What Should Liberty Look Like?

In our culture, liberty often looks like an insistence on our freedom of speech, protests, acts of defiance, or an assertion that our rights be honored. In short, our experience of liberty is riddled with our fear that it might be taken from us.

However, Christian liberty is so confident in its freedom that it is willing to submit to others.

When we feel insecure in our freedom, it’s natural for us to turn liberty into an inward-facing ideal. When liberty feels guaranteed, it opens the door to virtue, allowing us to choose, in our free will, to love and bless people beyond ourselves, submitting to them willingly because our liberty is secure in Christ.

Galatians 5:13 illustrates this shift from liberty that is self-focused to liberty that reaches outward. It says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love.”

We know that Christ’s death and resurrection have set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-14,) but we don’t always know how to live well as Christians who don’t have a law or set of rules to follow. Sometimes, we try to set our own personal rules of good behavior rather than learning what it looks like to live in Christian liberty.

Galatians 5 encourages us to live in the freedom Christ purchased for us and not try to go back to following the law. But if the law doesn’t matter anymore, what does? In Galatians 5:6, we learn that, “the only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.”

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