Sunday February 9, 2014
Free To Serve
Read: Galatians 5:13 – 18 – Theme: Liberty Without License
“Believers are free from the law in Christ, but true freedom expresses itself in serving and loving others, not in satisfying selfish desires. Such freedom represents the fulfillment of the OT law.” Paul warns his readers against libertinism so that their liberty in Christ does not become an excuse for licentiousness.
Paul will make the argument that trying to live under the law can only lead to a reign of sin. The law cannot restrain sin because people are lawbreakers. Law will only increase sin. “Therefore, the solution to moral disorder is not the law but the Spirit.”
– What are legalism and license? “Whereas legalism demands responsibility without freedom, license grants freedom without responsibility” (Ryken).
– A quote from a hymn by Anna Waring (1850):
“In service which thy will appoints
there are no bonds for me;
my secret heart is taught the truth
that makes thy children free;
a life of self-renouncing love
is one of liberty.”
“What is God’s law now? It is not above a Christian – it is under a Christian. Some men hold God’s law like a rod, in terror, over Christians, and say, ‘if you sin you will be punished with it.’ It is not so. The law is under a Christian; it is for him to walk on, to be his guide, his rule, his pattern: ‘we are not under the law, but under grace.’ Law is the road which guides us, not the rod which drives us, nor the spirit which actuates us. The law is good and excellent, if it keep its place.”
“Although we cannot gain acceptance by keeping the law, yet once we have been accepted we shall keep the law out of love for Him who has accepted us and has given us His Spirit to enable us to keep it.”
See Hebrews 8:10 – 12 and Romans 8:1 – 4.