The Law of Liberty / Galatians 5:13-15 (Sermon text and audio)

Posted on June 8, 2012


This is a continuing study of the book of Galatians, in which I do a verse-by-verse exposition of Galatians 5:13-15. This message was delivered on June 3, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church, and deals with the obligations that come with freedom. You will find the text of the sermon, and the audio. Please note that the sermon text is NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.

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Requirements of Liberty


Galatians 5:13-15 / The Law of Liberty

Many people see freedom as a free pass, lack of rules. But in fact, freedom brings with it, great responsibility.

Our liberty leaves no room for laziness or idleness, our liberty leaves no room for ignorance. Our freedom demands love and sacrifice!

Paul has been a talking a lot about grace, and not being under the bondage of the law; however, he makes it clear here that grace is not a license to sin.

Romans 6:15

2 Peter 2:16

Liberty is a gift from God, and like all gifts, it should not be used for sin.

Liberty (freedom) is obviously very important to God, so it should be important to us.

what are we to do with our freedom? Serve one another through love.

It is; however, very important to understand what love really is.

The word used for love in this verse is agape, which we are so familiar. Agape love is God’s love, it is unconditional, and seeks only what is best for another. Agape love is a self sacrificial love.

In fact, we could not even know true love if it weren’t for God.

1 John 4:19

Therefore, God is our model for true love. We need to understand that God’s love involves only what is best for us.

Sometimes that means granting our desires, but often times, God’s love is harsh.

Often, His love involves denying those things which we desire, because it would not be good for us. At times His love includes discipline, which is never fun.

His love always aims to teach us and instruct us in the right way (His way). His decisions are always an act of love, based on His perfect knowledge of us.

Likewise, we should not act ignorantly in the name of love. We should be knowledgable and discerning.

Philippians 1:9

All too often, we “help” people in ways that actually harm them, and we call it love. It appears, sometimes, that many Christians have no idea what love really is.

For many people, the loving thing to do, is to give someone whatever they ask for, and they think they are helping.

All too often, we think that in order to “love” we must ignore sin. However, to leave someone in the same miserable, sinful state in which you found them, does nothing to help that person.

Telling someone who is suffering the effects of sin that they are a good person and everything will be alright, only leaves them isolated from God.

God has never ignored anyone’s sin, but He still loves!

Recognizing sin does not make you judgmental, not as long as your purpose is repentance and reconciliation. It only becomes judgmental if you have a condemning attitude toward the person.

Love, sometimes requires that we be brutally honest, and may hurt someone’s feelings, but love is not about making someone feel good, love is about what’s best for them.

Love means that we must sometimes make the hard decisions, and make a firm stand. True love can be difficult.

Love is what we are called to do, and that is demonstrated through our service to others.

Our service to them should always be in their best interest, which means whatever it takes to bring them into a closer relationship with Christ.

Love is the fulfillment of the law. If you look at the ten Commandments, you will see that they all revolve around love.

1) You shall have no other gods before Me.
2) No carved images or idols Exodus 20:4-6
3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy

*These all point to love, as demonstrated in the exclusive worship of God.

5) Honor your father and your mother.

*Honor must be rooted in love, which is not proud, and does not seek its own.

6) You shall not murder

*Love is kind, not provoked, and thinks no evil.

7) You shall not commit adultery

*Love does not rejoice in iniquity.

8) You shall not steal

*Love is patient (you don’t need instant gratification by stealing).

9) You shall not bear false witness

*Love rejoices in the truth.

10) You shall not covet

*Love does not envy.

Paul concludes this thought with a strong warning.

When we begin to fight among ourselves, there are no winners, we all lose.

Philippians 2:14-15

Love never fails!

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