Galatians 5:13-15. 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.
The Source of Life.
Christ in us is our life now. He is our freedom. We have been called to freedom. When you have accepted unconditional love and relinquished control of your life to Christ, you are free to love others simply because of their intrinsic value. We no longer have to love based on what we can gain from loving. We no longer have to love in order to control others or maintain our own worth.
The Signs of Life.
A couple days ago, we saw that hope produces faith and faith produces love. Now we can add to this service. Love will produce serving others. Our source of life, the indwelling Christ, produces hope, and this living Hope will ultimately produce serving Love in us. This is the sign of life. We can tell that you are trusting in Christ as your source of life when we see the sign of his life– serving one another.
So here’s a great Christian paradox: our freedom in Christ will result in us choosing to be slaves of one another.
Think about your life. Your family. Your church. Your work place. Your friends. Are you living as a servant? A slave? Do you submit to others? Do you put their needs first? Do you embrace the ministry of inconvenience? Are your preferences on the back burner? Each time we serve others because of their intrinsic worth alone, expecting nothing in return from them, and no “brownie points” with God, we are living in the freedom of Christ. We are living from hope and faith.
Or are you using your freedom in Christ to feed your flesh? Your selfishness? Your desire to self promote? To self justify? Do you serve others just to look good, or to appease the church or God? Do you serve only to prove to yourself that you’re not a bad Christian? Do you serve to look good in front of others? Each time we serve from these motivations we are under the law; the elementary principles of this world. We are in bondage and rejecting Christ’s grace.
“To live is Christ” is to love from faith. And to love as Christ is to serve others. Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. How could he do something so selfless? So radical? He was free. Freed by the glory of love that he received from the Father. Christian, you have this same love and glory. You have this same freedom of Christ. To have his life is to have the life of a free slave. Now we can be what we are. We can be servants of one another from a pure heart rooted in eternal hope, unwavering faith, and boundless love.