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How to Have Liberty in Christ – Galatians 5:1

How to Have Liberty in Christ Galatians 5:1

This time of year, my thoughts turn to how thankful I am for the independence that I experience as an American. But I also recognize the sacrifices that have been made by so many to ensure this freedom. President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” His words have never been more poignant than right now when we are once again facing the possibility of war to secure a freedom that some seek to take away from us. Every day our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for our liberty and for the values we hold dear as Americans. Independence Day is the time we set aside to support the ongoing efforts of our military and to remember all of the freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice.

While I am reflecting on my liberty as an American, I also think about a more important kind of freedom I experience as a Christian. Jesus put His life on the line so that we could have everlasting liberty. He died to set us free, free from sin and free from the trappings of this world. It is only by His sacrifice that we can achieve this liberty.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
                                                             Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 #JesusChrist #BibleVerses Click To Tweet

The Apostle Paul, tells us how to have liberty in Christ in three parts. So, let’s break it down and examine each one.

#1 Stand Fast…

We cannot lose our salvation in Christ. That is the most basic fact of our Christian faith. Even though we can’t lose our salvation, we are told many times in the Bible to stand fast or to stand firm in our belief. The world is knocking on our door, trying to cause us to back down. They don’t want us to stand up for what we believe. They want us to agree with their misguided thoughts, that they are right and we are wrong. But we can’t back down. We must always be ready to stand fast and stand up for our faith.

#2 the liberty by which Christ has made us free…

Liberty in Christ and freedom from sin comes from accepting Jesus as your Savior. There is no other way. We know this because we have experienced the love and grace of salvation in Christ. But sometimes it slips our mind and we forget that we have been set free. So now is the perfect time to remember all that Christ has done for us and experience the liberty by which we have been made free.

#3 do not be entangled again by the yoke of bondage…

Sin is a burden that we don’t have to bear any longer. Jesus has taken that yoke on Himself so that we can be free from it. We don’t have to become entangled by the things of this world or by the sin that so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1). We can move forward knowing that because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we are able to live a life that is full and free from the bondage of sin and shame.

This Fourth of July, I hope that you will spend time with your family and friends, grill some burgers and hot dogs and watch the amazing fireworks displays. But most of all, I hope you will remember the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that true liberty comes from knowing Him.

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By | 2018-07-03T13:37:03+00:00 June 28th, 2017|4th of July, Christ|4 Comments

Abide in the Love of Christ -John 15:9-11

Abide in the Love of Christ John 15:9-11

What does it mean to abide in the love of Christ? The word “abide”, isn’t used very often in our modern vocabulary, but it’s a word that sparks my imagination. When I hear it, I think of cozy family dinners or intimate conversations with close friends. I would like to think that my relationship with Jesus is cozy and intimate. And I want to feel that there is a real connection between us and not just a ritual that I was taught as a young child. So how do we get there? How can we develop the close relationship we desire and abide in the love of Christ? The words of Jesus tell us how.

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

                                                  John 15:9-11

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 #Love #JesusChrist Click To Tweet

The word abide means to continue, remain in, or dwell. In this passage there are three key points about what it means and how to abide or dwell in Christ’s love. Let’s look at each one.

First, Jesus tells us that He loves us just as the Father loves Him. What an amazing thing to hear! Jesus wants us to continue to experience the joy of our salvation through Him and to have a close and personal relationship with Him, all because of His great love for us.

Second, Jesus explains that when we keep His commandments that is when we “abide” in or remain in His love. If we are obedient to Christ and His teachings then we are able to have the intimate relationship with Him that we are looking for.

Lastly, Jesus says that when we are obedient to Him, His joy will remain in us. This joy is a complete joy that is full of love. To receive this joy, all Jesus asks of us, is that we obey Him just as He has obeyed the Father. The idea of obedience is not a popular one these days, but to obey Jesus is to love Him. And when we love and obey, then we can truly experience what it means to abide in the love of Christ and have fullness of joy through Him.

Simply put, to abide in the love of Christ means to love Jesus and to be loved by Him. Just as the Father loved the Son, Jesus loves us. It sounds so easy, yet seems so complicated. In the fast paced modern world we live in, we can become so caught up in chasing the things of this world that we forget to be still and abide in the love of Jesus. But to set aside the things of this world and dwell in Him is exactly what we should do. My prayer for us today is that we will learn to obey the commandments of Jesus and understand what it means to follow Him in everything that we do. Then, through our obedience and love for Him, we will abide in the love of Christ and have fullness of joy.

Further Reading:
In 1 John 3:24 we hear again about abiding in Jesus. But there is an extra component to this verse. Can you spot it? What did you learn about abiding in Jesus? What is different about this verse? What is it that we are given to help us abide?

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By | 2018-08-15T11:13:01+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Bible Study, Christ, Love|0 Comments