Independence Day usually gets us talking about freedom. The freedom our nation’s founders fought for and established. The freedom we enjoy today as citizens of this nation. And, in the church this conversation crosses over into the freedom we have in Christ. For today, I’ll keep with the latter.
We love to quote Galatians 5:1a, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” But what is this freedom that Paul is referring to? It is a freedom from and a freedom for. It is a freedom from the burden of keeping the Law as a means of righteousness. For Paul, righteousness is a grace received through faith in Christ. It is, also, a freedom for the purpose of loving one another. Paul explains this in verses 13-14.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul turns the burden of keeping the law on its ear. Keeping the law will never achieve righteousness, but to love well we must treat one another rightly, which is the heart of the law and honors God as well. So, this holiday weekend, let me stand with Paul and declare as Jesus did, “You are free to love!”
Grace and peace,