Num 26; Gal 5; Psalm 108
‘Freedom’ is something widely misunderstood in the Christian life – it is not at all the same thing as the idolatrous notion of Freedom so prevalent in western Society, ‘Freedom from . . .’ an unrestricted life.
Those looking in Paul’s letter to the Galatians for such a notion of ‘Freedom’ will find themselves puzzled if not disappointed. Thus far Paul has spoken of their re-adoption of the Jewish Law, especially with respect of Purity, as a Slavery. The imagery he uses is that they are in effect offspring of Hagar, the ‘bond-woman’. but then he goes on in Chapter 5 to explain the nature of Christian Freedom – not freedom to Self indulgence. Thus Not the Freedom as we are taught to think of it. Put another way, OUR problem is that we understand the Christian virtues in isolation. IF Freedom is sucha virtue, then it cannot be so understood, for if Freedom were to self indulgence, it would contravene the Key Christian virtues of humility and Pride. Put another way it is slavery to self, masquerading as Freedom
No, Freedom as understood Christianly is Freedom to do what is right. We are not set ‘free from’, so much as we are set ‘free for’. Set Free from the effects of Sin, which are always and everywhere to turn us in ourselves, and set Free for Love.
Put another way, we are set free to reveal what we are in Essence, to reveal our true nature, Children of the One who Is Love. Thus Paul’s command to walk by the Spirit, is no more nor less than saying, now you are free to be who you really are, children born of the free woman, of the one who says ‘yes’ to God . . .