We have great liberty. We have the greatest freedom ever in Christ.
Romans 8:21 “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” 1 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Gal. 5:13a “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty;” This is the greatest liberty there is.
We have been freed from the slavemaster of sin. We have been set free. We have been freed from the bondage of the law. We are not enslaved to a works salvation. The Bible is clear about our position of who we are in Christ. There are two things we need to consider when thinking about this awesome liberty we possess. Since this is lengthy, it will be two parts.
First, we need to be careful that we do not allow others to enslave us again. We are free. That is a fact that accompanies salvation as much as my justification. I am free from sin. However, there are believers who are talked back into the chains of bondage. They willingly pick them back up. They cannot ever again be shackled to them, but they carry them regardless. Paul warns against this in Galatians.
Paul speaks to those that had been set free and tells them to beware of Judaizers (law keepers who preached works added to faith). Gal. 2:4 “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:” Gal. 4:9 “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” Gal 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” These men came to spy out the liberty and to take believers back into bondage.
We have churches and Bible colleges doing this today. They preach for doctrine the commandments of men. They preach a low view of Scripture, and a long list of rules. These rules become the measuring stick as opposed to recognizing the new man we are in Christ. People fall into a trap of forgetting what God has done in their hearts. Paul’s fear in Galatians with these people is whether or not they are really saved. Gal.4:11 “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Did he labor in vain? Was the response they made to the Gospel false? This is how serious it is to run back into bondage.
Those who have been made free will be tempted. We may be taught that bondage is where we must be. But it is not the way God intended. It is not the position God has given us in Christ. We must take heed we avoid going back. We must be careful with those that appear to be going back. Speak to them of the freedom they have. Preach Galatians to them. Paul spends this book on what our liberty has done for us. Open it up and go there. Recognize that believers don’t naturally run back to chains. If you know a believer who is living in chains of this bondage (and the depression it brings) then recognize it isn’t from God. Maybe it is poor friends, or false teachers. Access to false teachers via the internet and other media is so easy.
Encourage them. Show them. Pray for them – recognizing that Paul’s fear was a false response. Pray God will reveal Himself to them. Don’t fall into the trap yourself. Know who you are as a new creature, called to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Rest in who God is, and what He has done. Do not seek to add to that. Rest in Christ.