04/29/15-What will we do with freedom?
Give Away Written by Sean Hall Copyright 2009
“It is for freedom Christ has set us free
What will we do with it?
What will we do with freedom?”
This lovely little tune that the INN used to sing starts, of course, with the first verse of Galatians 5:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Gal.5:1
This chapter, especially vv 13 to the end, is a beautiful essay on what makes a good life. If the law of Moses no longer justifies us, what is the source of virtue? After all, human experience teaches us that people are not naturally nice. Why else would we need laws and police and all the other ways we try to keep the peace between us?
Paul says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Gal. 5:13
All very well, but how do we do that? Here is Paul’s answer:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Gal. 5:16 It sounds as though the whole secret of living in harmony with one another is not to try to follow a lot of laws, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which (who?) will teach us the right way to live.
Interesting idea. Do we see it worked out in practice? Verses 19, 20 and 21 give a list of the acts our normal, sinful nature is prone to; in contrast to that, verses 22 and 23 list “The Fruit of the Spirit,” one of our most beloved and most memorized passages of scripture.
What an interesting metaphor- Fruit of the Spirit. What do we know about fruit? Fruit is delicious and almost always healthy and good. It also takes a while to grow. The blossoms are falling from my apple and plum at this moment; I won’t be enjoying apple crisp until September. So evidently the evidence of a life filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t always appear right away; in fact, perhaps the longer a person lives in the Spirit the sweeter the fruit grows.
Have you ever known a person who has lived to the age of 90, all the while rejecting God and living for themselves? I have, and believe me they are no pleasure to be around. Instead, I’d rather hang around with Helen, or Bill, or Marie, or Connie, or some of the other saints of our church who have been walking in the Spirit for years and years. There’s sweetness for you!
“It is for freedom Christ has set us free, what will we do with it, what will we do with freedom?