Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Jesus was going to be his quick fix or so he thought. Prior to salvation, the man had led a life which was governed by his addictions to women and various substances. He genuinely fell on his knees before the Lord and asked for forgiveness because he was tired of being trapped in that life, but there was more to it than that. He did not fully understand the work of this path which was before him, and he thought that this moment of confession would bring instant freedom from those addictions. He was not wrong that freedom from every temptation of sin existed for him from that moment forward, but it would not be like waving a magic wand and making it all go away. Knowing that one is now free from the bonds of sin is not the same as knowing how to successfully walk in that freedom with regularity.
We have a tendency to view addiction as a disease which afflicts people only in certain ways, but the truth is that every saint who once was a sinner also was an addict. We were addicted to sin, to the flesh, to everything which stands against God and all that is holy. Part of the freedom we gain in Christ is freedom from the trap of that addiction. Yes, freedom from every sin exists from the moment we accept Christ into our hearts. The issue is that there is a way to walk in that freedom which must be learned. I can say that I love Jesus wholeheartedly and desire to follow his ways and his will, but I will not walk in freedom from sin if I do not take the time to fellowship with the Lord or practice the other spiritual disciplines He taught. The successful walk is built over time, and that is why we should expect to see an increase in the bonds which are broken as we go deeper in our faith.
Paul’s instruction here to the Galatian church is a command to intentionally continue in the freedom from sin Christ offers instead of intentionally returning to that former bondage. This is a choice we have. It is a choice we must make over and over and over again. Like any good habit, continuing to make the right choice time and again will make this our natural response. If we put in the work to develop this habit, it will yield greater and greater freedom from that which tries to hold us and keep us from God. The paradox is that we are completely free in Christ now, yet each day we have the opportunity to walk in greater freedom. Let us chase that. Father, thank You for allowing us to walk in complete freedom from sin and providing what we need to live that life if we want it.