Freedom in Christ

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. NASB

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ESV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. KJV

We are opening a series to start the new year. The topic is “Freedom in Christ”.

Note the three translations from the English Standard Version (ESV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the King James Version (KJV). There is purpose in understanding how translators operate. Translators are looking at the original Greek text as written by the Apostle Paul in the case of the verse from Galatians. Ultimately, the Spirit of God is the author as communicated to Paul as written in the original Koine Greek. This is the common, street language of the day in the first century.

So what is Biblical “freedom” or “liberty”? What are free from? How does one live in “freedom”? Why are we free? What does a Christian do with their newly found “freedom”? What does it mean to be free?

What is “freedom” or “liberty”? This is the Greek word ἐλευθερία/eleutheria. Multiple lexicons and dictionaries state the term as freedom or liberty. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the term as liberty to do or to omit things having no relation to salvation; the liberty to do as one pleases.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free…

Christ’s work on the cross set us free. He paid for the consequence of humanity’s sin. The result is our freedom. We are free from sin. We are called to live in freedom apart from sin.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Humanity and culture have perverted the notion of freedom and liberty. The world says, “Do whatever you want.” The world wants to negate the consequence of these choices. We also have choices in Christ.

We are not free to sin. Yes we will still sin, hopefully less and less as we grow in Christ. But those sins are covered too. We are forgiven. He loves us as we are. And we are called to love others in our freedom. Give and provide for others.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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At some point, this nonsense will be brought to a close. Jesus Christ will reign and there will be consequences.

Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our lowly condition into conformity with His glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

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