Galatians 5:1. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
This verse is often considered a summary of the whole book of Galatians. God wants us to live. He made us for life, his own zoe, or spiritual life, beyond our physical (bios) and soulical (psyche) life. But this life is only possible where there is freedom.
Galatians 5:1 tells us that freedom is both the means and the end. We are set free in order to be free. God wants you to be free. So much so, that he took on slavery to obtain your freedom. The gospel was a freedom mission through Jesus’ own enslavement. Jesus enslaved himself to humanity and the sin of humanity. He enslaved himself to the flesh and the death that comes with it. All so that we could be free from sin, the flesh, and death, and all the limitations of fallen humanity. Why? So that we could freely choose to worship God.
The Source of Life
Jesus is the source of our freedom. Being In Christ gains us access to all the freedom that is his. As our representative, we receive the freedom of Christ through our co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ. Christ is also in us. He lives out his freedom through us.
So now, our freedom is Christ’s freedom. He is free, therefore we are free. Jesus was freed from death at the resurrection. And, unlike others who were raised from the dead, he would never die again. He was raised to a new spiritual body. In this way he was freed from fallen humanity. Jesus is still human, but his new spiritual body is not dying, and will never die again.
Jesus is also completely free from sin. Of course Jesus never sinned. But he became sin on the cross. Our sin. He is free from your sin, and so you are free from your sin. He is free from temptation to sin, and one day we will be free from the temptation to sin. He now lives in glory without any desire other than to love and serve God and us.
The Sign of Life
You are free- so stand firm therefore and don’t return to a yoke of slavery. This is Christ’s command to us. Standing firm is the sign of the indwelling life of Christ. It is the result of the freedom that Christ has already obtained for us and placed in us by his Spirit. Standing firm prevents us from returning to the yoke of slavery.
Slavery to what?
Slavery to law and the elementary principles of this world (3:3,9). As we saw yesterday we are not slaves to our situations, we are slaves to our inner desire to live by cause – effect and our desire to create our own identity. We are slaves to the self salvation schemes. We are slaves to ourselves because of control. We are slaves to others and their approval and acceptance.
It is crucial for us to understand that the freedom we have in Christ positionally can be lost conditionally. Yes we are free. Freed by Christ forever. But that very freedom allows us to run back to slavery. We can return to the very prison guard and slave tutors that once oppressed us (remember Galatians 3:23-24). Any system of law keeping is slavery. Any idolatry is slavery. Any moralism is slavery. Why? Because it controls you. You live never sure if your good enough. Life is reduced to fear, guilt, or pride.
“To live is Christ” brings the security and peace of true freedom. Freedom to truly love God with your whole heart, mind, and strength. Freedom to choose worship of God over idolatry. But true freedom also brings the ability to run back to slavery. Praise God we have the life of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, as the objective reality of our freedom. As he is free so are we. We are freed to be free. We are freed to be free to let Christ’s life of love and holiness flow from us by faith.