On New Year’s Day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln granted freedom to slaves in the Confederate states. Though immediately on that day, many slaves were granted their freedom, it did take some time for the news to travel. ‘Word didn’t reach the African-American slaves of Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, when a force of two-thousand Union soldiers arrived and informed them of their freedom. Historians suspect Texas slaveholders knew of the proclamation and chose not to free their slaves until they were forced to”.’ It is sad to think that those slaves had to pointlessly endure another 2 ½ years of slavery when they were given freedom.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, the Book of Galatians is about the freedom that Christians have in Christ. I studied this book last year and realized the freedom that I had in Christ. Without even realizing it, I was enslaved to doing ‘good works’ a lot longer than 2 ½ years, but for most of my Christian life. Of course I preached salvation by grace through faith not by works; but somehow along the way, I thought my good works put me in a better light with God and that I deserve things from God, and when God did not do things the way that I wanted, I would get ticked at Him. I was no different than the brother in the parable of the “prodigal son”. This made me do things and not do other things out of duty instead of love for my savior. I was enslaved and did not realize the freedom that I had.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Hopefully, you haven’t had to experience bankruptcy in your financial life, but when one declares bankruptcy; all of his debts are removed and he is not obligated to repay them. This is good thing, but when one walks out of that lawyers office freed from any debts; chances are that he is broke and he has the same bad habits that got him in that mess.
When one accepts Christ as their savior, he is freed from all of his sins; past, present, and future, plus one is given the full richness of Christ including life more abundantly (John 10:10) and indwelt with the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) to a name a few benefits with one’s freedom. The Holy Spirit empowers us to boldly preach the gospel and to keep God’s command to love one another.
As one is indwelt with the Holy Spirit, he or she does not need the Law to guide them, because the Holy Spirit will lead him.
I find this so freeing that it is not up to me to continually do the right thing. Christ has done the work and has set me free to love Him and other in His power. This way Christ gets the glory and I do not.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
 http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/multicultural/multiculturaltraditions/juneteenth.html Accessed November 17, 2013