“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” GALATIANS 5:1
The heading for this passage from the Book of Galatians attributed to Paul is A LIFE OF FREEDOM. He continues to tell his followers that living by the laws and rites of Judaism will be of no benefit for one who is received into the saving grace of a Higher Power. This is not a condemning judgement of Judaism or any other profession of faith, but rather a statement of the freeing power available by simple acceptance of a higher power without the accompanying laws and rites. Those traditions could surely enhance one’s faith but the nugget of freedom is in the one who frees, aka love. “All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.” verse 6
So how does Paul define freedom? “Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do.” verse 13
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I have, in my recovery programs, the identical concepts as expressed in this verse. Initially service is to my fellow alcoholics transcending to the same attitude of self-less interaction with my community and the world. Step 12 has told me that a spiritual awakening will occur and that I will practice these principles (of self-lessness) in all my affairs. “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps….” is not a maybe-if situation. Step 12 says it will happen.
What am I giving up from my ‘self-life’ in order to have this awakening?
“The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, 20 chasing after things instead of God,[h] manipulating others,[i] hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, 21 being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions,[j] wild parties, and all other similar behavior.” verse 19-21
And what should I expect to gain from my recovery efforts?
“But the the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
From the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous I am told:
1)We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. 2)We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. 3)We will comprehend the word serenity. 4)We will know peace. 5)No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. 6)The feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. 7)We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. 8)Self-seeking will slip away. 9)Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. 10)Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. 11)We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. 12)We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not!
(Scripture quotes are from the TPT) The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com