“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
My parents have always trusted me. I grew up feeling very blessed to have the parents I do considering they let me experience new things on my own without doubting my abilities of discernment. But as I matured, I was given more and more opportunities to prove my trust to them. I was able to show them, as their child, that the freedom they gave me could be utilized properly through trust and for good.
God the Father wants and expects the same from us. He has granted us freedom from sin, through the death of His Son Jesus. He wants us to use that freedom to glorify His goodness, not use it for our own selfish gain.
Something I've commonly noticed among the American church among teens is a false belief that freedom in Christ means freedom to do whatever you want. Many mistake the meaning of freedom, twist it to suit their own pleasures and become too comfortable with their sin. In Galatians 5, the Lord makes it very clear that the freedom given to us does not give us the ability to act and behave however we so please. Freedom in Christ means we are no longer slaves to our sin – we are no longer controlled by it. It's still there, but it no longer has dominion over us. The sin that used to define our hearts and our very being, no longer has that power over us anymore. We are defined by Christ, not our sin.
The freedom we've received through the gift of Jesus Christ has given us the amazing ability to shift our focus from who we can't be to who we can be in Him.
But sin is still sin. We are to continue in repentance and go to Him with a broken spirit and contrite heart. Freedom gives us a golden opportunity to love relentlessly and serve earnestly—two things our sin would not have allowed us to do as boldly if it wasn't granted to us by Christ.
How do you use your freedom in the Lord? How can you use your freedom in Christ to glorify our Father in heaven?