“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13)
This verse gives us three things to think about. It begins a new section in the book and has a slightly different tone. It’s Paul’s “Task for Today” in a way. He reminds them that the gospel brought them freedom. They are free from the law and its penalty. Their sins have been forgiven and they are called to live a life in the Spirit rather than in the law.
However, being called to freedom doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want. It isn’t that kind of freedom and never was meant to be. Being free from the penalty doesn’t mean you are free to do sin. Paul told the Romans that they weren’t to keep sinning just so there could be more grace. He made it plain that we were to sin just to sin. Christians were not cleansed so they could return to the mud and wallow in it. Christians were cleansed to do good things, not bad ones.
What good things then? Use the new freedom in Christ to serve one another. Is this a duty thing? Can we earn “good-boy” or “good-girl” points? No this is done from the platform of love. Love does not demand payment. Love seeks nothing for self just for the one loved.
What would be the result of this verse being put into action by Christians around the world? No infighting in churches. No ugly gossip shared in whispers. No brother or sister hungry, or naked. Sad hearts would be lifted, the arms of the depressed would be lifted up. People in prison would be visited and would know they aren’t forgotten and that someone still cares. Orphans would be more than housed, fed and clothed. Enemies would be put to shame, broken hearts healed, relationships restored.
Task for Today: You are free in Christ. How will you use the freedom? It’s an opportunity to serve self or to serve others. Use yours to serve others. Let the love of God flow through you today. Be His arms and feet and voice. You can do this because you are free to do it. No strings attached, just let the love freely flow.