Being an American one of the values I hold in high regard is freedom. Last week I was in Washington DC and was able to visit the sites which celebrate the men and women who worked to bring about our national freedom, and who continue to work to preserve our national freedom. I am greatly thankful for the country I live in and the freedoms it allows me, yet it is not the end all, be all of freedom. My truest freedom is found in a Kingdom based not in this world, but one that rules eternity.
We allow so many things to steal our freedom away. Paul reminds us that freedom is the very reason Christ came, lived, died and rose. Yet we allow ourselves to get burdened by the yoke of slavery. In the United States this imagery of slavery carries a deep bitterness. Still we allow ourselves to be enslaved to things which only bring about further captivity and steal our freedom.
The products of how we live are the evidences of whether we are free or not. When we are burdened by the yoke of slavery we live according to the sinful nature as outlined in verse 19-21. When we are living in the freedom of Christ our lives are characterized by the fruit of the spirit, verses 22-26. The fruit of the spirit is not where we start, it is a result. We do not chose to do those things so that we might live by the spirit, rather our lives embody those things as we live free in the spirit.
Are you free?