A Life of Freedom
Sin is bondage but is presented as freedom.
Salvation is freedom but many of us have been presenting and/or interpreting it as bondage.
Paul said, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ *I must not become a slave to anything.*”
1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT
4 chapters later, Paul again says, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is BENEFICIAL.”
1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT
These 2 statements remind me of what Galatian 5 warns us,
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”
Galatians 5:1 NLT
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
Galatians 5:13 NLT
I think we need to change our perspective on why God instructs us to do and not to do certain things…
Maybe if instead of just preaching do’s and don’t’s we started to teach why God has instructed us to live a certain way, people would be better equipped and more motivated to avoid/abstain from sin.
I believe many try in their own strength to stop sinning because they fear if they don’t, God won’t love them anymore and those of us in the church will cast them aside. I believe many others try to play the part like they aren’t sinning but are actually dibbling and dabbling in sin because they don’t really see what the problem is with it. I believe there’s a portion of people who don’t even try to avoid sin nor see the need to because they don’t understand why they shouldn’t.
We perish for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
Maybe if we taught people that there’s freedom in Christ and warned that certain things simply aren’t beneficial for us as believers rather than just running a list of things people “better not do,” people wouldn’t leave the Church and seek the world for “freedom.” The devil’s PR team has been working overtime making bondage look like liberation while we have been falling short showing the world the spiritual freedom Christ offers in Him.
For many, we have made Christianity feel like a prison when really salvation is liberation!
When I’ve heard/read stories of people who left the Faith/Church, a resounding message I’ve heard is that they felt trapped and weighed down. They felt in bondage. Oh how that must grieve God’s heart.
At some point we have to consider why people are feeling weighed down when Jesus said My yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)
**I’m not saying turn a blind eye to sin. I’m saying maybe we should change the angle in which we approach people about it.**
Instead of saying don’t do this, you can’t do that and just leaving it there, what if we went a step further to teach how in Christ, there’s no need to do that, you’re free to do this? What if we taught people what sin does to the body and soul so they’d know why it’s important to abstain from it.
Ex. Instead of saying, “you can’t fornicate or you’re going to hell,” we explain what sex outside of marriage does to the soul and what God is protecting us from by His commandment.
God’s commandments are NOT chains or punishment, they are our protection. I think so often we view God’s rules as Him keeping us from something when really He is protecting us from so much.
Eve was deceived into eating the fruit because satan convinced her to believe God was keeping her from something wonderful when all along, He was actually protecting her from something detrimental.
Jesus said, “if you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” As we grow in our love for Christ and trust His way over our own understanding, we will also view His Word differently. We will hide it in our heart that we might not sin against Him. (Psalm 119:11)
You see, these commandments protect us from the wages of sin AND they protect our relationship/union with Christ. Sin draws us away from Christ all while His Word brings us closer than ever.
God isn’t trying to keep us from something good. The Word lets us know that He withholds no good thing from us. (Psalm 84:11) Despite what the world may tell you, God is actually protecting us from all that means us no good. Love Him. Trust Him. Obey Him.