I know, I know….another post titled off of some obscure quote in a movie. Maybe not so much in this case…but what can I say? I like movies.
All over the world freedom has been given a definition. The freedom of press allows the press to write what they want when they want. The freedom of speech allows us to say what we want when we want. The freedom of religion ensures us that we can worship whomever we want without persecution. We have the freedom to travel across these United States without hindrance. Freedom to work where ever we like, go where ever we want. One of the greatest expressions of freedom can be found here on the internet.
Here in America we take advantage of this freedom because it is something we have always had. Very few have worked to support that freedom. There are a select few that have had the privilege to sacrifice for that freedom. American freedom is something that is wanted many, and lamented by many. It can be seen as a completely awesome right to which every American has, or it can be seen as the complete downfall of a civilization.
What does the Bible say about freedom? The Bible does have commentary on freedom. There are some misconceptions though as to what freedom means in the Bible versus how freedom has been defined in a modern context. Kevin’s last post gave us a context of how to respond to a government you are unhappy with. He took a look at 1 Peter 2:13-17. There is one verse in there that mentions the word freedom.
16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
When you read the words “free men” and “freedom” does your mind begin to think about being free, as we are here in America? I’ll be honest…mine always has. But, is that what Peter means? What are we free of? What does freedom mean to God?
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
In John 8:34-36 Jesus tell us what we are free from. We are free from sin. This, in turn, means that we are free from death. This freedom comes with faith in the Son. He has set us free. This is indicated in verse 36. Paul reasserts what Jesus had said in Romans 6:22 when he says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
This is not some simple point that the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins has set us free. This point is extremely deep and has a very important meaning when put into the context of 1 Peter 2:16. John 8:34-36 and 1 Peter 2:16 answer the question that I posed above: What does freedom mean to God?
Let me introduce a concept here that some of you might have never heard of…Christian freedom. In the second paragraph I touch on worldly freedom. These are freedom’s that man can give to us, and take away from us on a whim. Christian freedom can never be taken from us once we have accepted Christ. The price he paid on the cross was once and for all. At that moment he set into motion a plan that would create a WORLD of free men and women. Free from sin and death. That is our inheritance from Jesus. Freedom!
1 Peter 2:16 serves as a warning for Christians not to hide behind the freedom that Christ has given us. When put into a modern context it is easy to see why the warning is so important. Because we have accepted Christ we cannot continue to do the same things we have always done, namely live in sin. The acceptance of Christ, doesn’t mean that we can do or act however we want! Quite the contrary. We cannot have two masters. We are either a servant to God, or a servant to sin. Peter tells us to be servants to God, rather than to sin. 1 Peter 2:16 tells us to live our lives responsibly. We cannot be using the freedom that was purchased with Christ’s blood as an excuse to carry on as we did before we were saved! This cannot work.
Do you use your salvation as an excuse to do bad things? Have you ever caught yourself saying…”well it’s okay to do this because God will forgive me”. If you have…1 Peter 2:16 is the direct rebuttal to such a statement. The next time you find yourself faced with a situation where you are using your freedom to hide behind some of the bad things you have done, think of 1 Peter 2:16. Remember to be a servant to God. Remember the price that was paid for your freedom.
For those of you reading this that are on the fence or don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God…know this. Your freedoms here on earth can be gone in the blink of an eye. The eternal freedom offered by God can never be taken away by politicians in Washington, or despots in North Korea, or mad men in Venezuela. What God offers is eternal. Not corruptible by men or government. We have seen that men will lie, God will not. Men will steal, God will not. Men will take away from you what is rightfully yours, God will not.
If you are on the fence or have questions as to whether or not God exists, please look at these posts; The Historical Reliability of the Bible, Inerrancy of the Bible, and Why Would the Apostles Die for a Lie.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave an anonymous message. We will be happy to answer any and all questions.
Remember, God has told us, “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.” (Galatians 5:1)