It always amazes me that God, the almighty and all-powerful creator of the heavens and the earth, decided that He would give free will to each of us. We as humans and children of God have the right to choose. In many ways, this is how freedom is defined in the worldly sense. If you are given the right to decide, then aren’t you free? Free speech, the freedom to assemble, and freedom to carry a firearm are some of the many rights that we are given in the United States, “the Land of the Free.” In my view, perhaps the most important right afforded to us, and the reason our founding fathers left Europe for the New World, is the freedom of religion. In the eyes of both God and man, we have been given the freedom to choose—so why aren’t we truly free?
- “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Scripture states that the only way that we can truly achieve the freedom that we desire is through belief in God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. It goes on to say that the reason that Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross at Cavalry was to ensure our freedom.
- “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.”
But just because we have this freedom that we so deeply desire in our hearts, it does not mean that we have the right to make any choices we desire. It feels like an incredible irony to say that in order to achieve freedom in our lives, we must commit our lives and our obedience to God.
- “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Part of that commitment to God is following His word. Ever since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, when original sin entered our lives, we have lived in a world corrupted by sin. However, we are given the freedom to choose God, and to turn toward Him and away from sin.
So often in life, people make the decision to engage in activities like drugs, gambling, or meaningless sex, thinking they are exercising their freedom in doing so. Unfortunately, this “freedom” turns out to be a mirage when they become controlled by their own desires. This misperception of freedom leads to bondage rather than the freedom that God has promised us in His Word. God is the only master to whom we should turn, and allowing ourselves to be mastered by sin erodes the freedom we yearn so deeply to have.
- ” ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything.”
—1 Corinthians 6:12
- “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”
When we turn toward God and away from sin, God makes it clear what He wants us to focus on: love.
- “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The ultimate goal of abiding in God is a different kind of freedom—one that leads to a better life here on earth and the promise of eternal life in heaven.
- “But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”