Galatians 5:1: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
If you’ve ever seen the movie Braveheart, the first image likely to come into your mind is Mel Gibson’s blue painted face screaming, “FRRREEEEEEDDDOOOMMM!” as he rides into battle to bravely defend Scotland. And if you’re a proud American, you likely proclaim that our country is great because it is free. Our beautiful National Anthem even resounds this triumph with the concluding words, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” No matter how many times I’ve heard it, those majestic lyrics are enough to bring me (or any other patriot) to tears.
It’s amazing how much strong emotion is brought on by the word and concept of freedom. And rightly so- for it is the inborn desire of every person to be free. We yearn for the ability to think, speak, and act without hinderance or restraint; to not be governed by a foreign entity; and to not be imprisoned or enslaved to any person or thing.
The quest for freedom takes form in many aspects of our lives. This is evidenced by advertisements aimed at helping us find financial freedom, or advertisements informing us how working at home allows freedom in schedule setting or travel. We even seek freedom in our physical appearance, choosing clothing, accessories, and hairstyles that reflect who we are as a person. And when it comes to relationships (or even our appearance), we might lean into phrases like, “I’m free to be me.” We go after freedom in every category of life because it brings relief, joy, and peace. Some might even say freedom is the foundation for life itself.
As much as I enjoy the freedoms of this country, or believe in the benefits of financial freedom, or value the right to self-expression and healthy relationships, the truth is, these are not the freedoms I really need. They are the freedoms I love and enjoy…but they cannot save my soul.
Galatians 5:1 tells us it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. This freedom is twofold: 1)Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are forgiven. Meaning, no longer can Satan (or anyone else for that matter) accuse us before God. Our sins have been paid for in full, and for those who are in Christ, we can stand before God Almighty, uncondemned, covered in His grace. And 2) We are no longer slaves to sin; sin has been dethroned as our master! Instead, we become servants to Christ. If you find this unsettling or confusing, take comfort in Romans 6:22 which says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
It may seem paradoxical, but a life lived in service to the Savior of the world is the life of true freedom. There is no lasting joy to be had when we are in slavery to our sin- for this is a slavery that leads to death. There is however, infinite and eternal joy found in living obediently to Christ- for this is a servitude that leads to life.
Indeed, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. This freedom is the entire theme of this website as well as my book, Remade: Living Free. I humbly invite you to join with me in the pursuit of understanding the depths of this freedom given to us by the God who loves us immeasurably.