Jesus Sets You Free
May 28, 2017
Scripture: Galatians 5:1-6
I. You need faith in Christ if you want freedom.
A. Before we look at the necessity of faith I want us to think about what we need to be set free from. What is enslaving us? What tyrants are over us? Paul writes about two of those tyrants in Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Another tyrant besides sin and death is Satan. And another way to say that Jesus has freed us from sin, death and Satan is to say that Jesus has freed us from the law. When we sin we break God’s law, and Satan then uses that Law to accuse us of our guilt and to sentence us to death. But the Good News of the Gospel says that because of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ the law no longer has that kind of power over me. I am free.
B. The Galatian church was in danger of going back into the slavery of the Law. That is why Paul urged the church in vs. 1: Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. There is only one way of salvation. And that way is not through doing good works of the Law. The one way of salvation is through faith alone in Christ – the faith that Paul writes about in vs. 5.
II. You need hope in Christ if you want freedom.
A. Our hope in Christ is tied into our faith in Christ as we see in verse 5: “For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” We cannot be saved by any good works that we do. We can only be saved by faith. In fact, if we try to be saved by our good works, then Jesus Christ can no longer do us any good (vs. 2). We need to let Jesus to do everything for us in making us righteous before God, or Jesus can do nothing for us. It is only faith in Jesus and His grace that saves.
B. Paul is saying in vs. 5 that righteousness is not something you work for. Righteousness is something you wait for. It is something you hope for in the future. When you put your faith in Jesus that He died for your sin, God declares you righteous at that time. You are free from the guilt of your sin today if you are a Christian. But God will not reveal your righteousness to the entire world until the final day of judgment. On that day, our certain hope because of our faith in Jesus is that God will say before everyone watching and listening that I am not guilty.
III. You need love in Christ if you want freedom.
A. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (verse 6). “Who cares about circumcision?” Paul asks. Because the life that pleases God is a life of faith alone in Jesus Christ. What matters is whether or not you are clinging to Christ in faith. And if you have faith in Jesus, your faith will naturally produce something. The faith that alone saves you is never alone. Faith always produces fruit. And what is the fruit that every Christian produces? Love. That is why love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that is listed in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” All Christians have faith in Christ. And that faith gives you the freedom to love God and other people. You are not free to be selfish. You are free to love.
Christ has set you free from sin, death and Satan. Rejoice in your freedom!
The letter to the Galatians
Commentaries on Galatians by Philip Ryken and Thomas Schreiner