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. (Gal 5:13 ESV)
Keeping on this theme of Freedom this week, we will continue to explore the Freedom that we have in Christ. Many people who do not enjoy the Christian life or understand it/us look to us and wonder when we talk about this Freedom why you do not just go about and do whatever you want to do and just keep asking God to forgive you. If He is a gracious God and if Freedom in Christ means that we are free then that is the way we could live, right?
No! Being Free in Christ does not mean that we can use this Freedom as an “opportunity for the flesh”. What does that even mean? Paul put this language in because there may be some who would clearly try to use the freedom that Jesus has given us to their own gain. He knew there would be some who would think they could go on living their life the same old way and just say “I’m sorry” and that God would continue to forgive them. But that is not what will truly make you free. The freedom that God called us to is the breaking of the yoke of the bondage of sin. Not permission to continue to sin. Sin is still sin, whether we are a christian or not. If we are a christian and we sin, however, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us and He will not allow us to continue to gratify the flesh and our own thoughts and to live a glorious life in Christ. When we are not Christians, we probably do not feel guilty for the sins we commit. But it is still sin. The difference is this, we do have that conscience living inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit when we sin as Christians. But we realize that not only is our sin against others or even ourselves our sin is also against God. The conscience that we get from the Holy Spirit doesn’t just condemn us and make us feel bad about our sin but it directs us and shows us how the sin hurts God, hurts others and even ourselves and then how to turn from that sin so that we can love others, love ourselves and love God. Any guilty conscience that you may or may not feel over sin when you are not a Christian, or not walking in the Spirit, is just that, it is condemning and loathsome. It only entraps and brings us more and more into bondage. It is a slippery slope and it is not somewhere I want to live. I am not saying that I do not or will never sin again. I am still of human flesh and I know that sin creeps in but my desire is to ask the Holy Spirit to direct me and to convict my heart of the sin and show me how to turn from it so that I can LIVE in the Freedom of Christ.
Please pray for the medical professionals today.