Thursday, December 29, 2011

Freedom in Maturity

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

We have heard it said many times that we attain victory “in Christ.” We have also heard it said that as Christians we must be fruitful. To understand these concepts we must first come to acknowledge that there are two ingredients of faith that determine the victory and fruitfulness of a Christian. The first ingredient is maturity. In this discussion Paul wrote, “We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ… to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13, 15). It is a true statement that God desires fruit from the Christian. The maturity of a Christian is measured only by the standard set by Christ Himself. This maturity entails the idea of his integrity. He is to only speak the truth, motivated by a pure heart and God has given us everything we need to grow to a level of maturity in Christ (2 Peter 1:3). But we must also keep in mind that Satan is opposed to us becoming mature and he will do anything to keep us from realizing who what we have in Christ.

The second ingredient of the successful Christian life is our freedom. In his letter to the Galatians Paul wrote, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). This verse was written to assure us that God wants us free, but also warns us that we can lose our freedom in Christ by returning to any other method of salvation, including the Law. Before we were baptized into Christ, we were slaves to sin. But because of Christ’s work on the cross, sin’s power over us has been broken. Satan no longer has any right of ownership or authority over us. He is now a defeated foe. But we must not be deceived. Even though he is a defeated foe, he is still committed to keeping us from realizing that he is conquered. He knows he can block our effectiveness as a Christian if he can deceive us into believing that we are still slaves to our past, subject to sin, prone to failure, and controlled by our habits. As long as he can confuse us with dark lies, we won’t be able to see that the chains that once held us captive are now completely broken.

We are free in Christ, but if the devil can deceive us into believing that we are not, we will not enjoy the freedom that, in reality, is our inheritance. Once a person understands the concept of being free in full, it is amazing how quickly he or she matures. The church is designed to administer to our desire to mature (Ephesians 4:11-13). We should eagerly attend every opportunity to be around those who have been set free so we can learn more about the freedom in Christ. We have been given the opportunity to live with, learn from and love one another to strengthen our maturing process. Let us embrace the opportunity to rejoice by being faithful to the call of separation that has set us free and set us apart from the world still chained to the defeat of Satan and his schemes.

In His Grace,

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