Freedom to Obey

“For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

— Galatians 5:1

We must avoid two heresies: either turning the Gospel of liberty into licentiousness or into legalism.

The Gospel gives us freedom. But some encourage us to pervert that freedom into a freedom to sin freely. That is license, not liberty. Jude describes it this way: “For there are some men who secretly crept in, who were marked long ago for this condemnation. They are ungodly men, who pervert the grace of our God into immorality and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 4).

Paul warns against such abuse of liberty: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid!” (Romans 6:15). But the other extreme is trading liberty for legalism. In Galatians, we have one overall thrust of this book, which is God’s antidote against legalism. You will recall in Galatians we are to stand fast in the liberty Christ has given us. Galatians opposes legalism.

Legalism essentially says that by obeying some set of laws or rules, one may in some way make oneself acceptable to the Almighty. Martin Luther said, “The most damnable and pernicious idea which has ever plagued the minds of men is the idea that poor, sinful, fallen, depraved man could ever make himself good enough to live in the presence of an all-holy and sin-hating God.”

May God give us the grace to walk in the liberty Christ has made available to us. It is freedom to obey His commands out of love.

Lord, give me strength for today that I might glory in the freedom You have given us without misusing it. Thank You for setting us free from all bondage and strivings to make ourselves acceptable to You…