“Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 HCSB).
While the concept of “freedom” may be expressed in a variety of ways, we can define this word very simply: freedom represents the ability to choose between alternatives and the liberty to act upon such decisions. Of course, some may prefer to associate the idea of freedom with the ability to do whatever we want. Although that may sound like a good definition, there are some issues with that characterization when we consider it more closely.
You see, “freedom” cannot refer to the unlimited ability to do whatever we want, however we like, whenever we wish. Some commentators illustrate this reality with a humorous question: “Can you flap your arms and fly to Jupiter?” While that may sound like a laughable idea, it serves to illustrate our point. While someone may desire to flap his or her arms and fly to Jupiter, he or she is not free to do so.
In like manner, “freedom” refers to the ability to decide between alternatives along with the liberty to act upon those decisions. So how is it that “Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom” (GW)? Well, that freedom is expressed in several different ways.
First, Christ liberates us from the demands of a lawful standard we cannot keep. As we read earlier in Galatians 3:10,“…those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law'” (NLT).
Next, we receive freedom to approach God through Christ. Paul the Apostle underscored this idea in his letter to the church at Ephesus when he said, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12 NIV).
Finally, Jesus offers freedom from condemnation for those who accept Him. A well-known portion of Scripture from the Biblical book of Romans summarizes this concept in the following manner: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Romans 8:1-2 NLT).
Therefore as 2 Corinthians 3:17 concludes, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom” (NET).