By Not Known
Christianity is freedom. The truth of the gospel sets us free (Jn 8:32). Free from
fear and superstition. Free from the penalty and power of sin. Free from a life
enslaved by man’s rules. These precious liberties are all established by the Cross
and resurrection of Jesus and his gift of the Spirit.
But what is freedom for?
It’s often freedom to be me. That sounds innocuous. However, that easily turns out
to be freedom for the self-indulgences of egÈ¯tism, materialism and hedonism.
The Apostle Paul talks about freedom. He is freedom’s advocate when it is at risk.
Galatians is a letter that defends freedom from the re-imposition of the Jewish law
as the way to be put right with God. For Paul, this was ‘gospel plus’ and that
equalled ‘no gospel’.
Paul is equally clear when freedom is abused. He knows that idols have empty
spaces behind them and cannot harm. Yet he will be a vegetarian if eating meat
offered to idols causes another person to stumble (1 Cor 8: 13). He will preach the
gospel at no cost to his hearers if that helps them to believe (1 Cor 9:12). Paul was
free, but enslaved himself so that people hear about Jesus in a way that they can
understand (1 Cor 9:19).
Freedom is something to be put at the service of God and others. We are free to
seek the good of others and not do anything to cause them to trip up in the faith (1
Cor 10:24,32). Our freedom is especially to be dedicated to God’s glory (1 Cor
Here are two questions wÄ— can use as guides in matters where we are unsure what
to do and the Bible leaves us free:
What will most help others?
What will most honour God!
Let us thank God for our freedoms from. Let us respect and defend the spiritual
freedom of one another. But let us not use freedom to mask sin. Instead let us
make it an instrument of other’s welfare and God’s glory.