True freedom

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: Galatians 5:1-12; Psalm 63:1-11

READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

In Galatians 5, Paul reminded the believers that they should not accept the false teaching that circumcision (a representation of the law) would be able to save them. Where salvation is concerned, it is either the law or grace in Christ; there is simply no “middle way”. It is precisely for our “freedom” that Jesus has chosen the way of the Cross.

Yet, what is this “freedom” that has been redeemed for us through the blood of Christ? Is it a freedom to do what we want in the name of the grace of God? Apparently not. Paul said in Romans 6 that because of Christ we have died to sin and hence should not continue to live in it.

Christ did not die to give us freedom to sin or to indulge in our own flesh. “Grace” is not a licence to live as if what happened on earth does not matter for eternity. Instead, Christ died so that we can have freedom to live as God’s children for His glory. Christ died so that we are free from the power of sin and the tyranny of the self. Christ died so that we are now empowered in the Spirit to freely obey God and serve Him. True freedom in Christ rejoices in the privilege to live in the Spirit and shuns the false freedom of being indulgent in the bonds of the flesh.

After conversion, the very first thing I marvelled as a child of God is the freedom from the power of sin. Empowered by the Spirit, I discovered that I can flee from temptations and overcome what previously seemed impossible. My first realisation of such an empowerment touched my heart deeply and brought me to great gratitude in the grace of God.  Indeed, it is by the grace of God that I can experience what true freedom is really about. May the Lord help me to continue to marvel at His grace. This is so that I would not take His offer of true freedom for granted; and hence slip into sin.

Lord, thank You for allowing us to find true freedom in You. May You open the hearts of those we are praying for to receive this gift of true freedom in You. Help us to constantly marvel at the grace You have given to us in Christ Jesus. This is so we can continue to serve You with a heart of thanks-giving. Amen.