About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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The Law and Freedom   

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery". (Gal. 5:1)

So often people use this scripture to say that we have been set free from emotional bondage in order to be free to raise our hands, shout to the Lord, dance in the Spirit, or to do other exuberant things in a Sunday meeting. We have been urged to shout out our praises because we have been set free. We have been encouraged to dance because this verse says that we have been set free from our shyness. 

This is not what this scripture is talking about. Look at what the last verse of Gal 4 says, " we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman". There is that word free again. Paul tells us in Gal. 4:24-26 that the slave woman represents the Old Testament Law and the free woman represents the New Covenant of Grace.

The freedom talked about in Gal. 5:1 has nothing to do with the way we worship, nothing to do with our behavior and the things we do or donít do in church meetings.  It has everything to do with being free from the bondage of the Old Covenant of works. In Gal. 4:30 it says, "get rid of the slave woman". He is saying, get rid of the law and the bondage it brings.

Why would Paul say such a thing. Paul knew that Jesus did not only die to forgive our sins, but He lived the perfect life in order to impart His righteousness to us. Godís insatiable desire for man to live perfect in holiness was satisfied when Jesus lived that life on earth for us.

Thanks to Jesus who lived that righteous life for us, knowing that we could not. Thank Jesus that Godís wrath will not be upon us. Thank Jesus because He lived the sinless life.  Now God sees us as perfect in His sight.

The law has showed us that we are so depraved and beyond any hope of helping ourselves that it has condemned us to an eternal death. You and I have been set free from the penalty of the law as well as from having the burden to fulfill it second by second as it demands. The more we understand these truths, with the assistance of Godís Spirit within, in a spirit of gratitude we will want to be obedient to our Lord, even though our best attempts fall far too short.   This is the true freedom spoken about in Gal. 5:1.

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