For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:13-15
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor… So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Romans 10:23-24, 32-33
In Part 2 of this series on Freedom, we discussed the fact that trying to get by with our good deeds is like choosing against freedom. In this passage, we are warned by Paul not to let our freedom go to our head and somehow get the idea that we can do whatever we want on the basis of our salvation.
Jesus Himself said, If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). Jesus was not commanding us to try to earn our salvation, but rather that our obedience demonstrates our love for Him, just as He demonstrated His love for us by dying for us, though we were sinners (Romans 5:8).
Our freedom does not free us up to sin as we wish, but to serve others through love in the manner that Christ loves us! John 8:36 states, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. We are to use this freedom to glorify God and to love others. Jesus confirmed the greatest commandment…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
We focus our attentions and adoration on our God, which then leads to loving others.
Free, not to sin, but to love others and serve God from the overflow of a grateful heart.