by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Galatians 5:13-26; Psalms 89:1-13
READ (Verses chosen for meditation)
Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
“Freedom”. What does this word mean in the context of Paul’s letter to the Galatians? When Paul said that the Christians in Galatia were “called to freedom”; he meant our freedom in Jesus Christ. Freedom in Christ has to do with Jesus’ work on the cross; which was to be sin so as to atone for the sins of those who believe. The act of atonement tore the veil in the temple in half; which signified that those who have faith in Christ is no longer subject to sin and death under the law. In Christ, we are freed from condemnation under the law.
Therefore, Paul told the Galatians not to use their new found freedom for what it was intended to destroy i.e. subjecting ourselves to the law again and giving ourselves to sinful behaviours. Instead, the Galatians were encouraged to use their new found freedom to love one another. Such shall be the rightful behaviours of those who by God’s grace, had been saved through faith.
One of my favourite movies of all time is “Braveheart” directed by Mel Gibson. It was a movie based loosely on the history of William Wallace, a Scottish warrior who led the Scots in their first war of independence against King Edward I. One of the famous quotes from the movie is a war cry from William Wallace while he tried to inspire his vastly outnumbered army: “They may take away our lives, but they will never take away our freedom!”
Freedom is important to the soul of humankind. Historically, we know of many men and women who fought for their own freedom as well as the freedom of others. Many of such battles were fought on the grounds of emotional as well as physical freedom. Yet, even as such demonstrations of courage to be “freed” are commendable; we can never be truly free without Jesus Christ. Without Christ, even if we enjoy all degrees of physical and emotional freedom; we can never have spiritual freedom.
Without Christ, we can never be freed from the spiritual prison of the sins we have committed, committing or going to commit. Without Christ, we are doomed to the judgment of God even if on the outset, we enjoyed the freedom of the flesh. Galatians 5 reminded me of how precious the spiritual freedom from Christ truly is. As a child of God in Jesus; I am now truly free in all sense of the word. How marvellous such love and grace is from my God who desires true freedom for all of His children.
Lord, help me to use my freedom to love You and one another. This is so I may not abuse such a precious gift You have given to me, but to use it for Your glory purpose. Amen.