As you begin to read this week’s devotional check out this song by All Sons & Daughters. It’s a song that we sing in HSM occasionally and the chorus is straight from scripture.
“I am set free oh oh oh oh
I am Set free oh oh oh oh
It is for freedom that I am set free”
It is for freedom that I am set free—practically a direct quote from Galatians 5:1 where Paul told the church in Galatia, it is “for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” I don’t know about you but this can kind of sound redundant…maybe you find yourself thinking ”well ya, freedom sets me free, seems pretty self-explanatory.” What’s important to recognize in this verse is that God has set us free and with this freedom we have some serious choices to make: What will we do with our freedom?
We as believers in Jesus Christ have been set free from the punishment of sin and death, but we still live like slaves. It might be helpful to quickly define what I mean by “slave.” 2 Peter 2:19 describes slavery as anything that overcomes or rules over a person. Anything that guides your actions, anything that you choose to submit to becomes your master and you its slave.
We become slaves when we submit to the opinion of others
when we compare ourselves to others
when we always need the latest and greatest
when we choose sin
when we make faith a list full of rules.
All the time we use our freedom in Christ to choose to be a slave to something else. No matter what you do, your actions and decisions begin with submitting to something. The choice you have to make is who (or what) will I submit to? God wants us to use our freedom to choose him, to be a slave to him.
Woah woah woah! Stop right there! A SLAVE to GOD?? WHAT!?
Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you…, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
When we choose Jesus, we are no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness. In other words, we are motivated by the life of Jesus and submitted to how he calls us to live. As a slave to Jesus we are called to use our freedom to love and serve one another. The fullness of freedom in Jesus is to love God and love others.
Be encouraged by this verse and spurred on to live in Freedom!
Galatians 5:13-14 says, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.”
- Nolan Henslick