious and being under law, certain people swing over to living a life of “fleshly freedom”. If we begin to live a life engaging in activities that are not pleasing to the Lord, we are quenching the Spirit in our lives.

When God is truly leading us and we are truly according to the Spirit (broken, trusting, humble and dependant), we will find ourselves keeping the commandments of God and living lives of purity.

All things are lawful concerning justification, but the children of God behave like their Father. We grieve the Lord and quench the Spirit among us when we are fleshly. The freedom we have in the Lord is not for the flesh. The freedom we have is only within His arms of love.

 
 

How Do We Get Off Course?
 

Whenever we hear any message, the flesh hears it too. The flesh will always try to work any truth in God for its own benefit. The flesh is happy to live under the law, as long as it gets to live. The flesh is happy to live with fleshly freedom, as long as it gets to live. When we hear the message of freedom in Christ, we can use it to live fleshly. When we hear the message of holiness and restraint, the flesh wants to use it to be under law.

So which is it? Are we to live in freedom or under law? If the flesh were asking this question, the answer would be “neither”. The flesh does not get to have its freedom, nor should the flesh be allowed to live under law. The way into the Kingdom of God in the Spirit is extremely narrow and few are those that find it. The answer is that we are to live by the law of the Spirit (Rom. 8:2). This takes us back to humility, dependence, trusting, and believing the good news. This is the only way to life.

We must live subjecting ourselves to the yoke of Jesus and His love. And from this place, we are to do what God says to do. Again, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:29-30). A yoke is a restraint. Subjecting ourselves to a yoke is not fleshly freedom. But the yoke of Jesus is a yoke of love. The yoke of restraint is to receive the love of God, and from this place of receiving, we have the grace and power to obey His voice. Paul even tells us in 2 Cor. 5:14 that “the love of Christ controls us…”

Only during the moments of our day that we are humble, believing the gospel, broken, dependant, dead to ourselves, and receiving love (according to the Spirit), we are not fleshy.

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