For if man has lost his freedom, and is forced to serve sin, and cannot will good, what conclusion can more justly be drawn concerning him, than that he sins and wills evil necessarily?

-Martin Luther 

 

Beware: This entry is written for those who are serious about living lives in opposition to sin.

We can be sure that any freedom worth a dime is at odds with sin.  It’s worth noting while we are talking about our freedom in Christ that some people upon hearing the message of freedom get it all backwards—they think freedom signals a licence to do whatever they wish, when that’s not the purpose of freedom whatsoever.  Freedom, like many things, can used for good—and yet, God still gives us the freedom to take our freedom and be as bad as sin.  Just as our hands can used to administer a healing touch to a leper, they can also be used to gouge out our brother’s eyes—freedom wouldn’t be freedom if it couldn’t be used for evil. 

The freedom we abuse quickly becomes a bondage to something we end up serving other than God—and we don’t become more free in this instance, but always less free.  Those who have struggled with a besetting sin will know exactly what I am getting at here.  Before we had been set free by Christ himself we lacked the power needed to walk in any lasting freedom to speak of.  In other words, when we exercise our freedom for God’s good purposes in our lives we experience not less freedom—but we walk in more freedom.  But how quickly that can change!

We were otherwise known as what Paul termed slaves to sin.

I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?

As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!   (Romans 6:19-22, The Message Bible)

Now that we have been freed from the sin that once held us we better be prepared to face the battle of our lives.

Sin never gives into freedom without a fight.

Advertisements