Freedom in Christ

This week we are celebrating the 4th of July also known as Independence Day in the United States of America. This is a day we remember and celebrate our freedom as a country, our independence. We celebrate with our family and friends enjoying barbeques, bonfires and fireworks. But what does Independence actually mean? And what does it look like to truly be free? According to the Merriam-webster dictionary, Independence means; not subject to control by others, not requiring or relying on something else. How truly free we are in this country might be debatable, but one thing we can be sure of…

We find freedom in Christ!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

According to the word free here in this verse is the Greek word eleuthero which means; to make free from the dominion of sin, to make free one from another’s control, to liberate from bondage. There is a similarity between the Greek word eleuthero and the English word independence. Both carry the definition; to be free from the control of others.

Jesus wants us to be independent, he offers us freedom!

But what kind of freedom? Freedom from sin, freedom from the control of others, freedom from the bondage of this world. Our independence does not mean independence from Christ. We depend on Jesus to supply our every need. He is the author and perfector of our faith, and we need to ask Him for his wisdom and direction in this life. But I think as the church, as the bride of Christ we use Galatians 5:1 to only focus on freedom from sin when we could benefit from this other definition as well; to make free from another’s control.

If Jesus is LORD of your life, then that means no one else is or should be. We can benefit from listening to the advice of others and there have been many sermons that have challenged my heart in a good way. But your pastor is not the LORD of your life. Your spouse is not the LORD of your life. Your parents are not the LORD of your life. Your friends whom you really want to impress, they are not LORD of your life. Only Jesus is your LORD and Savior. And if Jesus is truly your LORD, then you are free from the opinions of others because only His opinion matters.  

Apostle Paul says it this way in Galatians 1:10; Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Dear church, true freedom in Christ means being a servant of Jesus – not people. That does not mean that Jesus won’t ask you to serve others, he wants us to serve. But how often do we try to serve others without Jesus? Go to Jesus first. Ask him to show you where he wants you to serve and then obey because you desire to please Jesus and His will for your life rather than trying to gain approval by mere human beings.

We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4

I’ve heard many sermons on how to free our minds from the judgment of the world, but sometimes we need to free our minds from the judgement of the very ones sitting next to us in church. The people we love the most tend to be the people who judge us the most and we still need to love them. But we can free our minds, our beliefs, our hearts from the harsh judgements of those next to us. Our worth is not based on what any person says to us or about us. Our worth is only based on what God says and He says you are His child.

 Freedom in Christ means to be independent of all else but Jesus. You are no longer a slave to sin, and you are no longer a slave to people and their human opinions. You are free because you are a child of God.

Who the Son sets free Oh is free indeed

I’m a child of God Yes I am

In my Father’s house There’s a place for me

I’m a child of God Yes I am

I am chosen Not forsaken

I am who You say I am

You are for me Not against me

I am who You say I am

Words and Music by Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan

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