"WALK IN FREEDOM!"
Written and preached by David P. Nolte




GALATIANS 5:1-13


We have all been given gifts that were weird, seemingly useless, and were certainly undesirable. But, on the other hand, we have been given some wonderful gifts as well. A little girl in a school for the blind was considered too dull and stupid to be taught anything. She was overlooked by her teachers, ignored by her peers and endured a depressed and lonely existence. One day a lady visitor asked if there were any special children she could help in any way. A kind nurse said, "Perhaps you could give that poor little girl over there a coin. She has never had any money of her own." The kind lady went to the little blind girl and spoke to her. Then she placed a 5 cent piece in her hand much to the little one's joy and pleasure. It was a gift of love. In much the same way we have been given a precious gift: the gift of freedom. Our national liberty was purchased with the blood, sweat and tears of countless veterans. Our spiritual freedom was purchased with the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus Christ. Since we are doubly free: free as Americans and free in Christ, let us walk in freedom. That carries with it some implications. To walk in freedom is demanding. Consider what it means to walk in freedom. We have been given a wonderful gift and:

  1. OUR FREEDOM OUGHT TO BE GREATLY VALUED:
    1. Think about and appreciate the cost! Freedom is no cheap thing. It was purchased at a dear price!
    2. Regarding our National Liberty:
      1. Our founding fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to pursue freedom. Some were tortured, hanged and had their homes plundered and burned.
      2. Our veterans forfeited home, comfort, personal plans, convenience and frequently their lives to purchase freedom. We have received that gift.
    3. However much we appreciate and value that temporal, earthly freedom, there is yet a greater freedom to value! Think about the cost attached to that liberty:
      1. We often forget what Jesus endured: rejection, ridicule, personal attacks, his sweat, tears, mental, physical and spiritual anguish.
      2. We forget His humiliation and suffering: "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:8 (NIV).
    4. Freedom: a wonderful gift! We are free because others paid the price! We are free because others gave all they had to give. And we ought to greatly value that!
The little girl could hardly believe it! She had a 5 cent piece and she cherished it. Each day she planned some fresh way of spending it. Sometime she'd keep it with her; sometimes she'd stash it away in some secret place. But she always knew where it was and she was never careless with it. She'd never had a coin before and she was determined not to lose this one or have it stolen. We ought to take that kind of care of our freedom. We ought to remember how fragile it is; we ought to recall how often we take freedom for granted; we ought to keep alert, vigilant, sober, and cautious in keeping our freedom. We have been given a wonderful gift and:
  1. OUR FREEDOM OUGHT TO BE GUARDED VIGILANTLY:
    1. Note verse 1 again: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (NIV). Freedom can be neglected, taken for granted and lost! America has no iron clad claim to freedom; even now freedom is being eroded and the rights of those in the wrong often prevail over the rights of those in the right!
    2. It is crucial to guard our national liberties! Here's some ideas about how to guard our National Liberty:
      1. Practice the fundamentals of good citizenship:
        1. Exercise your right to vote, and vote intelligently and morally.
        2. Express yourself rationally to the legislators of our country.
        3. Follow the Biblical admonition to pray for those in governmental positions.
        4. Some of you might even serve in public office and be salt and light in that venue.
      2. Remain faithful to the Living God!
        1. Remember that Israel's liberty and their faithfulness were inextricably connected. For instance, we read in 2 Kings 17:6- 8 (NIV): "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes. All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced."
        2. How true it is:
          1. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalms 33:12 (NIV).
          2. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34 (NIV).
          3. so, forget the circuit court whackos! Give them a black robe and a wooden hammer and they think they can just write God out of the Pledge of Allegiance! They can try, but I'll still say it!
    3. But what holds true for our earthly freedom, holds true for our freedom in Christ. It must be guarded vigilantly.
      1. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
      2. "Be self©controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV).
      3. "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" Hebrews 2:1-3 (NIV).
    4. Freedom is fragile and we ignore it at our own peril. We are free and ought to guard that vigilantly!
The little blind girl guarded her 5 cent piece carefully. One day it was announced that Bibles in braille were going to be purchased for another blind school so the children there could learn to read God's Word. The little girl went to the nurse and gave her the cherished 5 cent piece to help pay for the Bibles in braille. The nurse protested, "But you don't have to give your only coin! Why not let me change it and give you 3 cents back? That way you can help but not give all of your money!" The little girl remained firm: "I have never been able to give anything before, and I want to give it all!" She wanted to channel her blessing to bless someone else; she wanted to guide her precious possession into the service of God and others. She had been given a wonderful gift and wanted to use it unselfishly. We have been given a wonderful gift and:
  1. OUR FREEDOM OUGHT TO BE GUIDED VIRTUOUSLY:
    1. Hear verse 13 again: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Compare that with:
      1. "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." 1 Peter 2:16 (NIV).
      2. "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6:1-2 (NIV).
    2. Remember that there is a vast difference between license and liberty!
      1. License is:
        1. Excess, unrestrained indulgence in the name of freedom, with no sense of responsibility, or accountability!
        2. Abuse and contempt for any restrictions of law or interference by others.
      2. Liberty is:
        1. Freedom abridged for the safety and well being of society.
        2. The right to move about and choose and act but within parameters which curtail offense or injury to others.
    3. Real liberty is not the right to do or say whatever we want with no regard to its impact upon the rights and needs and feelings of others. It is not the right to gratify every whim, fulfill every passion, or just do what is right in our own eyes with no regard of God or man!
    4. Hear the wise man on that: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 16:25 (NIV). So, guide your freedom God's way and find life; go your own way, reckless and with abandon, and it will lead to death. Freedom: a wonderful gift to be guided virtuously.
Jesus calls us to His freedom. Freedom from ignorance, superstition, sin, and death. "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV). Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 (NIV). He said, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 (NIV). Be free in Christ. It is to that freedom we invite you. The free life is one lived for Jesus Christ. The life worth living is the life lived for Christ. You can begin to do so today. As we sing our song, it is a song of commitment to live for Christ. Are you living for Him? If not, begin to do so today as we sing.

Story from Knight, New Illustrations


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