Sunday Scrutinizations: Environmental Freedom
This summer Township Line Church were going out to the streets. Our experiment in inviting the community to our service and dinners had mixed results. It was beautiful to see most of the fellowship continuing to come out in the hot temperatures. It showed the dedication of this family and how we all wanted to be a part of it. There wasn’t many people coming from the neighborhood we were meeting in, but there was many promises of interest; I’m not really sure what to make of that, but God was glorified in it all. The elders have decided that many have appreciated the later meetings so we are continuing it for now, meeting at our old building, 8 miles out-of-town, starting at 4pm and dinner at around 5:30.
Tonight’s sermon, we were told was part 1 of 2. Personally, all the sermons I’ve heard there have one great connection: the Gospel. This first one was called “Freedom”. We’ve been going through Galatians and we are specifically looking at chapter 5:1-18.
So how does the Christian live in Freedom? When we look at the gospel we must understand that all condemnation is gone, that we are accepted because of what Christ has done; it is based on nothing we have done. So we can do whatever we want. That is part of the freedom we understand. Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” We look at circumcision meaning morality and uncircumcision meaning debauchery. So, neither has value when you are in Christ. It changes nothing in our acceptance, changes nothing in our condemnation.
Let’s look at what freedom doesn’t mean before we go on. We have a concept that when we have freedom, it means we can do anything. There are 3 failures in this idea.
- It is self-defeating. This means that when we believe we can do whatever we want, it’ll conflict with other’s desires. We cancel out each other’s freedom.
- It is incompatible with the complexity of the human heart. Steak is delicious and we would like the freedom to eat it all the time, but it is unfortunate that our bodies couldn’t handle it.
- It doesn’t flow from love. It is unfortunate that in this country all our freedom has led to the most selfish nation ideology.
As Christians we have made the inaccurate mistake of emphasizing that Christ has saved us from something. Incidentally, we also make being saved about being able to go to heaven, when it is about spending eternity with the Creator of the universe. There are a lot of things we have misemphasized as Christians, (yes I just made up the word misemphasized). The emphasis that is the key in understanding our freedom is what we are saved for. Look at 5:6 again. It says that the only thing that counts, or is worthy in this discussion of freedom, is our faith expressing itself through love. Our service, our love for others is the freedom we have.
Now, we face this unsuredness of our place in God by doing good things or trying to stop doing the bad things all the time. We face the condemnation of ourselves because of our constant failure in our own attempts. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. How do we remember that? We just have to constantly fill our life with the certainty of His love every day, through His word, from His people. Let the love of Christ dwell in us richly.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law,” verse 18 reminds us. We are free from guilt. We are free from works of righteousness, and yes that doesn’t mean we have to do any of them, but if we are truly transformed, our freedom will allow us desire and opportunity to do good things for Him. We are free from those things that consume our being that is not Him, to pursue a more beautiful replacement which is the gospel of Christ.
My main take away from this is something that was barely mentioned. Verse 13 says, “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.” (NASB) Again, the bible tells us that our freedom is to serve one another. When we are in the environment God intended for us is when we live to our full potential of love. Look at the fish; it only has freedom in the water, in the environment God intended for the fish to exist in. Does a fish have freedom on your table? Of course not. It only have freedom in the environment God intended. Which is how we are. We only have freedom when we live the life, when we are in the environment He has created for us. He has created us for good works and in doing those with a grateful heart, is when we have true freedom.
Posted on August 24, 2014, in Sunday Scrutinization and tagged Circumcision, Environment, Freedom, Freedom doesn't mean, Galatians 5:1-18, Gospel, Love, Service, Service to others, Township Line Church. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.