For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13
In studying the above scripture, it is comparing two ways of life and prescribing the suitable one for the believer to follow suit. We see a sharp contrast between two available options for the natural man, but one chosen route for the Man in Christ. It is an established fact in the scripture that the believer has liberty in Christ. The call to salvation in the first place is a call out of darkness into the light, a redemption from captivity into freedom. A call into self-discovery and fulfilment. Paul is seen admonishing the church here, that although we are now free men, our freedom serves a great purpose both to God and to Men. A perfect illustration would be a prisoner released from prison, but who has not just only been set free to roam the street or to find purpose in the trenches. The reality here is that you have been released, retrieved, and redeemed to come to enjoy the life of a prince in a palace. This then means that as a prince while you are entitled to luxury and comfort, which would also mean that you are also charged with the affairs of the state. As a prince you are royalty, and your appearance and way of life should confine with your newfound reality. As a prince, you are automatically engaged in the affairs of your father’s kingdom and you ought to love his people just like He does.
As believers, we have to come to realize that there is an expectation of us. The one who called us hath set a standard for us to live by, and that standard is Love. The lifestyle of a believer is characterized by love. A believer is a person of love just as He has been loved by the father, He also ought to love his fellow men. Jesus speaking in John commanded that we love our neighbour as ourselves, this informs the reality of the possibility to love someone as recommended by Christ. The first course of action would then be to love your neighbour as much as you’ve been loved by God and then to love your neighbour as much as you love God i.e., input = output. 1 John 3: 16 says “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” So, as a believer, if you are asked, “how far are you willing to go your neighbour?” your answer should be “as far as I can go for myself”
This is our hope as believers, “We no longer have to live by the law, but by the spirit who teaches us to love”. It brings great gladness to know that all We really have to do, to meet up with God’s standard of excellent living is to love. It cheers the heart to know that, you don’t have a long list to check by every day, to be sure you are living as prescribed by God. Finally, we have a prescription that cannot be abused; in that, it levels up to the insatiable desires of man. A responsibility whose fulfilment gives comfort to the soul. A responsibility we don’t have to carry out all by ourselves? Dear believer, I submit to you today that it is possible to love the God way and that is why the holy spirit dwells in us to help us achieve this height and feet of love that is expected of us.
FURTHER READING: 1 John 3, 1 Timothy 1
DECLARATION: I am the beloved of God; Christ has showered me with so much love. His love has opened me to a lifestyle of love. I am given to love the God way. I express the love of God in action, both in my service to the saints and in my service to humanity. The love of God drives all my thoughts and actions.