It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1
It has been said, “Freedom so often means that one isn’t needed anywhere.” So employees no longer needed at work are given their freedom with the proverbial pink slips of dismissal. Such “freedom,” in many cases, leads to bondage – to the obligation to find another source of income.
Freedom from something, to be meaningful and enjoyable, had best be accompanied by freedom for something. Freedom in a vacuum can be boring. Here is a child, when asking its mother, “What can I do?” was told, “Do whatever you want to do.” The reply to that was, “I am tired of doing what I want to do.”
Freedom has a distinct meaning when considered in the light of the Gospel. Saint Paul lays much stress on freedom in his letter to the Galatians. False teachers had trailed him into the area, claiming that the Law of Moses which demanded certain good works, especially Sabbath observance and the practice of circumcision, was still in effect for New Testament Christians. This demand, according to the apostle, was “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). In fact, it was no Gospel at all, for the true Gospel proclaims that Jesus Christ has freed us from the curse of the Law by Himself bearing its curse: death. Now freed from the law and justified through faith in Jesus’ merit, we have forgiveness, peace with God, and the guarantee of a foretaste of eternal life now and the full enjoyment of it in heaven.
We are free in Christ, with Saint Paul bidding us: “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Free from something, we are free for something – free to leave life’s cares and burdens behind and to seek the higher good in Christ, free to leave the slavery to sin and serve the living God, free to enjoy all the blessings of God’s grace and to share the Good News with the people around us. It is wonderful to be free in this sense.
PRAEYR: Lord, give me a faith that fully understands my freedom under Christ’s Gospel, and give me willingness to translate it into daily life. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)