If man is fully forgiven of all his sins, how then should he live?
Mankind lives under the lure of addictions to alcohol, drugs, sexual passions, violence, greed, and other forms of bondage that enslave people. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (Jn 8:34). The more we indulge in self–centered liberty, the more we become enslaved to sins.
There is only one escape: “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn 8:36) from guilt and enslavement to sins. This is the theme of Galatians and the hallmark of Christianity: there is freedom in Christ because of the gift of His righteousness and empowerment to live in the freedom of obedience.
Paul declares that we are “called to freedom.” The Christian life is neither legalistic bondage nor libertinism. The purpose of the Old Testament law was to reveal sin in its awfulness and lead a person to seek forgiveness in Christ: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24).
On the other hand, the New Testament gives the promise of perfect righteousness being credited to the believer, once and for all eternity, making him fully acceptable to God. The commands of the New Testament are given to teach us how to think as the forgiven family of God and how to live responsibly and unselfishly for others. They are not for earning righteousness, but how the Spirit can empower believers to live devoutly and free from an enslaving world. The commands of the New Testament yield freedom, not bondage.
We are commanded, literally, “Stop using your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh.” The “flesh” here refers not to the physical body but to the sinful enslaving appetites. In this way, we show our grateful love for Him Peter wrote, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond–slaves of God” (1 Pet 2:16).
“Your salvation is so free and unconditional; we are eternally grateful, yet sometimes we can deceive ourselves into thinking it is okay to sin just this once. Forgive me, Lord, for desiring what You despise and gave Your life to forgive.”
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