Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | November 5, 2014

November 5, 2014 “Do What You Like”

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” (Galatians 5:1)

Good Morning My Beloved Friends!

If you are regular followers of my posts, you know that I enjoy referencing some of the great men and women of faith regarding their observations on spiritual matters. This morning, I came across this quote by Augustine of Hippo, an early Christian theologian and philosopher:

“Love God, and do what you like.”

Upon first reading, it took me a bit by surprise. Initially, it sounded a bit like those of the early church who were of the mistaken belief that since Christ died to forgive sin, and that his blood would cleanse from all unrighteousness, it was therefore desirable to sin with impunity so the grace of God could be revealed all the more! Love God…then anything you choose to do, no matter how sinful, is permissible.

As I thought about it a bit more, however, I came to a different understanding of what Augustine meant when he said this. I believe what he was saying was if you truly love God above all else, just as Christ taught us, then your sin nature will be transformed and the things you do will be pleasing to God, because they will be reflective of that love you have for the Lord. Your new nature will lead you in making those proper life choices. When Paul wrote his epistle to the Galatians, he said essentially the same thing when he wrote, “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”  The “yoke of slavery” that Paul mentions is condemnation that comes from being under the law. The “free life” he mentions is the freedom provided by God’s grace through Christ, who took those sins of ours and cleansed us from all unrighteousness, setting us free.

So I do agree with Augustine. Love God…with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…and then do what you like, with the blessed assurance that in Christ, we are truly free. Take your stand. Never again take that yoke of slavery upon yourself, nor let anyone else put one on you. Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I say, “Rejoice!”  Let’s pray!

O Beautiful Savior; Thank you for setting me free from the burden of sin and condemnation under the law. By Your grace, I live each day in true freedom. I love You, Lord, and I praise Your Name forever! Amen!

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