Freedom is the lack of restraint. More specifically, it can mean:
- Ability to act freely: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions.
- Release from captivity or slavery: release or rescue from being physically bound, or from being confined, enslaved, captured, or imprisoned.
- The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.
- Exemption: immunity from an obligation or duty.
Freedom & the Book of Galatians
John Hanneman wrote, "Inner freedom has to do with the very essence of our being. This "inner freedom" is the theme of the book of Galatians.
The Greek words for freedom appear 36 times in the New Testament. Paul uses them 28 times in his letters, 10 times alone in Galatians. The purpose of this book is clear: to get Christians out from under the law and into freedom in Christ, to have Spirit replace Torah in our lives.
Galatians reveals why we struggle so much with law. It identifies the key ingredient to becoming free, and how people can enjoy freedom in Christ day in and day out. The theme of the book is freedom.Paul writes,
In his word of greeting in the introduction,
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
the apostle defines what he means by freedom. Following his wish for "grace and peace," he uses two phrases that capture for Christians the two ways they are free as a result of their relationship with God.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of God the Father. Galatians 1:3-4 (NASB)
The first phrase is that the Lord Jesus Christ "gave Himself for our sins." Here the apostle is describing our freedom from slavery to, and from the power of sin. This is the great doctrine of justification. We are born into sin, separated from God, but God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. In the atonement, all of our sins, past, present, and future, have been paid for." John Stott comments: "The death of Jesus Christ was primarily neither a display of love, nor an example of heroism, but a sacrifice for sin."