There is always an argument that supports selfish and self-centered action: “I deserve it,” “Everyone else is doing it,” or “I need it or I will be frustrated.” Such excuses to gratify fleshly desires always destroy relationships, credibility, and character.
Paul warned us not to use our newfound liberty in the unconditional forgiveness in Christ as a license to sin more, thus destroying our brief life’s potential. Rather, in gratefulness to Christ, Paul wrote that we should “be continually serving one another.”
Christian freedom is not the freedom to sin, but the freedom to love, which means the liberty to serve others. Paul wrote, “If you must live under the law, live under the law of love—that is, the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). The New Testament commands are motivated and empowered by the Spirit within, not imposed by an external authority.
They are a new way of thinking about life and others. The Spirit leads us in how to implement the commands of the New Testament in hundreds of different ways. The commands are not legalistic, because they are not directly behavioral, nor can they be performed superficially. The New Testament concepts are attitudinal and unselfish; that is, they are designed to benefit others, not ourselves.
If we have been bonded to Christ by salvation, then His love for others becomes our love for others: “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:5). If we have the Holy Spirit, then the love of God for others and the world is now a part of our new nature. If we want to be Spirit-led, then we must be willing to “serve one another.” Love means to seek to benefit others without self-interest, regardless of possible negative feelings toward the one in need.
The word serve is a strong verb, which comes from the common Greek noun for bondslave (see Gal 1:10 and 2 Cor 4:5). A servant can be paid to serve, but a slave is owned by another to do his will. Jesus cannot touch people today, but we can, nor can He demonstrate love toward people except through us. The greatest service to others is to tell them of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and how He now lives and wants to be in their lives.
The passion of Christ as described in Galatians 2:20 (“the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”) becomes the theme of the Christian life: In Christ’s place, we love others and give ourselves for them! He gave Himself for us so that we could give ourselves for Him to others, especially those who do not know Him. Are you willing to be His vessel? It might cost you everything.
“Thank You, Father, for giving me the wisdom to follow Your example of serving others by demonstrating Your love.”
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