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Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:22-6:5
The Responsibilities of Liberty in Christ
1. Christians are to walk (live) and be led by the gospel the Spirit revealed, Gal. 5:16-18, 25 (Gal. 1:6-7, 11-12).
2. Christians have liberty (“freedom”) in Christ (5:1, 13):
a. From curse of the old law, Gal. 3:10-14.
b. From sin, Jno. 8:34-36.
3. Some say our liberty (freedom) in Christ means no patterns / no restrictions / no judgments / only freedom. They tell us that love is now our standard. [As it is hasn’t always been so. Jno. 14:15; cf. Gal. 6:2]
4. Context: With liberty in Christ, we are called on to bear certain things, Gal. 5:22-6:17. [Fruit-bearing, 5:22-23; Burden-bearing, 6:2, 5; Brand-bearing, 6:17]
I. FRUIT-BEARING (the fruit of the Spirit), Gal. 5:22-23.
A. The Spirit’s Product in the Christian’s Life (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1-8; Eph. 2:10), Through the gospel. [Inward—Outward—Upward]
1. Love, joy, peace: From the heart – Concerns the inner person, then outwardly expressed.
2. Longsuffering, kindness, goodness: Inward dispositions toward others that are expressed outwardly toward them.
3. Faithfulness, meekness, self-control (essentials of godliness): Special reference toward God, with treatment toward others, too.
B. This Fruit Affects All Our Relationships (family, neighbors, enemies, brethren, God).
1. Like fruit, these qualities come through growth, 2 Pet. 3:18.
2. Takes time, yet recognizable (ripening fruit), Lk. 13:6-9; Heb. 5:12.
3. Fruit is only borne when you are in fellowship with Christ by obeying His word, Gal. 5:6-7; Jno. 15:4-5.
4. To bear this fruit must obey the word which the Spirit has revealed.
C. We Will Bear Fruit from the Seed We Sow, Gal. 6:7-10 (Heb. 5:14).
-Whether evil (flesh), (Col. 3:25) or good (Spirit), (Eph. 6:8).
II. BURDEN-BEARING, Gal. 6:2, 5. [“Carry/ endure a burden / load (pack)”]
A. Though Free in Christ, We are Obligated to Bear the Burdens of Others, 6:2; Phil. 2:1-4.
1. Freedom in Christ demands this voluntary service.
a. Christ bore our diseases, Matt. 8:17 (sins, 1 Pet. 2:24).
b. Now, it is our turn, Gal. 5:13; 6:1; 1 Cor. 9:19; Jas. 5:19-20.
2. The service of a servant who is under law to God, cf. Gal. 5:13-15. We are to please Christ as His servants by serving each other, Rom. 15:1-3.
3. The service of a brother who has similar loads to bear, Gal. 6:1 (Be our brother’s keeper, Gen. 4:9).
B. Though Free in Christ, We Must Bear Our Own Burden, Gal. 6:5.
1. Freedom in Christ is not liberty to escape responsibilities, Gal. 6:7.
2. Under law to Christ, 1 Cor. 9:21. Respect it by obeying it (Col. 3:17).
III. BRAND-BEARING, Gal. 6:17.
-[Branded (marks): Stigma – “To prick, to burn in marks, brand-mark.”]
A. Permanent Ownership, Gal. 3:26-29.
1. Belong to Christ through conversion.
2. Do our lives show the “stigma” of Christ?
B. Bearing the Marks of Jesus: Suffering Because of Our Freedom in Christ, Gal. 6:17 (1 Pet. 4:15-16).
1. Paul’s body was scarred because of his faith – Stigmatized, 2 Cor. 4:10-11 (“bearing” – v. 10)
2. Apostles despised as scum and garbage of the earth, 1 Cor. 4:11-13.
3. Paul rejoiced to share in Christ’s suffering (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10).
4. What suffering brands us with the marks of Jesus?
a. “Where Could I Go But to the Lord?” (Sacred Selections #437): “Living below in this old sinful world, hardly a comfort can afford.”
b. We let inconveniences, worldliness and thoughtlessness keep us from devoted obedience and the stigma it produces, Lk. 8:14.
C. Those Who Share in the Sufferings of Christ Also Share in the Comfort of Christ, 2 Cor. 1:5-7.
1. Encourages and enables us to endure distress and hardship, pain and grief, without shame (1 Pet. 4:16).
2. Freedom in Christ gives us comfort that our sins are forgiven, that we have fellowship with God (every spiritual blessing), and eternal life.
3. Bear the marks of Jesus: Sacrifice, suffering, service (Gal. 2:20). Live like it matters – because it does.
1. Freedom in Christ doesn’t mean we set the rules, or that we have liberty as long as it fits our definition of “love.”
2. Instead, our liberty calls on us to bear fruit, bear burdens, and bear the marks of Jesus, Gal. 5:6.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: June 11, 2019