There’s just something about freedom. Paul tells us that freedom is the very reason that Jesus set us free. Redundant? Not if we understand that freedom comes from the heart of God, and as such, freedom is an end in itself. Freedom is the will of God. But do we know what freedom really is?
It seems like we take freedom to mean something like, “the right to do whatever I like.” As long as what I do doesn’t directly harm someone, I am “free” to do whatever my heart desires. But this is not the biblical sense of freedom. In fact, this is closer to the biblical view of slavery–enslavement to our every desire. If we are unable to say “no” to something, then aren’t we slaves to it? Freedom is the power to say “no” to our basest and most destructive desires.
The freedom for which Jesus set us free is the freedom to obey. This freedom is not enslaved to the selfish desires of our wicked hearts. Rather, God’s freedom is revealed in a heart that has been humbled by the gospel. True freedom comes through submission to Christ. Freedom is obedience to God.
God has set us free from sin in Christ Jesus. We are no longer slaves to wickedness. Instead, we have been set free to obey the law of Christ–something we never could have done when we were living in bondage to sin. Sin is a wicked master. But God is gentle, humble, and full of loving-kindness. He is our new master, and his love for us compels our obedience. It is only through obedience to God that we find ourselves truly free.
As we celebrate our country’s freedom, I can’t help but think about the freedom that God has granted me. To my shame I too often reject his freedom, and choose rather to be enslaved to the evil desires of my old self. Would that I embrace the freedom of Christ through obedience to God.