My Freedom – Standing on Jesus
Audio Commentary by Robin Kidd.
Scripture: Galatians 5:1
Lesson Goal: To learn of and better understand the freedom Christ provides true followers and how this freedom affects the way we live.
We’ve all heard the expression “Freedom doesn’t come free.” During this holiday weekend, as we get together with family and friends to barbecue, swim, shoot fireworks or just relax, let us never take for granted the freedoms we have as Americans which enable us to do these things. And let us never forget the great sacrifices made over the last 239 years that have allowed us the blessings of this freedom. From the American Revolution until today, over 1,300,000 Americans have died defending this great nation. When I think about the countless family members and friends whose lives have been turned upside down because of their sacrifice, it truly helps me realize that “Freedom doesn’t come free.” We should thank our God above that we have been blessed to live in the United States of America!
Often American men and women who serve and fight on our behalf are rightly referred to as “freedom fighters.” Today we focus on the one I have often heard Bro. Gary Hughes speak of as “The Greatest Freedom Fighter in History,” the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, we find many times in the Bible the truth that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Galatians 5:1a says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” And John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
• What does it mean to have freedom as an American?
• What does it mean to have freedom in Christ?
We seem to have a pretty good grasp of what it means to be free as an American. Our freedom as Americans affects the way we live and the things we do. But do we understand what it means to be free in Christ?
• How does your freedom in Christ affect the way you live and the things you do?
Today we are going to seek the answer to what it means to be free in Christ.
Galatians 5:1—“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.” This verse tells us two things. First, we (true followers) have been set free by Christ. Second, the fact that we have been set free affects the way we live (stand firm).
Then the questions to answer are:
What has Christ set us free from?
How does this freedom affect the way we live?
To answer these questions, I am going to refer back to a sermon Bro. Mickey preached some time ago. He posed this question: “What has Christ set us free from?”
The answer: The penalty, the power and the presence of Sin.
Christ Has Set Us Free From the Penalty of Sin.
When I hear the word “penalty,” my mind immediately goes to sports. In the sports world, a penalty is never a good thing for the guilty party. In football, they send you in the opposite direction you ultimately want to go. In soccer, they give the opposing team a free kick, greatly increasing their chances of scoring a goal. And in ice hockey, they actually put you in a little box and make you sit there by yourself while everyone else plays.
As bad as penalties are in sports, they don’t come close to comparing to the penalty for sin. What is the penalty for sin?
Romans 6:23a tells us: “For the wages of sin is death.” In other words, the penalty for sin is death.
Who is guilty of sin and, thus, must pay the penalty?
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “All” means ALL. Everyone reading this lesson today is guilty of sin.
To understand the severity of this penalty, we must understand what “death” in this context means. We look at physical death with dread, because it often comes with much pain and suffering. But the death the Bible refers to, as the penalty for sin, is much worse than any physical death. It is a separation from God for an eternity in a state of torment. Physical suffering eventually comes to an end, but the penalty of spiritual death never ends.
BUT there is GOOD NEWS!!!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Jesus wants to free you from the penalty of sin. He wants to give you eternal life instead of an eternal death. Jesus has already paid the penalty for you and freed you from it! You don’t have to pay the penalty.
• Have you accepted this gift Jesus has provided and wants to give you?
• For the true follower, how does knowing that Jesus paid this for you change the way you live?
Hope changes the way we live. We have all experienced the stress and uneasiness that comes with dreading something in front of us. But with Christ, there is no need to dread. The hope, which eternal life brings, results in a great freedom to live life.
Christ Has Set Us Free From the Power of Sin.
• Does freedom in Christ mean that we can do whatever we want, since we will be forgiven anyway? Please explain.
The Apostle Paul answered this question clearly in Romans 6:1-2: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
Galatians 5:1b says, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
• What are some things that result from living a life in sin?
As Galatians 5:1b states, sin is a burden. Living in sin is not living at all. Temporary pleasure may come, but pain, suffering and heartache are the ultimate result of a sinful lifestyle. Christ has freed us from the power which sin has over our lives and freed us to live for something greater. Please read Romans 6:22; 1 Peter 2:16; 1 Corinthians. 6:12; Galatians 5:13-14.
Being a music minister, I obviously listen to a lot of music. I love songs that have great spiritual truths. One of my favorite songs about freedom is “Let Freedom Ring” by the Gaither Vocal Band. The second verse says:
God built freedom into every fiber of creation,
And He meant for us to all be free and whole.
But when my Lord bought freedom
With the blood of His redemption,
His cross stamped pardon on my very soul.
I love that word “pardon.” But let’s think about what it means as we understand it in today’s time.
When a person is pardoned, a prisoner is freed, are they free to go back into society and do anything and everything they wish to do (including doing unlawful things)? No! Lawbreaking will lead them back to jail. They are free to live in a new way, different from the way that led them to jail in the first place. Did Christ pay for your freedom and set you free to go right back into what held you in bondage in the first place?
So Galatians 5:1b says, “stand firm.” Christ has not only freed you from the penalty of sin but also from the power of sin over your life. He has provided all you need to not go back there again.
Romans 6:16-18 makes it clear that on this earth every person is either a slave to sin or a slave to God.
John MacArthur writes:
Slavery to Christ not only means freedom form sin, guilt, and condemnation, it also means freedom to obey, to please God, and to live the way our Creator intended us to live – in intimate fellowship with Him. Thus, “having been freed from sin, we have been enslaved to God” (Romans 6:2, cf 1 Peter 2:16). Slavery to Christ, then, is the only freedom, for “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
• How has your life changed since you accepted freedom from the power of sin which Christ gave to you?
Christ provides true followers a power, through the Holy Spirit, over sin that they did not possess before. The result is a life that is different. If you couldn’t answer the question above, have you truly accepted this freedom?
Christ Will Set Us Free From the Presence of Sin.
For the follower of Jesus Christ, this is your future—freedom from the presence of sin. We still live in a sinful world with all of its struggles, but one day we will not.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).
• According to Revelation 21:3-4, what accompanies sin?
Christ will ultimately give the true follower freedom forever from tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain.
PRAISE BE TO GOD!
Have you accepted the freedom Christ has provided?
You can today by calling out to Him.