A New Freedom
On Sunday we talked about how in first century Judaism, the entirety of man’s relationship to God was encapsulated in man’s ability to obey the law; All 633 laws that the religious leaders had listed in the Torah. Attempting to relate to God by following rules must have felt like being in prison!
But Jesus came with good news of freedom…
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
However, freedom isn’t being “free” to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Freedom will always have boundaries. Without boundaries, freedom becomes anarchy.
According to Genesis, God created man in His own image. We are the image-bearers of God on earth, and we were created with purpose: To live in a harmonious love relationship with God, and one another. True freedom is being free to live life in harmony with our created purpose. True freedom is being able to experience life as it was meant to be experienced.
The closer we conform to the true image of God, Jesus Christ, the freer we become. The farther we drift from it, the more our freedom shrinks.
True freedom is experienced when we submit ourselves to God and His word, and the fellowship that comes with that submission. Self-assertion, the idolatrous desire to rule my own life, may seem like freedom, but the end result is always captivity. That’s why Paul said:
“Everything is permissible for me–but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me–but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Cor 6:12)
Therein lies the dilemma; The Christian is forgiven, and will not lose their salvation by violating God’s word. But if we use our freedom as an excuse to sin, the unavoidable reality is that we will become a slave to that sin. Our freedom will be lost. Ans there’s nothing more pitiful than a born-again, set free Christian sitting in the prison cell of sin.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Cor 3:17)
The new freedom Christ brought is freedom from the power of sin, freedom from the bondage of sin, freedom from the consequences of sin.
The new freedom Christ brought is freedom to live, and love, by the power of Christ in us.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal 5:13-14)
We can change the world, one life at a time…