Please read Galatians 5.1-15

In our devotional passages this morning, the apostle Paul digs the cleats of his feet shod with the gospel of peace into the proverbial ground and simply declares to the people of God, stand fast in the liberty where Christ has set us free. What is this liberty that we now have in Christ? Vertically, before God, this liberty is emancipation from the bondage and impossibility of the keeping the Law of Moses, or the necessity of observing rituals or doing good works as the means of our being accepted with God in addition to our faith in Christ. There is no such mixture of grace and works allowed for in the gospel. Our salvation and right standing with God is predicated solely upon faith in the all-sufficient sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ. Grace crucifies legalism.

Horizontally, before our fellow man, both in and outside of the body of Christ, this liberty that we now have in Christ results in a radical change from the love of self and self-centered living, to that of loving Christ and others for the glory of God. To live after the flesh is likened to a pack of rabid dogs who bite and devour its prey. The transformation that takes place within at the time of our new birth is a work of God that reverses the way of thinking and living that we held before we knew Jesus Christ as Lord. The liberty that we now have in Jesus is a liberty to love one another with a love that is kind, gracious, forgiving and sacrificial. It is a love that is not natural. It is a love that follows the death of self. In one sense, the call of the gospel is the call to come and die that you might live. As sheep in the fold of God, we are taught to love one another. Care for one another. Pray for one another. Simply put, this liberty that we have in Christ is a liberty to love freely, cheerfully and all for the glory of God.