THE OBLIGATIONS OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST
1. Gal. 5:16-18, 25 - Christians are to walk (live) and be led by the gospel which the Spirit revealed (Gal. 1:6-7, 11-12).
2. Christians have "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 want this "freedom" to mean "no patterns / no restrictions / only liberty in Christ." They tell us that "love is now our standard." [But - Jno. 14:15; cf. Gal. 6:2]
4. As free in Christ, we are called upon to bear certain things (loads) - 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) - 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 gospel.
1. Love, joy, peace: From the heart & concern myself - Inward.
2. Longsuffering, kindness, goodness: Dispositions toward others - Outward.
3. Faithfulness, meekness, self-control (essentials of godliness). Special reference to God: Upward.
B. This Fruit Affects All the Relationships of Life: Me, My Neighbors & My God.
1. Like fruit, it comes by growth - 2 Pet. 3:18.
2. This takes time (cf. fruit ripens gradually).
3. Only borne when you are in fellowship with Christ by obeying His word - Gal. 5:6-7 (cf. 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 - 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. The voluntary service which freedom demands!
a. Matt. 8:17 - Christ bore our diseases (sins, 1 Pet. 2:24).
b. Now, it is our turn! (Gal. 5:13; 6:1; Jas. 5:19-20; Matt. 5:41-42)
2. The service of a servant under law. (cf. Rom. 15:1-3) Please Christ as His servants.
3. The service of a brother - 6:1. (Gen. 4:9 - Brother's keeper!)
B. Though Free in Christ, We are Obligated to Bear Our Own Burden - Gal. 6:5.
1. Freedom in Christ is not liberty to evade responsibilities! - Gal. 6:7
2. 1 Cor. 9:21 - Under law to Christ - Respect 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. What about you? Your life must show the "stigma" of Christ!
B. Bearing the Marks of Jesus: Suffering Because of Our Freedom in Christ - Gal. 6:17.
1. 2 Cor. 4:10-11 - Paul's body was scarred because of his faith -- Stigmatized! (v. 10 - "bearing")
2. 1 Cor. 4:11-13 - Apostles were despised as the scum & garbage of the earth!
3. Paul rejoiced to share in Christ's suffering (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10).
4. What suffering has branded us with the marks of Jesus?!
a. "Where Could I Go But to the Lord?" (#437, Red book) - "Living below in this old sinful world, hardly a comfort can afford...."
b. We allow inconveniences, worldliness & thought-lessness to keep us from devoted obedience! (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 us to endure suffering w/o shame (1 Pet. 4:16).
2. Our freedom in Christ gives us the comfort that our sins are forgiven, that we have fellowship w/ God, eternal life, & every spiritual blessing!
3. We must live like it matters! Bear the marks of Jesus: Sacrifice, suffering, service (Gal. 2:20).
1. Freedom in Christ doesn't mean we set the rules, which we are at liberty as long as it fits our definition of "love."
2. Instead, it calls us to bear fruit, burdens & the marks of Jesus - Gal. 5:6.