Freedom In Christ Is Not An Excess to Be Feared
A dear Christian couple came into my office a number of years ago with a concern over the teaching of our Student Ministries Pastor.
“He’s talking a lot about our freedom in Christ, and that can lead to excesses. We’re trying to establish some rules to protect our son from the influences of the world.”
I surely understand the desire to protect our children from this evil age, and I wold agree that there should be some clear boundaries to guide an adolescent.
However. freedom in Christ is not an excess to be feared but a blessing to be embraced.⇦Tweet that!
Freedom in Christ Is A Blessing To Be Embraced
If you’ve been taught to fear Christian liberty, turn to Galatians 5:7-15. This passage highlights four reasons freedom in Christ is the only pathway to maturity:
Liberty leads to maturity; legalism leads to immaturity. Even one legalistic rule, regulation, or preoccupation derails the work of the Spirit in your life to make you more like Christ. What is a rule, regulation, or preoccupation that you feel you are most vulnerable to following to “become righteous” due to your home, church, or religious culture of origin? Trying to keep that rule rather than living out of who you are in Christ will stunt your growth rather than enhancing your growth.
Liberty leads to unity; legalism leads to disunity. Another horrible downside to your personal views of rules and regulations every “good Christian” should follow is that you’ll begin to judge others who aren’t keeping the rules as well as you. And, when you aren’t keeping the rules, you’ll just hide and shame.
Maturity always loves; immaturity always self-indulges. Your status as a cherished child of the Father frees you up to love others, and that’s the ultimate evidence that Jesus is real. (See John 13:34-35) When your definition of maturity only involves keeping a few rules you’re going to become preoccupied with yourself and your performance. Bad idea!
Love fulfills every commandment; legalism focuses on just a few. The truly liberated Christian is fulfilling every commandment as he or she follows the Spirit’s leading to love Christ and others.
I hope you’ll listen to the sermon where I teach these principles here.
Remember, Christ set us free to mature and love others.⇦Tweet that!