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Archive for July 17th, 2016

True Freedom

Meme Galatians 5 1In the daily lectionary today, the New Testament reading is Galatians 5: 1-26.  Luther taught there are three kinds of freedom:  political, fleshly and spiritual.  The Scripture is primarily and most importantly about spiritual freedom.  For instance, political freedom was known by the ancient Greeks who developed democracy.  It is important, no doubt!  But too many times freedom, political and especially spiritual freedom, becomes an excuse for the flesh:  “I can do anything I want”, that is, to indulge in the flesh.  We see this daily in our now secularist nation which lauds and promotes such, especially, sexual license but it is “a yoke of slavery”.  In Galatians, the Apostle Paul is addressing Christians who bought into a ‘new’ preaching that you have to be circumcised to be a ‘real’ Christian, no wrote the Apostle, for if it is by the Law we are free, then Christ died for nothing (cf.Galatians 2:21). No, He died for Paul and for you.  It was necessary. Therefore, as a pale reflection of true spiritual freedom, our political freedoms are important as they also come from the Lord, but there is a signicant contrast between political freedom and spiritual freedom which was succinctly described by Martin Luther:

“For it is human freedom when laws are changed without effecting change in men, but is Christian freedom when men are changed without changing the Law.”

After all, no one ever became good by an act of Congress!  Only Christ changes men.

We pray…

Merciful God, for freedom You have set us free through Christ’s liberating death resurrection.  In this freedom, teach us to live in the fruit of the Spirit given us in our Baptism that we bear in our bodies the fulfilment of the Law as we love our neighbors as ourselves;  thorugh Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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