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Posts Tagged ‘Galatians’

Sermon Recording:  Free For What?

This past Sunday was, as you know, the 4th of July.  A day of grilled meat, bug spray, and fireworks. A day established to celebrate our Nations independence from England and that Tyrant King George.  1776, July 4th.  Big day.  If you have never read the Declaration of Independence, you should.  Right now, go.  I’ll wait for you, seriously…. Ok, see what I mean?   It’s good stuff.  However, what I started wondering is how many of us take advantage of the freedom we have?  Ah, take positive advantage of the freedom we have?

People use that phrase all the time…. “It’s a free country”, “who are you to tell me what to do”.  Or, there is the more intellectual approach that some people have regarding our freedom, particularly when it comes to monogamy, “you know, people are the only animals that practice monogamous relationships”.  I love it when people compare our habits to dogs who scoot their butts on the ground to scratch, bark at no one at the front door, and are afraid of the vacuum cleaner.  But hey, it’s a free country, do what you want, right?

How do we use our freedom?  This is what I talked about on Sunday.  We read from Galatians 5 where Paul talks about how we use our freedom.  He says it is summed up in 1 word (although he uses 7), You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  We are free in Christ, but how do we live out the freedom we have been given.  Paul was upset with some in Galatia, because they started preaching that you had to obey certain kinds of laws to gain the love of God.  Paul said that laws were good, but they are not what liberates you.

We get very caught up in what is allowed and not allowed in our life and we so often miss the point.  This is why Jesus said, “you’ve heard it said, if you murder that wrong.  I say that if you are angry at your brother, you have murdered “.  (paraphrase) Now, Jesus wasn’t starting to hand out new laws, and I would have to say if he was, this one doesn’t make any sense.  Seriously, my being angry with someone is the same as killing?  Jesus was simply stating that you can obey the law and still miss the point.  What is the point?  Imagine not just holding back your hatred, but actually not hating?  Which is more liberating, not saying hateful things or not wanting to say hateful things.

Imagine being so free in your life, you want to treat others as yourself?  Most of our problems with avoiding this commandment is not that we don’t want to love our neighbors as ourselves, it is just that we love ourselves with such misguidance we have not idea how to love others.  Freedom is what Christ offers.  Take a listen to the sermon, and see if you agree.

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