Freedom in Christ?
Being from the U.S., when I hear “freedom” I think of being able to say whatever I want, have whatever job I want, worship whatever/however I want, where whatever I want, eat whatever I want, marry whoever I want, etc. Because of this, for so long I’ve not quite understood what the New Testament meant when it said Christ sets us free.
- For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1).
- Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2Cor 3:17).
- Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in-who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery (Gal 2:4).
- For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Gal 5:13).
- Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God (1 Peter 2:16).
- So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
I didn’t understand because yeah, we’re free from sin, but we still aren’t “free.” We can’t just do or say whatever we want. But as I was reading C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image I started to realize that I have the wrong idea of freedom. During the Reformation, when people thought “freedom” they thought not about being slaves to a government or to a church, it wasn’t about saying whatever they wanted or wearing whatever they wanted. During these times, people were not necessarily commanded to worship the king or ruler, it was just that they needed to claim that they were their ultimate leader. It was the same in New Testament times. So when people were brought before the king and commanded to say, “Caesar is Lord” it wasn’t in a worshipful way, it was just saying that Caesar is the ultimate power. They are slaves to him.
I’m trying to figure out a way to say this, but I guess I was always thinking of it as freedom meaning we are free to do things, but having freedom in Christ is more like not having to do things. Sin. Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin. We no longer have to be slaves to sin!
- For one who has died has been set free from sin (Romans 6:7).
- …And having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18).
- For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
- …that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:12).
- What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from your heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at the time from things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:15-23)
It seems kind of stupid that I never fully understood until now. I mean, of course I always knew that we were no longer slaves to sin, I just didn’t know what this word free meant. I am so thankful to be free from sin and death.
Thank you, Jesus for taking my place.
To see all Throwback Thursday posts, click here.