With the presidential election right around the corner I am compelled to reflect on the freedom I experience in this country. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from Great Britain's tyranny, and the right to bear arms, among others.
Of course, freedom is never free. The blood of our soldiers pays to protect our American freedoms. Priceless. Precious. Often taken for granted.
While our American freedom is highly valuable, the Christian's freedom in Christ is immeasurable. The blood of Jesus Christ paid for our spiritual freedom. Christ broke the chains of bondage and slavery to the Law offering us the gift of grace and freedom from sin. This truth is significant.
To summarize Martin Luther, freedom is not the right to do what we want but rather the power to do what we ought. An article written by Rick Ezell titled Let Freedom Ring says, "Christian freedom is freedom from sin, not freedom to sin." God freed us from sin, but it is our choice to live according to the principles of His Word.
John 8:36 tells us, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Later John 14:6 says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Then in John 8:32, Jesus tells his disciples, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Ezell says later in his article, "God's method for freedom is truth. When we believe the devil's lies and obey them, we experience bondage. God's purpose for us is freedom and God's method for freedom is truth."
Freedom is the chance for us to become what God intends for His glory. While we operate under grace, our spiritual freedom is not a license to do whatever we want when we want. Spiritual freedom should bring us to a place of greater maturity because we recognize our responsibility as Christians.
Sometimes my boys will ask, "Why can't we do that? What's wrong with it?" I turn the question around on them and say, "What is right with it?" or "How is it good?" Sometimes Christians tend to ask the same questions. We try to inwardly justify behavior we know is not right. It's like the teenager who wonders how far they can physically go and still be okay. This reveals a heart wanting to get away with something as long as it fits in the right box of 'okays.' We are asking for heartache when we settle for degrees of wrongness.
Our standard for righteousness and holy living must come from Truth. Right and holy living, meaning, our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and our words should line up with the Word. The next time we ask, "What is wrong with this?" we should instead ask ourselves:
- Will this draw me closer to God?
- Will this glorify Him?
- Is this God's best for my life?
- Will this cause another brother or sister to stumble?
My name is Hester Christensen and I approve this message.
How can I abuse my freedom in Christ?
How can my life reflect a right understanding of spiritual freedom? Am I living according to the principles of His Word?
What does spiritual freedom mean to me? Do I correctly understand what Christ did for me through His sacrifice on the cross?
Is my heart eager to please God or myself? Am I seeking ways to justify ungodly behavior?
Heart Transforming Word:
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV) "Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."
Galatians 5:13 "Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."
Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. Edited 2012. All rights reserved.