Christian freedom is always a difficult subject. It’s messy, full of gray areas, and well-meaning people often disagree. I’ve always found Galatians 5 to be clarifying because it speaks against both legalism and licentiousness. Believers in Galatia were being told they had to submit to the regulations and guidelines found in the Law. It was Jesus plus something. Paul sharply disputed this reminding them that Christ has freed us from the need to keep the Law. At the same time, freedom in Christ is never an excuse to sin or be flippant about the things of God. It’s not a license to indulge the flesh.

This latter point is where most of the messiness comes into the picture. There is a tendency in many believers to skirt the edges morally in the name of Christian freedom. Sometimes there are disastrous consequences. Usually though, the biggest damage is in our witness before the world. Our lives are to be marked by the fruit of the Spirit. The kind of freedom Christ brings is not an invitation to look and act like the rest of the world. It’s a call to discover that true freedom is found by increasingly submitting our lives to him.