Lately, an increasing number of young individuals have approached me seeking Biblical advice, particularly pertaining to personal matters. I find this reassuring, not because they are seeking me out, but because of what they are implicitly communicating through the questions they ask. On the surface, these questions would seem to indicate a lack of spiritual maturity. This is attributable to the substance of the inquiries which reveal the struggles and innermost turmoil these believers are attempting to overcome. However, I take a different view.
The questions demonstrate that these Christians are seeking purely Biblical answers to problems that stem from the flesh and are indicators that they desire to walk more closely with Christ. This must be true, otherwise, they wouldn’t seek Scriptural answers and instead become complacent with, at best, a mediocre Christian walk.
Of further comfort is that they are inquiring in the midst of an oppressive environment that is violently pushing them to live more sinfully and away from Jesus. Thankfully, instead of succumbing to the worldly pressure and deceit, they are rejecting it altogether, finding that true liberty is to be had through Christ exclusively.
A question for the reader: Are you experiencing this yearning to be more faithful in your walk with Christ? If not, this is most likely evidence of spiritual apathy and needs to be rectified immediately. Conversely, if you are experiencing this yearning, what are you doing in order to satisfy it? The Bible gives a direct answer as to how to satiate this desire.
The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes to the Galatians that we ought to:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (5:1)
Paul proceeds by denouncing the move by many to adopt Judaism instead of continuing to cling solely to the grace in Christ through faith. He uses this historical development to more broadly warn Christians of the dangers of falling back to a works-based religiosity and about the bondage it produces. (verses 2-15)
Starting with verse 16, Paul delineates more exactly how to walk in the liberty Jesus has for His children by contrasting the contrary and battling desires of the flesh and the spirit and asking the reader to “live” and “walk in the Spirit”. (verse 25) He lists the “works of the flesh” in verses 19 thru 21 and notes the “fruits of the Spirit” in verses 22 thru 23.
Therein lies the answer. If the reader desires to experience the liberty that only Christ can provide, then it will be necessary to abandon those “works of the flesh” and develop those “fruits of the Spirit” with patience, insistence and perseverance.
In doing so, the reader will eventually notice two things:
1) he will awaken from the blindness and slavery that is infused by the world because
2) the liberty from sin through Christ awakens one to that oppressive system, causing a avid desire to maintain oneself in that glorious Christian liberty and away from the pernicious influence of the world. As James states in his only epistle: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is…to keep oneself unspotted from the world”. (1:27)
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32