This statement opens to us one of the greatest deceptions which the Christian has to overcome. The World thinks of righteousness as restricting freedom. But in God’s economy, freedom is from FROM sin, not freedom TO sin.
James terms this freedom the “perfect law of liberty” (James 2:12). It is on this basis the Christian will be judged. The question will not be “did you refrain from X, Y & Z?” as much as it will be “did you walk in A, B & C?” – did we walk in the freedom Christ procured for us at Calvary? Are we taking advantage of the freedoms He has granted to us at the cost of His blood…(read more by clicking below)
If we put that into the context of Gal. 5:16-26, it is summarized by saying: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. ” (Galatians 5:16, ESV)
It is walking in love – displayed in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, tenderness and self control. If we are walking in these, then we simply cannot at the same time be engaging in: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.”
Until this change in perspective impacts us as fully psychologically as it ought, certain sins seem to have an unbreakable grip upon our souls. No, we are never free from the presence of indwelling sin in this life – but – the Cross has made a way for us to live more and more free from the bondage of sin – from its power over us.
This psychological grasp of what we are now free from and to in Christ is what Paul refers to as the “helmet of salvation.” It is coming to think like a redeemed person. How many of our sins are more rooted in wrong thinking and habitual patterns even over and above true temptations and direct allurements?How much we need to be “renewed in the spirit of [our] minds” (Eph. 4:12).
Do we think of ourselves as free to be joyful, free to be peaceful, kind, faithful, etc? Believer – you ARE free to live in these. And it is in living in that freedom which then delivers you from the “works of the flesh” which seem to bind you so.
The more we as believers investigate the finished work of Christ at Calvary, and the more we understand the nature of His having sent His Spirit to indwell us, and the more we lay hold upon the counsel of His Word – the more we enter into the radical freedom from sin’s influence He has ordained for us.
Beloved – search these things out. Give yourself to them. Seek after this reversal of viewpoint which the world, the flesh and the devil work so hard to hide from you. Begin to think of growth in sanctification as increased freedom NOT to sin, instead of some sort of God-imposed restriction from freedom. Only then can you begin to enjoy liberty as it is in Christ. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ” (Galatians 5:1, ESV)