We are set free in Christ. We dare not be legalists. So, we tout our freedoms. We are free, free, free. We are free to do what we like. We are free to use our freedoms to our hearts’ contents, and we do use those freedoms to try to make our hearts content. But freedom by itself does not content the heart. Freedom by itself easily turns us into slaves again. We are not slaves to the law, but we quickly become slaves to our flesh…laziness, worldliness, self-centeredness. We may not sin by commission, but we abuse our freedom to sin by omission. We are free, but what are we free from? Do we sometimes think that our freedom is actually a freedom from living for Christ, rather than a freedom from the law and a freedom from sin? Do we claim “freedom” and neglect other Christians? Do we claim freedom and neglect the things that God has called us to be about in great measure…all the while patting ourselves on the backs for not being legalists. Oh wretched people that we are! On the one hand, the Pharisee in each of us cries out, “Do this and God will be happy with you.” On the other hand, the flesh in each of us cries out, “Do this and make yourself happy.” Like Job’s so-called friends, we’re getting bad advance either way we turn.

If our freedom in Christ does not free us to be like Christ in the way we live, then we have a problem. Part of the problem is that we cannot fathom that the whole point of the law is that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We don’t really buy that. And so we also don’t really buy that Jesus calls us to love one another. We want freedom; we want Jesus because we want all that is good  – yes! heaven and life and eternity, and all that. But sometimes we, yes, supposedly growing Christians, we find ourselves listening more to the flesh and justifying our fleshly pursuits by claiming “free, free, free.” We may not run all the way from being the Galatians to being the Corinthians, but we find ourselves in need of the love for others as defined in 1st Corinthians 13.

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