The Bible is a severely political document. We believers are called to live within the bounds of state,
local and national politics while immersing ourselves counterculturally as citizens of the illusive
Kingdom. Jesus openly condemned the corrupt merger between theocratic Israel and the
Confessing Church; we are left with a lifetime of balancing nationhood and faithful service.
While we pledge allegiance to a flag, we are citizens of the Kingdom of God.
Galatians 2:20, 21 is Paul’s description of the drastic calling of the truly faithful to faithfulness:
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The
life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be
gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Paul starts out the 5th Chapter of Galatians with: “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free;
therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
Freed from Slavery:
Those who have been called by God to be free in Christ Jesus, then, are being freed from
slavery! Slavery to what? Slavery to convention; slavery to religion; slavery to family dynamics;
slavery to community ethics; slavery to our addictions; slavery to our families; slavery to the all-
mighty dollar; slavery to our pleasures, to name just a few.
In every generation since the penning of Paul’s letter to the Church at Galatia, Christians chafing
under the restraints of government and culture have found their way back to life with the words,
“…therefore, keep standing firm, and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
As a prison chaplain, I often reminded prisoners over and over again that you cannot be free
on the outside until you are free on the inside. That is the paradox of the Gospel. If we are to be
free, we must become yoked with Christ. Stand fast for liberty! Revere it! Fight for it! Keep it!
“I Must Be about My Father’s Business”:
When only a boy, Jesus made the choice between slavery and freedom: “I must be about my
Father’s business,” he said at age 12. Later on, it was, “I must do the works of him that sent me.”
Still later, “Who is my mother and my brothers? These are my mother and my brothers.” Still
later, “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things; I must be crucified; I must rise again.” “I
must! I must! I must! I must!” His was a life lived freely in the Spirit while carrying out religious
traditions short of legalism. He invites you and me into that Spirit life.
If we are truly to be free, we must follow His lead: “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me”
(Matt 11:29). He invites us to walk with Him through the furrows and the hedgerows of life,
yoked in partnership with the eternal God.
“So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).