You are called to Freedom

Galatians 5
 1IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off]. 
    2Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage, avail) to you [for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him]. 
    3I once more protest and testify to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation and bound to practice the whole of the Law and its ordinances. 
    4If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing). 
    5For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faithanticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope. 
    6For [if we are]in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. 
    7You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth? 
    8This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ]. 
    9A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church]. 
    10[For my part] I have confidence [toward you] in the Lord that you will take no contrary view of the matter but will come to think with me. But he who is unsettling you, whoever he is, will have to bear the penalty. 
    11But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [as some accuse me of doing, as necessary to salvation], why am I still suffering persecution? In that case the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block and is made meaningless (done away). 
    12I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off! 
    13For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 
    14For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 
    15But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. 
    16But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

Jesus tells us that HE came to set the captives FREE and that where the Spirit of the LORD is there is LIBERTY.


In his letter Paul is encouraging us not to get into religious bondage.  In Gal 5:13 he says we are called to freedom / liberty. Paul says that our 
righteousness is not gained through self effort following rules and regulations but through faith accepting what Christ did for us; HIS finished work on the cross that leads to salvation.

Jesus says that HIS yoke is easy – merely believing by faith that HE is who HE says HE is and that HIS death on the cross has paid the penalty for our sins and that through HIS death and resurrection we are in right standing with GOD. It’s not through works / self effort / creating and obeying rules and regulations that we gain righteousness.


Our 
Declaration of Independence was created 235 years ago by a small nation of individuals who were Christ Followers believing in the truth of the Word of God. They were focused on establishing a nation free of imposed religion [rules and practices] that ran contrary to the written Word Of God. They were focused on worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.

The original intent was to remove all government control and committed to allowing God to work through every level of our lives.


So today we celebrate not only our national day of freedom of worship and religion but as Paul wrote we also celebrate our freedom on a spiritual level. A righteousness not based on religious bondage [following rules and regulations] but base on faith in the finished work of Jesus.


So we ask the question: to what end does this freedom lead? It is the freedom to help others; to help as many others as we can. In verse 13 & 14 Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost says: 
    13For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 
    14For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.


B Blessed!

B Free!

Len 

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