Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what freedom in Christ really means.
I’ve heard some say that we can do whatever we want because of it, and I’ve heard others say that we have no authority to live in light of our freedom, we still have to follow the Bible rule-for-rule. I agree with both, and I agree with neither.
Okay, so I’m a nerd and I love the dictionary, so I looked up “freedom” in the (online) dictionary. And usually, I don’t like every definition of a word, but I liked all of these. So here is “freedom” defined.
- the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
- exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
- the power to determine action without restraint.
- political or national independence.
- personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery
- exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):
- the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
So, this implies:
We are at liberty and are not in confinement to the law.
We are exempt from external control of sin and the law over us.
We have the power to determine how we want to live.
We are free, according to the ruling of God.
We are personally free, and we are not in slavery to the law which brings sin, and sin which brings death.
We are free from the obligation to live under the law.
We are free from ties to sin.
Galatians 5:1; 13-14 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. […] 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. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
We have been set free, guys! Let’s see, what were we slaves to? Oh yeah, being confined by the law, being entwined in sin, and being condemned to death. BUT WE ARE FREE. Doesn’t sound too shabby, does it?
Why do we have freedom? Because of grace.
Our sin is not counted against us.
Should we keep on sinning, though? I mean, it’s not like we’re punished for it or anything. Romans 6:1-2 says “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
I got a new computer about six weeks ago, and it is beautiful. It is fast, it is smart, it is clean and neat, it is light, and I believe that it makes my life oh-so-much better. I always enjoy working on my new computer.
I do have another computer that I used before, though. At first, it worked and I liked it, but after a few years, it got old. Now, it is old, slow, clunky and heavy, ugly, and unpleasant to work with. It makes me cringe every time I use it. My new computer is at least three times faster, and I can always count on it.
When I got it, I was ecstatic. I was so glad to be rid of what caused me so much trouble! But I had to learn how to work it and not let my old PC habits kick in. (The switch from a PC to a Mac is hard! But totally worth it to me.) After I learned how to use it, it came completely naturally to me and I would NEVER want to go back! I have a new computer now; it would just make my life worse to go back to use my old and broken one. What would be the sense in that???
I suppose the same thing happens in our lives too. When we do not know any better, we completely enjoy sin. After all, it is “fun”. If it wasn’t fun, why would we do it? So we continue on in sin, not knowing any better, and sort of enjoying ourselves in the process. But then we become Christians, and become new in Christ. We aren’t refurbished, we are NEW, and we still have the shrink-wrapping and tag. So, my question is, why do we want to keep feeding into the old nature (using the old, broken, clunky computer) when we can thrive by living for Christ (using the new, working, beautiful, and light computer)?
When we became Christians, we put away our sin nature. Because, perhaps we enjoyed using the broken computer for a while before we realized it was broken, but now that we have the new computer, why would we possibly want to use the old computer? It may take a while and work to get used to it, but still. Why would we want to go back?
Now that we have forgiveness and life and freedom in Christ, we can live our new lives without regret. We can live our new lives to the full, rejoicing in our salvation!
Yeah, we have freedom! But what would be the purpose of using our freedom – to use whichever computer we want – to go back to the old and broken system? Honestly, which one is better?
Living in sin is not at all fulfilling. Living in Christ is both currently and eternally fulfilling. Sin does not help us to grow or enjoy our salvation.
One day of growing in and knowing Christ is better than an entire life of fleeting-pleasure sin, my friends. Sin does not, will not, and cannot satisfy. However, a relationship with God through Christ can – and does.
Technically, we could live however we want. We *could* live in sin, because it is not counted against us. We *could* live for ourselves in never-satisfying worldly pleasure. We *could*. But we shouldn’t. Not just because “the Bible tells me so” – although it does – but because, we all know firsthand, that the world can not satisfy. We’ve all experienced it! You may try to convince yourself that you’re happy – but you can not truly find your satisfaction until your heart is set in the unfailing love of Christ. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.
And it may seem counterintuitive to do so – but it’s worth every bit of life you put into living for Christ. Seriously. This isn’t our duty, it’s our joy.
Let’s use our freedom to live a worthwhile life. Are y’all with me?