Articles by Loren Larson

Liberty and Responsibility

February 2022

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” —Galatians 5:13-14

The believer is the beneficiary of many blessings as a result of his union with Christ. Two of the primary benefits free the Christian from the dominion of the sin nature and freedom from the authority and responsibility to the Mosaic law.

However, having received these great liberties ushers the believer into a position of responsibility. The apostle Paul teaches plainly in his writing that along with our freedoms comes the responsibility to maintain these freedoms and advance ourselves in that which they can produce. With great liberty comes great responsibility.

Freedom From The Sin Nature
Believers have been liberated from the sin nature. In Romans 6:1-11, the apostle Paul declares that the believer has been set free from the power of the sin nature because of his union with Christ. Paul declares that the new believer has been crucified with Christ. This means that the person that we once were, dominated by the sin nature, has been crucified, buried, and raised up with Christ to live in Him.

The new power source becomes the person of the Holy Spirit. He lives inside every believer and works to conform the believer into the image of Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is free to operate as the result of the believer’s faith in Christ and will continually work to transform the believer as long as the believer’s faith is centered upon Christ crucified.

Having been freed from the power of sin, we are then called upon to live a holy and righteous life. This can only be done by the help of the Holy Spirit. Each believer has the responsibility and privilege of maintaining faith in Christ and Him crucified so that the Holy Spirit has the legal right to transform him into the image of Christ.

Freedom From The Law
Believers have also been liberated from the Mosaic law. In Romans 7:1-6, the apostle Paul writes that Christians have been liberated from the authority and responsibility to the Mosaic law. Because all men are born under law, only death can free them from its authority and dominion. It is our union with Christ that has afforded us this freedom.

In Romans 7:1, Paul says that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. He goes on to say in Romans 7:4 that the believer is dead to the law due to his union with Christ. This means that believers are no longer responsible to the old covenant. The law of Moses was vital to the old covenant community because they had no supernatural means by which to recognize right and wrong. Neither did they have the power to perform what was right. But when the Holy Spirit moves into the heart of the new covenant believer, He replaces the need for the Torah with His ability to reveal truth to the believer. He guides the believer into all right and wrong. He directs the believer toward a higher plane of holiness which the types and shadows of the Mosaic law could never achieve.

The fulfilling of the law is accomplished as the believer places his faith in Christ crucified. It is there that the Holy Spirit enables the believer to reach the highest potential of righteousness. We have been freed from the law in order to bring forth fruit unto Christ. This fruit can never be developed under the law but only as one serves Christ in the newness of the Spirit.

Indulging The Flesh
Believers are responsible to live free from the pull of the flesh. The flesh is a very complex term to define. Simply put, the flesh is man minus the influence and help of God. The flesh will pull believers away from faith in Christ as the means of life and living.

In addition, it will pull believers toward actions and attitudes that are contrary to righteous living. We have been set at liberty from sin and from law but not so that we might consistently yield to the negative impulses of the flesh. To do so is to indulge the flesh or, as Paul says, give an occasion to fleshly influence.

As the believer places his or her faith in Christ and the cross, the Holy Spirit helps suppress the influences of the flesh. The believer must learn to maintain the proper object of faith so that his actions and attitudes come in line with the will and Word of God. We have not been given liberty in order to yield to the whims and designs of the flesh. We have not been set free so that we might give in to the stimuli of sin.

The Fruit Of The Spirit
Believers are also responsible to see that the fruit of the Spirit is developed in their lives. The foremost fruit of the Spirit is love. Love is, as defined by Paul, a selfless God-kind of love. It is impossible for man to produce this kind of love. That’s why it is referred to as the fruit of the Spirit.

Every aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is only experienced by the supernatural power of God’s grace. To rise to the highest aspect of this love will cause every shadow or type found in the Mosaic law to reach its fulfillment in the life of the believer. So then, the believer has been freed from the power of sin and the authority of the Mosaic law.

All this has been done to produce a Christian who loves God with all of his heart and loves his neighbor as himself. With great freedom comes great responsibility.


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