For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13(NASB)
We are not under the Law, but under grace. We were not born under the Law, which was given to pre-cross Israel, but have been saved by grace, during this post-cross, church dispensation. However, the church at Galatia did not understand the freedom they had in Christ, preferring to revert back to the old legalistic ways - which had been set aside, by Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
We are no longer under the curse of the Law, for Christ was made a curse for us, at Calvary. Rather, we are under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which.. by faith in Him, has set us free from the law of sin and of death.
The perfect Law pointed its accusing finger at our fallen, sin nature, which caused us to recognise our sin, and our great need of salvation. But Christ died to pay the enormous price for our sin - for God, in His grace, sent His own dear Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, as the only acceptable offering for our sin.
He became the full and final sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, and Christ's offering of Himself, freed us from slavery to sin and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. But many believers, in that Galatian church, found it difficult to move from the pre-cross legalism of the Mosaic Law to the post-cross freedom we have in Christ.
Christ's death condemned sin in the flesh, and paid the full price for all sin, in the life of all who believe.. so that the requirement of God's holy Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but have been born of the Holy Spirit of God.
The incredible freedom we received in Christ, released us from the recurring need to offer daily sacrifices to God. It freed us from the annual obligations to have our sins covered, for another year, by the insufficient blood of bulls and goats. Having been saved, through our faith in Christ.. we are to put off our old, former ways. We are to live by faith, and to walk in spirit and truth.
But sadly, there are those that abuse the wonderful freedom we have in Christ, during this dispensation of the grace of God. Some seek to turn the wonderful freedom we have in the Lord Jesus, into an opportunity for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.. to dominate our mind - catapulting us into a carnal lifestyle, that is detrimental to our spiritual growth, disastrous to our Christian witness and dishonouring to the Lord, Who bought us with His own blood.
Then as now, some Christians use the incredible freedom we have in Christ to indulge in worldly ways and carnal activities. They exploit our spiritual privileges and pervert the Word of God, by proclaiming that we are free to indulge in whatsoever ungodly acts and fleshly inclination take our fancy. But such misappropriation of God's Word is unacceptable, unscriptural and should be challenged and changed.
Once we have been saved, and set free from slavery to sin, by faith, we become a new creation in Christ. And although our sin nature is still resident within our mortal flesh, we have received power from on high to mortify our egocentric self, and to keep our sin nature nailed to the cross.
We have spiritual armour to protect ourselves from the ravages of the flesh and we have been given God's sufficient grace to stand fast in this evil day, and resist the devil and all his worldly temptations. We are to live as Christ lived.. in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.. and we are to love and serve one another - in the same way that Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us.
No wonder that Paul reminded the Christians in Galatia that carnality is equally as abhorrent, in the life of a Christians, as legalism, and reminded them.. you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this important reminder that both legalism and a license to sin is unacceptable in the life of a child of God. Thank You for the freedom I have in Christ and help me to live in holiness and righteousness to Your praise and glory - serving others through Christ's love, which only comes as I continue to abide in Him and He in me - this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN