IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
– Galatians 5:1 (AMP)
A lot of believers are in the struggle of trying to change themselves. We look at our lives and we become aware of undesirable fruits. We do not see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and it leads us to a place of wanting to do something about it. So, we go into self-effort in order to change ourselves. When we do this, I can compare it to you taking off the figs of a fig tree and by doing so, you expect it to yield apples. But all of us know that this will only lead to more figs being produced. Many believers are caught up in this tiresome cycle of dependence on themselves and they never experience true freedom in Christ. You will not experience freedom through your understanding of how bad your bad deeds are. You will also not experience freedom by thinking your bad deeds are not so bad or by trying to justify your bad deeds. But you will experience true freedom by turning away from yourself unto Jesus and allowing Him to change you. God has not called us to change ourselves. He called us to yield to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit transforms us from the inside out.
God has completely liberated us through the death of Jesus on the cross by taking our sinful nature and nailing it to the cross. When we are born again, it means that we have been crucified with Jesus Christ and our old nature no longer exists. Galatians 2 verse 20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” We now possess the nature of God and it is therefore no longer a fight to overcome sin, but rather that we give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and allow him to live His life through us. Only Christ can live like Christ and bring forth the fruit of Christ.
There are only two options. You either depend on yourself or you depend on Jesus. But how is it possible to put your trust in Jesus if you never hear a message about Him? That is why Paul says the following in Galatians 3 verse 5…“Then does He Who supplies you with His marvellous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?”
True freedom in Christ is where God lives His life through you and where sin, together with all the effects of sin, loses its grip on your life. This means freedom from sickness, freedom from death, freedom from addictions, freedom from fear etc. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! (2 Corinthians 3:17)