Freedom in Christ-Galatians 5:13-15

Galatians 5:13-15 “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. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galati 5:13-15 «Perché, fratelli, voi siete stati chiamati a libertà; soltanto non fate della libertà un’occasione per vivere secondo la carne, ma per mezzo dell’amore servite gli uni agli altri; 14 poiché tutta la legge è adempiuta in quest’unica parola:

«Ama il tuo prossimo come te stesso». 15 Ma se vi mordete e divorate gli uni gli altri, guardate di non essere consumati gli uni dagli altri.”

 

     Earlier in Galatians 5:1, Paul warned the Galatians about not being burdened with the yoke of slavery to the Law but to live in the freedom they had in Christ. Here Paul uses the same principle of freedom in Christ by warning them to not fall back into the bondage of sin. This seemed to be a real temptation for the Galatians as Paul uses the phrase “sinful nature” seven times in the last two chapters of the book. In contrast, he charges them to use their freedom to serve one another.

      Paul then explains that the idea of serving one another has its basis in love. He quotes Leviticus 19:18 (“love your neighbor as yourself’). As you recall, Jesus was asked by the Pharisees which was the greatest commandment of the Law. His answer was that the greatest commandment must be understood in two parts: loving God and loving your neighbor. The two go together. John the Apostle wrote toward the end of his life in 1 John 4:12 “but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

      Because we are free in Christ, we can choose to love one another and not keep on biting and devouring each other (v. 15). If we cannot do this, we are not really free. Those who love God will always want to love, develop and restore (when necessary) relationships with other believers.

Pray with me: Lord, I understand that my freedom in the saving work of Christ must be maintained by choosing not to follow a sinful nature. I also understand when I don’t practice Christ’s love toward others that the sinful nature is taking away my freedom. Help me to stand strong in the freedom I have in Christ to live a victorious life and express His love to others.



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