Christian Freedom Is No Excuse To Sin

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)

This is a good word, because from time to time you hear “Christian” people talk about how they are “free in Christ” to do this or that worldly thing that they “feel led” to do. But God has a stern warning here against those who try to play that game: “do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.”

Even in a letter like Galatians, which emphasizes the freedom of Christians from the Law, Paul warns against the danger of libertinism (considering that you have freedom or liberty to sin). When people start speaking of “freedom” and talk of how they can do this or that questionable thing, it is a warning sign. They are being overtaken by fleshly desires, NOT by the Holy Spirit of God. The freedom you have in the Spirit doesn’t lead to sin, but always to holiness. It is instructive that soon after this verse, “the deeds of the flesh” (:19) are contrasted with “the fruit of the Spirit” (:22). It is the flesh that leads to impurity, sensuality, drunkenness, etc., not the Spirit of God.

Yes, you are “free” as a Christian. Free from trying to justify yourself before God by works of the Law. Free, as he says here, to SERVE one another in love! But you are NOT free in Christ to indulge your flesh. That “leading,” scripture says, does NOT come from the Spirit of God!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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