Stand In Liberty
What does the word liberty mean?
**Liberty means freedom from restraint.
We enjoy this liberty when there are no physical forces that restrain our ability to move.
**There is natural liberty.
Natural liberty means we have the ability to do as we please without any outside control.
We all know that we do not have this liberty because we are governed by a nation who desires to control all the liberties of it’s people and we are loosing our liberties more and more everyday!
**There is civil liberty.
We live in a society that is governed by a set of rules approved by the people while there are many who live in a society that is governed by tyranny or oppression.
It seems that there is one party, who I will not mention who seem to want to live under government control.
We simply cannot allow our own government to become more oppressive.
**There is also religious liberty.
The freedom to worship according to our own conscience.
**BUT, Then there is Christian liberty.
The freedom from spiritual bondage!
The Lord Jesus Christ began His ministry with this message from the Book of Luke:
Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
When Jesus established the Church, He gave each believer “Freedom”.
BUT, This is not freedom to act in any way we want!
Following the desires of our heart is not what freedom is all about!
In fact Jesus also said these words:
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Mar 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
So if we follow our hearts, we will certainly fall into the traps of Satan and the evils of this world!
So do we have freedom? YES.
Are we free to do as we please? NO! NO! NO!
To be saved is to filled with the Holy Spirit and He is to be our Guide to a sure and a perfect freedom!
Our freedom must be based on what is acceptable to the Lord!
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Once we have tasted this “Freedom” we would be very foolish to go back into bondage of “Laws”!
We need to “Stand in the Liberty” given to us by Jesus Christ!
Let’s pickup where we left off last week:
*****Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Laws are intended to govern human conduct but by whose standards?
Laws are intended to promote common good but again by whose standards?
Laws are intended to settle disputes but who decides what is truth and what is not truth?
Laws are intended to develop good behavior but who is our example of what good behavior resembles?
In other words laws only make people slaves to someone else’s power!
What are the facts?
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we are freed from the law and it’s enslaving power!
We no longer have to worry if we are good enough, or if we have done enough good works, or kept enough laws to be acceptable to God!
And if laws are not according to the standards set forth in the Word of God, then they probably only meet the standards of some man who has exalted himself to a position of authority!
Jesus Christ died in order to set us free from laws and regulations.
Not to be free to do anything that we want to do, because that in itself is also slavery to our own desires.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
To be truly free, is to live unselfishly!
1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
1Co 10:24 “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth”.
The Lord Jesus Christ was righteous in all laws!
The Lord Jesus Christ paid our penalty for us because we could not be righteous in all laws!
Jesus Christ bore “our judgment” and “our punishment” for having broken the law, which was death!
It is only by the Lord Jesus Christ that we are able to stand before God as perfect individuals!
This does not mean that all the world is accepted before God, because most all the world rejects these things as the truth and do not trust in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ has made us free but only if we believe!
And once we are made free we are to “Standfast” in the “Liberty of this Freedom”!
These Galatian Christians were about to get caught up in the bondage of the law in which they had never known.
They accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God but only as a great teacher and a great example.
This is how many religions see Jesus today!
They were beginning to ignore the reason Jesus had come.
They began to ignore that “Salvation” is only by the “Grace of God”.
They began to ignore that our own righteousness came only by the death of Jesus Christ and eternal life comes only by His resurrection by the power of the Holy Ghost!
They taught that Jesus Christ had not come to give us the only approach to God but that Christ had only come to add to the teachings of the Law therefore the Gospel was only a doctrine of works.
We can see that many of the Church are still confused in our own day!
What are the basic rituals of the “Jewish” religion?
1) Circumcision, baptism, and church membership.
2) Committing fully to the Laws of Moses.
3) Observing all the rituals and ceremonies of the Jewish religion.
If we just omit the word “Jewish” we can see that this is the same doctrine of most all false religions.
But what does God say the truth is?
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The pure truth is that God will never “Justify” anyone just because they try to be obedient to some law!
*****Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
**The first act in the obedience to Jewish Law was the circumcision of that individual.
This is a ritual observed by the Jew and some others and is in fact good medical advice, but still only a ritual.
Paul says that the same thing can be applied to all rituals, that if anyone attempts to approach God by any other means than Jesus Christ, they will fail!
God will only accept the work of Jesus Christ as the only means of justification and there is no profit that can come when we try to justify ourselves by any means!
**All those that choose justification by the Law must be perfect in obedience to those laws, which is impossible!
Anyone who submits themselves to any religious system, are submitting themselves to systems that Jesus Christ has freed us all from!
If we are going rely on works, laws, and rituals for our salvation then we had better be perfect in obedience to all those things. This means we will forever remain in debt and in bondage to those things!
**If any person seeks to be justified by laws, then they have fallen from “Grace” and Jesus Christ can have no effect on them at all!
To turn away from Christ Jesus is to be an apostate!
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
An apostate is anyone who has abandoned the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
*****Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
To be “fallen from Grace” is not a loss of salvation!
When we propose to earn salvation by works, then we must reject the free gift of God’s Grace!
A gift is anything that has been voluntarily transferred by one person to another person, without any type of compensation or it is no longer a gift!
When we have decided we need to try to pay for God’s precious gift of the perfect salvation then, we have cut ourselves off from God’s only method of salvation!
We are saved by “Grace” but we are also kept saved by “Grace”!
We cannot cancel God’s Grace!
BUT, We Can Make God’s Grace Have No Effect!
God writes to us about what will happen to a Church that leans toward works after salvation.
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
When God removes a candlestick from any church, it means He will close the doors of that place of worship and move the light of that candlestick, which is the Lord Jesus Christ to another location.
Many a place of worship are no longer open because they fell from the “Grace of God”!
The Church will survive until God takes the Church home, but many places of worship will no longer exist at that time!
Or they will exist as the Laodicean Church of the Book of Revelation!
The hope of every believer is to be righteous when we stand before God but our righteousness can only come by the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the Gift of God’s Grace and is based solely on our “Faith”!
*****Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Worldly hope, is a great desire mixed with at least some expectation of obtaining something that is good.
Biblical hope is something entirely different!
Biblical hope is confidence in our own future and founded only on God’s promises through God’s Grace!
Hope in the Bible comes from the privilege of being a “Redeemed” child of God and one day spending eternity with our own Creator and our own Savior who are One and the same!
This kind of hope can only come by the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in each believer who accepts the truth of the “Gospel”!
That truth is this:
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
That truth is this:
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit stirs up our own hope by giving us the assurance that God will take “Our Faith” and count it for “Our Righteousness”!
That sure hope of righteousness can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ!
No ritual can give us this hope!
No Law can offer this hope!
No amount of works can purchase this hope!
Only “Faith” and the “Love of Jesus Christ” can offer this hope!
*****Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Justification comes by “Faith” and not by love.
BUT, those who are justified should exhibit “Faith’s energy through love.
After all, it is by love that all the Law is truly fulfilled!
1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
When we choose God’s plan over any other plan that we may have, we can know the full extent of God’s Grace!
A quick monitor of our faith is to see how much we love others!
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
It is by this first commandment that we can be saved.
It is by this second commandment that we exhibit Faith’s energy!
Legalism cannot save us but it can surely hinder the work of God!
*****Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
In times of war, roads and bridges are destroyed in order to hinder the movement of armies.
SO, What is the truth?
The Christian life is like a race!
**It is not always easy to be a Christian, especially as we get closer to the return of Christ.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
**The Christian life is short.
Not many years, compared to the eternity of the Promised Land(the New Heaven), will be spent on this Earth.
**All those that persevere in the Christian life will receive a reward.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
**Christianity differs from the worldly race because all who run faithfully run together, while in other races each runner will hinder the other if the opportunity arises.
**In other races one winner will receive a corruptible reward but all Christians receive an incorruptible reward.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
In our Christian race we must not allow mankind to hinder us by destroying the only road and the only bridge to righteousness, which is the Lord Jesus Christ!
These Galatian Christians had been running the Christian race well until they had allowed false teaching to interfere in their race.
The object of our race must be running for the truth of God.
Psa 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
Upon accepting the gift of God’s Grace, each of us also had an urgent need to repent and only then did we feel an urgent need to serve the Lord!
But we also began to realize the truth of God and became aware of just how short is our life in this body of flesh!
Pro 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
These Galatians had felt all these things until legalism began to interfere with God’s intentions for His children!
They were no longer obeying the truth of the “Gospel” and were now trying a different approach, other than Christ Jesus in order to please God, which will always bring failure.
These Galatians had allowed some false teacher to hinder them in their race and they were now stumbling toward the finish line.
God has little patience with a stumbling Christian!
What does God say to us so that we can run better? Just obey the truth!
Legalism does not come from God!
*****Gal 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
In other words anything that comes between us and the Lord Jesus Christ does not come from God!
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
God says if we are “not” looking toward Jesus Christ, in our “Faith”, then we are allowing the weight and the sin of this world to burden us down!
There is no other way to approach God than by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
When we are not running by the truth we will be running away from the truth!
And a little untruth will corrupt the whole truth!
1Jn 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
*****Gal 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Even a very small portion of legalism will corrupt the purity of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!
Leaven in the Bible almost always denotes evil and corruption.
In the baking of bread even a very small amount of leaven(yeast) can influence the whole loaf or the whole lump of dough.
Just one false teacher or preacher that is allowed to teach in any place of worship can influence the entire congregation!
Even when they have moved on to another place of worship to do the same thing, they will have convinced at least a few of their false doctrine!
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
It is a great shame to any congregation of believers that allow false doctrine to steer them away from the truth of the “Grace of God”!
This is the prophecy of the last Church Age and we can see this develop today!
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
When the race of the Christian is hindered by legalism, then the Church will become a lukewarm Church and Jesus Christ said, it is this Church that makes Him sick enough to puke.
Today many are attempting to modernize the truth by removing the Lord Jesus Christ, His Death, His Burial, His Resurrection and His Blood from the truth!
God says to beware of this false doctrine!
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
We are only complete Christians if we remain in Christ Jesus!
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
We must have confidence in the pure truth of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!
*****Gal 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Notice that the Apostle Paul was not confident in these churches that he had established.
The Apostle Paul was only confident in them through the Lord.
Paul said, open up your scriptures and you will read the truth.
It is only by the Lord Jesus Christ that we can overcome false doctrine!
We are saved by Grace!
We are kept saved by Grace!
We will be saved by “Grace” and all by the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
What happens to those who change the truth of the “Gospel” to suit themselves?
They will bear their own judgment!
Remember each Christian has already been “Justified”, that teacher of false doctrine will bear his own judgment and we already know what that judgment will be!
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
False teachers shall be judged because they trouble God’s Church and it’s believers!
False teachers loose the chords of “Faith” in Jesus Christ and He alone!
False teachers disturb the security and the lives of the believer!
False teachers defile the House of God!
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, “which temple ye are”.
The Apostle Paul preached and taught the truth!
*****Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
We can be assured that all those that preach a false doctrine will be judged harshly because they have spread a falsehood about the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We should never forget this well used passage:
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: “but he that believeth not is condemned already”, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Any deviation from this truth will bring condemnation!
Any deviation from this truth will certainly bring the wrath of God!
God will not tolerate any attack on His Son and God will not tolerate any attack on those He has called to preach the truth of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul could have stopped all attacks on his person, if he had only preached legalism but Paul had refused to give in to false doctrine!
And Paul adds this thought.
*****Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
The sign of the Law was circumcision and Paul said even as these false preachers desire you to be circumcised, to cut away a useless piece of meat, he would wish that their useless message of circumcision also be cut off!
**False teachers will judged because they spread a false gospel!
**False teachers will be judged because they are offended by the cross!
It is a fact the modern gatherings of people stay away from the Blood of Jesus.
In fact true Christianity is sometimes referred to as a bloody religion.
It is the cross that causes most all false religions to stumble in their approach to God.
They simply say that the cross was not enough to bring salvation to anyone.
We can be sure that God will remind them all, how much they are wrong when He returns the second time!
Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn”.
Joh 19:37 And again another scripture saith, “They shall look on him whom they pierced”.
How are our sins washed away?
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”,
There is no greater love, than One who will lay down His life in order to save His family!
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Anyone who teaches any other doctrine than this will surely feel the wrath of God!
**False teachers will also be judged because they deserve it!
Paul said these that preach circumcision would be better off if they castrated themselves of that false thing they preached!
This may sound repulsive but false teaching is even more repulsive and when they meet Jesus, and they will meet Jesus, He will reward them according to what they have done!
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then “he shall reward every man according to his works”.
Every human being that wishes to approach God must come through the cross, which is through the death of Jesus, which is through the blood of Jesus, which is by the truth of the Gospel, which is through the Work of Jesus!
Any other way will lead to eternal death!
Why did God leave us on this Earth after He has justified each of us?
*****Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
God leaves all those of true “Faith” here on earth after salvation, in order to show the love of Jesus Christ to this evil world!
God, through His Son Jesus, has made us free from the Law!
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
BUT, Christian liberty is not a license to sin!
Paul has shown us over and over again, that the believer is not saved by any law, by any work, not by any ritual or ceremony!
When each of us accept the work of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation, God takes our belief and counts it as righteousness.
This means we have become acceptable to God!
This freedom means we no longer have to struggle to be good to be saved!
This is freedom from ever having to wonder if we have done enough to please God!
This is not freedom to live as we want to after salvation!
This is not freedom to satisfy the demands of our flesh!
This not freedom to seek the things of this world!
This world is never going to change!
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
So we cannot believe in Christ Jesus and still live in worldliness!
Bible belief is not intellectual belief!
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a commitment to live with Jesus Christ as our example of righteousness everyday of our lives!
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
When we continue in sin after we are saved, then we are showing that we have no knowledge of God’s love!
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
God has made us free to love one another like He loves us!
Love is never offending!
Love is always caring!
Love does not take advantage of other people in any way!
Love does not use people to fulfill our own purposes!
Love will not ever hurt!
Love endures all things without becoming weak!
And, Love is certainly not biting and devouring one another!
When we give in to the fleshy desires of our evil heart we will fail in our godly love!
Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
When we give in to the desires of our heart we can not even get our prayers answered!
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
It is only true love that can cover all sins!
Pro 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
It is this war, that we have within our own selves, that causes most all our own problems and if we are not truly committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, we will cause our own failures!