“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
Freedom. This word should ring dear to our hearts. It is the most prized possession this country has and might very well be the only just cause this country would still stand united behind. It is the very thing that every human being in the world wants. Every revolution, every political rally, every caged cry, every great action has all been in the name of freedom. We as human beings hate being ruled over. The revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, all have been a testament to American’s love and passion for freedom.
Christianity is freedom. When I came to Christ, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to be what God originally created me to be, I was no longer a slave to sin , and had the freedom to choose what was right. The chains were loosed, the cage was opened and the newly found freedom that surrounded me was truly divine. I no longer had to fear the Law, I know longer had to be burdened by the demands of the Law placed on me. I was finally free. This is what happened to all of us when we came to Christ. We became free. Now, this does not give us license to do whatever we want. Our sinful nature was crucified and slowly our desires are changing so the idea of Christian license should be unheard of. But we are now to be led by the Spirit, and instead of relying on man made rules to solve the gray issues of life we can rely on our convictions by the Spirit. If you are led to go through Christian schooling, that is your choice, if you feel that secular music has a bad effect on you than you have the freedom to not listen to it, if you feel that you should never smoke tobacco or never let alcohol touch your lips then that is your prerogative. But if you ever try to impose those convictions upon your Christian brother or sister, you are an enemy to the cross of Christ. Christ has died so that we might be free and by making our fellow believers follow our own individual convictions we make Christ’s death a joke. The Law has no hold on a believer for we have already been justified by blood.
We impose rules on other believers because our rules give us a sense of security and superiority and serve to inflate our naturally self-righteous egos. By mastering our “rules” we can hold it over other people’s heads and use it to beat them to death. We seem to let real sin and problems fester in our church, but we adamantly oppose any transgression against our cultural Christian values. “My relationship with Christ is as deep as the shallow end of a kiddie-pool, but at least I’ve never tasted alcohol.”
Legalism plays right into Satan’s game. The devil allows us to ward off the toy army men while he flanks us with an armored tank division. A legalistic church is like a prison filled with innocent men.
Lord Jesus, help us to live lives of liberty, not legality. Show us how to be free in your Spirit!