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Freedom in Christ (It’s Not Just for You)

January 28, 2021

“But take care that this liberty of your does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9

What am I free to do? Can I do anything I want? Freedom and liberty are often subjects of our political discourse. Some in our nation believe that freedom means being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, even in spite of all evidence, just to prove that they are free to do so. Others take an approach that our freedom should be leveraged not for its own sake, but for the common good. This latter view might well be represented by the adage, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”

As citizens of this country, our freedom typically extends only insofar as we are not using it to harm others (although a surprising number of people really do believe that freedom means being able to do what you what, damn the consequences and damn their fellow citizens). As Christians, however, we have a freedom that is both more broad and more focused.

Freedom created by human law and custom is a great gift, but it cannot give us what we truly need. Only the freedom that comes from Christ saves us from sin, death, and the devil. In Christ we are truly free! And in Christ we are truly called; called to set aside the old ways of death, the sinful insistence of focusing on our own wants and desires. Freedom in Christ means the old self has died; we are new creations.

To be free in Christ means we are always asking, “What is good for my neighbor? What gives glory to God?” Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians make this clear. The more we understand our true freedom in Christ, the less we seek our own ends.

My freedom to swing my fist only extends to the tip of your nose. Yes, but as a Christian, why would I be swinging my fist? Freed by Christ, I am not only forbidden to hurt you. I am commanded to love you, and to seek your good.

For example: You may be free to not wear a mask, but your freedom in Christ compels you to wear mask for the good of your neighbor (unless wearing a mask truly harms you or is difficult for a legitimate reason, medical or otherwise; in that case, caring for you is one of the reasons I mask up).

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God, thank you for freeing us from sin and death. Thank you for freeing us from ourselves. Set our hearts, centered in Christ, on the needs of one another. Help us to actively seek one another’s good. Let Christ direct our hearts and hands today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Me, exercising my Christian liberty and reppin’ the USWNT.

From → COVID-19

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