Do You Value Your Freedom
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
(Galatians 5:1 NKJV)
Whenever I read Scripture, I like to compare the translations of the Bible to see various wording of the scripture. It can sometimes give a better understanding of the meaning of that scripture. Using Galatians 5:1 as an example, the New Living Translation (NLT) states the following:
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
The New International Version (NIV) presents Galatians 5:1 as the following:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Liberty, free, freedom…what do these words mean to you? When you say them to yourself, what comes to mind? Does it mean you can do as you want and what pleases your flesh, never denying any desires? Does it mean you do what you please and live as though there are no consequences? No, it does not. Just because something may be allowed, does not mean it is good for us and it is our responsibility to make the proper choices to maintain our freedom. In 1 Corinthians 10:23 it states the following:
23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
The freedom Christ provides means we live free from the tyranny of having to earn our own way to God. It also means we are free from sin, guilt and condemnation by doing the right thing which is staying far from (resisting) sin and remaining within the boundary lines God has set for us.
Boundary lines are a good thing. We all need them. God gives us those boundary lines in scripture, what we are to do and what we aren’t to do. This keeps us safe, protected and within the realm of His covering. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel the sting of pain or experience problems that may arise, but what it does mean is that when we stay within the boundary lines that God has set for us, we will overcome through the power of Jesus Christ. God wants us to accept His strength and walk in that freedom and not to be entangled again in a yoke of bondage. Major problems occur when we take advantage of our freedom that Christ has given to us and we fail to make wise decisions that can not only affect ourselves but those around us. Jesus died so we may be saved. He conquered death and set us free from the death of sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Freedom from the death of sin and eternal life with Jesus is a gift given to us and received by faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…(Ephesians 2:8)
Another problem that occurs is that though a person is saved, they are still walking around with the mindset of a prisoner of war. Though Christ has set us free, we can still be bound in the mind, held back by our past or we fail to make the proper choices to maintain our freedom by continuing in our sinful ways. We want the benefits of freedom but we don’t want to make the changes needed to remain in that freedom.
Though Jesus set us free when we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and received His free gift of salvation, we have a responsibility to maintain that freedom or risk being entangled again by a yoke of slavery. The scripture advises us to stand fast in the liberty (freedom) by which Christ has made us free. This means it takes effort to stay free. We must read the Word of God and apply it to our life. We must have a prayer life to remain close to God so we are able to hear His directions. By knowing what the Word of God says, we will know what is right and what is wrong and we won’t be deceived by what the enemy or the world tells us. By knowing the Word of God, you will pull down the strongholds of the mind.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV)
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV)
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT)
Freedom is a gift and with that gift comes responsibility. Take time today to consider whether you are taking advantage of the freedom Christ has given to you or are you being responsible with it. Then go before the Lord and praise Him for the gift of salvation and the freedom He gave to you.