For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:1-15
We are told throughout the word of God that we have Freedom in Christ. But what does that mean? Consider what we use our liberty for: in the United States, we've grown to resent liberty. We've begun to call freedom slavery, and seek to throw more rules and laws over our own shoulders because freedom is SO restricting! There's more laws, more legislation, more restrictions than ever, and if we find something that upsets us, even a little, we seek to change it, not within ourselves, but through rule of law. Why? Because Freedom is scary! We don't know what to do with ourselves. Over and over again, Israel looked back wistfully at the slavery God rescued them from (and it never worked out). In the movie, Raising Arizona, H.I. McDunnough, a felon who just can't seem to stop landing himself in jail, is accused by the parole board of "recidivism," continued offenses. Why? Because life on the outside is less structured, while jail gives some comfort in its structure and fellowship. Christians, we're not much different. At times, we look back at our enslavement with envious eyes. We were not set free to be confined by the flesh that constantly taunts and tantalizes us, but to a life of freedom, here and now, where Christ sits upon the throne of our hearts. It only comes when we embrace freedom, not enslaving ourselves, playing the victim, or passing more laws "to help us wisely use our freedom," but in walking in the Newness of Christ! Use your freedom wisely. Walk in freedom. Cast off the flesh and let Jesus reign supreme!