Called Unto Liberty

01/01/2023 – Quarterly Exhortation

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  (Galatians 5:13)

Our quarterly exhortations for 2023 are from Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia.  The thoughts for this year are:

Q1: Called Unto Liberty (Gal 5:13)           

Q2: Walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16)               

Q3: Be Not Deceived (Gal 6:7)                          

Q4: Let Us Not Grow Weary in well doing (Gal 6:9)

It might be said that most people living today are deprived, in never having known deprivation.  We have not experienced hunger, slavery, or being called to a conflict where death was the expected outcome.  Those who survive such trials often develop an admirable character in exchange for their hardships.  Having known true deprivation, blessings become a treasure. Those who never experienced hardship can’t appreciate blessings to quite the same degree.

Jesus told some of His believers that the truth would make them free.  They were understandably confused by Jesus’ statement because they had only known their own relative freedom.  They had never been slaves as their ancestors had been.  They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"  Jesus explained: Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (John 8:33-34)

The most oppressive form of slavery ever suffered is that of being enslaved by sin. Our oppressive master was not by the power of a Pharaoh, but much worse: by the power of Satan (Acts 26:18).

The Galatian letter is directed to those who had not learned or had forgotten their prior condition. The letter reminds them of their former state and urges them to develop the character that comes with having been a slave, but now set free. They were being persuaded to add Jewish practices to the Gospel, thus corrupting the Gospel and returning to bondage.  A central thought in this letter can be summarized: You have been set free. So, be free!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  (Galatians 5:1)

We can’t adequately grasp the blessings of Christ without a sober understanding of where we were when outside of Christ (Eph 2:12). 

A valorous individual who disregards his own life to save someone from certain death receives back effusive, joyful thanks and praise from the one he saved.  The saved one never forgets.    

How much more joyful then should we be, never forgetting that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us? (Rom 5:8). Let us be as those who have who have endured deprivation; apprehending and treasuring our spiritual liberty. Exhibit the character of one who has been made alive and set free by denying all occasions to the flesh, and by love serving one another.  We are called unto liberty! So, be free.