You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:13-14 NIV
Freedom. Something that many hold dear. And many others wish they had. After all, who likes being under the authority of another person. Being told what to do and what not to do. I want to do what I want, when I want, and how I want.
So the first part of this passage is very appealing. We are called to be free. Specifically, we are freed from the constraints of the Old Testament Law. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not under its authority any longer. We have been set free.
But as you read on you discover that we are not set free to do whatever we want. We are not to use our freedom to indulge the flesh.
Set Free to Serve
Instead, we have been freed from the law so that we can humbly serve one another in love. I have been set free so that I can serve. On the surface that sounds contradictory. But it is not. Being set free from the law is only a portion of what has happened to me. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20). At the same time I am freed from the law, I am created anew in Christ. Being freed from the law allows me to serve a new master now.
And that new master, Jesus, calls on me to love. To lovingly and humbly serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been set free so that I can truly love. And in doing that I fulfill the intent of the law. Only when I am in Christ, not under the law, can I find the law fulfilled in my own life.