Free in Christ (Galatians 5:1) - Radical

Free in Christ (Galatians 5:1)

For freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
– Galatians 5:1

What a beautiful verse phrase. Galatians 5:1, “Christ has set us free for freedom.” And what does that mean? What does Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, repeat this picture of freedom like that. For freedom, Christ has set us free.

Galatians 5:1 Teaches Us About Christ’s Forgiveness

What he’s doing is driving home the beauty of the gospel, that when Jesus died on the cross for you and me and rose from the dead, when we put our trust in him, he forgives us of our sin and He frees us from the power of sin.

He forgives us for turning to ourselves in all the ways that looks in our lives. And he frees us to live in the power of his Spirit, not in ourselves anymore. This means we’re not slaves to sin anymore and we’re not slaves to the law in our own attempts, in our own flesh to obey the law. We are free. We’re free from sin. And we’re free by the power of the Spirit to live in righteousness and holiness. Not by our own strength, but by the power of the Spirit in us.

Galatians 5:1 Calls Us to Live Freely in Christ

This is why when you get down in Galatians 5 to the end of this chapter, you see the fruit of the Spirit… Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the free life. This is the life we have been freed to live the life of Christ in us. Galatians 2:20, It’s for freedom that Christ has set us free. He died to free us not just from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin and from the power of the law to condemn us in our own inability to obey that law. We are free by the love of Christ and the Spirit of Christ in us, to live a life we’ve been made to live.

So God help us to live today in the freedom that Jesus has bought for us. We praise you for freedom from the penalty of sin. God, we praise you. We’ll praise you for all of eternity, for saving us from the penalty of our sin, from everlasting suffering and death. All glory be to your name for freeing us from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin in our lives today.

We praise you for giving us your Spirit inside of us to live a life of holiness, and righteousness today. God, help us to experience the fullness of your Spirit in us today. The fullness of the freedom we have, not to do whatever we want, but the freedom to do whatever you want, which is best for us. God, help us to live in this freedom for which you have set us free.

Prayer for the Gulf-Spoken Arabs

And God, we pray for the spread of this freedom in the world through us. We pray that you’d help us to introduce others to this freedom… Those who are slaves to sin and death to the penalty and power of sin in their lives. Help us to share this good news that they might be set free. God, we pray this for the nations of the world in bondage, in slavery. God, we pray for Gulf-spoken Arabs specifically, 7 million of them, many in the Gulf region, but also many who have spread out, including in places like where I live in the United States. So many thousands of Gulf-spoken Arabs.

God, we pray for the spread of the gospel of freedom to Gulf-spoken Arabs. Help us to be sensitive to opportunities we have right around us. And God use our resources to get the gospel to them. God use our lives, our families, our churches, our prayers right now, our going, however you might lead us. Raise up laborers who will go to the Gulf region to spread the gospel of freedom to Gulf-spoken Arabs, 7 million of them who need the freedom that’s found only in Jesus. We pray all this according to your Word in Galatians 5:1 in Jesus’ name and the name of the one who sets us free and who sets the nations free. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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