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Galatians 5:13 by Robert Dean
Series:Galatians (1998)
Duration:59 mins 38 secs

Freedom, Liberty, Political vs. Spiritual Solution
Galatians 5:13


Galatians 5:13 NASB "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only {do} not {turn} your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."


Paul connects two crucial concepts in this passage in a unique way. These concepts are freedom and love. True love is a mental attitude, it is not an emotion. There is an emotional love but that is not what the Scriptures are talking about and we ought not to base any decisions we make in life upon emotion.


  1. The biblical concept of love, especially that which is reflected by the Greek word agape [a)gaph] is a mental attitude love. That means it is essentially volitional, not emotional. Its focus is on what is best for its object. That means we have to clearly define what the object of love is.
  2. Liberally, whether we are talking about religious liberalism of political liberalism,—at their core they buy into basic assumptions about the nature of reality that are antithetical and antagonistic to biblical Christianity— at their basic core they put their focus on the wrong object. They put the focus on the national enemy, not their neighbour, not their fellow countryman, not their children, not their grandchildren. All of a sudden we get into a war, as in Vietnam, and the political liberal begins to wail about the victims and how terrible it is to kill the enemy, how we should go easy on them, and all of these nonsensical things, forgetting the fact that we are protecting the freedoms of their neighbours, their children and grandchildren, and future generations. They shift the object of their love to the wrong object. The same thing happens in criminality. Rather than putting their focus on love for the victim of crime they put their focus and their pseudo love on the criminals themselves. What they are basically saying is that man is perfectible, that he is basically good, and they have rejected the Scriptural notion of the total depravity of man, that we are all born sinners and inherently evil. 
  3. True love in a national context promotes justice for the criminal, protects the victim of crime, defends the freedom of the citizenry from incursions by government or foreign powers, and promotes personal responsibility. It is always the tendency of government to seek to become autonomous and to pull all of the power to itself and to overrun the citizenry. True love defends freedom and promotes personal responsibility.
  4. The greatest freedom that we have in the USA is the right to bear arms, to own firearms, and to possess forearms without government regulation or intrusion. The right to bear arms is a fundamental principle of freedom. The Scripture recognises this from a very early stage in the Old Testament but the liberal and the person operating on a human viewpoint mindset rejects that kind of thinking out of hand.
  5. Historically, arms control is designed to limit freedom and to promote the tyranny of government. This goes all the way back to what happened in 1 Samuel 13:19 NASB "Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, 'Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears'." 
  6. True freedom must be understood in terms of its original root issue as defined in Scripture. That goes back to the concept of spiritual freedom. The opposite of freedom is bondage. Man lost freedom in the garden when he made a bad decision. That brings volition to the forefront. Adam and his wife acquired a sin nature and were now in bondage to that sin nature. That means they had no choice but to commit sin. Everything they did flowed from the sin nature. All temporal bondage has its roots in the fall of Adam. The more we get away from the spiritual solution the more human society caves in to various forms of tyranny.
  7. In the garden of Eden sin destroyed freedom. It began by destroying life. Adam had perfect and unlimited freedom in the garden, he was going to live forever, he had access to the tree of life and he was never going to die. Obviously the first consequence of loss of freedom is to lose the ability to live forever. Secondly, it created a cursed environment. Third, the problem is primarily a spiritual problem, therefore the solution must begin with a spiritual solution. If there is no spiritual solution the political solution will never work. If there is no capacity for freedom and an understanding of true responsibility then any attempt to provide freedom will fall apart eventually. The further we get away from biblical thinking the further we get away from thinking accurately. Spiritual growth provides the capacity for freedom and once that is lost we begin to see the freedoms erode in a culture and society. When the sin nature is allowed to reign uncontrolled its slavery increases. It starts from the sin nature but then when there is the aggregate of unrestrained sin natures, especially among government officials and politicians and their legislative agendas, it destroys the freedom of individual citizens. That is why absolutes and values are integrated to develop any freedom within a nation. If we do not have an understanding of absolutes and are operating on moral absolutes we have already undercut the foundation of freedom in a society. Bondage to sin destroys capacity for life, for happiness, and to appreciate freedom. So the more the sin nature goes unrestrained in society the more the capacity for life and happiness is destroyed and people lose the whole concept of personal responsibility and accountability. They are out for themselves and not for anyone else and this goes right back to the angelic conflict. Unrestrained carnality is the height of irresponsibility, and responsibility is the foundation for freedom.
  8. The exodus event is the paradigm for understanding political freedom. Before the Jews were freed politically from Egypt they had to go through a spiritual event which is exemplified in the entire Passover meal. That is why the Passover comes before the exodus. But the people of the exodus generation rejected the provision of God and were constantly fighting against God and did not submit in humility to the authority of God, so they had no capacity to appreciate their new freedom. They constantly wanted to go back to the bondage of Egypt and submit to the slavery of Egypt. They couldn't handle freedom. They wanted the security of slavery rather than the uncertainty of freedom, because in true freedom they might make the wrong decision and might have to suffer the consequences. When we don't want to suffer the consequences then we just want somebody else to take care of us. That will destroy life and the soul of the nation. When there is no capacity fro freedom you will exchange freedom for security and personal responsibility for bondage; you want somebody else to make all the decisions for you and to solve all the problems for you and you don't want to go forward in success. The more you limit the ability to fail—degree of failure, the consequences of failure—the more you will limit the opportunities for success. The problem is sin and that man is inherently evil, and the only solution is the redemption solution at the cross. But at the very core of liberalism is the idea that man is inherently good and that society is basically perfectible. That is divorcement from reality and from there on there is going to be a conflict. That is why the more our society drifts away from the biblical stands and principles of establishment absolutes and it becomes more steeped in moral relativism, and we don't hold everyone, whoever they are, accountable to the same law then we have slipped into pure moral relativism. The more society drifts apart in these two directions—believers with absolutes on the one hand and unbelievers and carnal believers and moral relativism on the other hand—the more society is polarised and the closer we come to an implosion in the culture and we see the effects of divine discipline and the complete loss of freedom and tyranny.
  9. a) Total depravity must be restrained in the populace and in the leadership of a nation. Every person is totally depraved. That does not mean that every person is as bad as they could be, it means that in the totality of their makeup every aspect of their being is equally affected by Adam's original sin. This restraint is done through law. b) Freedom is earned and preserved through moral courage. If you do not have the courage to fight for your freedoms then you do not deserve to have those freedoms. c) Freedoms are based on absolutes and absolutes ultimately are based on doctrine in the soul. That means that is there is no doctrine in the soul you lose your understanding of absolutes and once you do that it destroys freedom. Remember, Bible doctrine defines reality. Rationalism and empiricism are inadequate to ultimately define reality. d) The loss of biblical absolutes destroy values and virtue. And remember, true love is virtue dependent. If there is no virtue in the soul then love is worthless. e) Virtue and values provide capacity for freedom. When you lose virtue and value freedom is destroyed. f) The only solution to the problem is a spiritual solution. It is not through crusader arrogance, going out and trying to whitewash the devil's world through political solutions, marches, and all the other things that go along with that; it is through people being converted through the proclamation of the gospel and then believers advancing to spiritual maturity. The only solution that lasts is the spiritual solution because the spiritual solution alone provides the capacity for understanding freedom and personal responsibility, which are necessary for the foundation of freedom. g) We live on the brink of national destruction because we have drifted off course as a nation from our doctrinal roots.