Marvellous Freedom In Jesus Christ

 

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There are many vague unbiblical notions among some present-day Christians about what freedom in Christ is. True liberty in Christ is freedom:

 

·         from having sin as our master (see Romans 6:14).

·         from the just punishment of living eternally in a state of spiritual death in hell.

·         from Satan’s authority and power (see Luke 10:19-20 and 1 John 3:8).

·         from the demands of the Law of Moses (see Acts 15:10, Galatians 2:4 and 5:1-6).

·          to enter God’s presence without rejection or fear of condemnation, and being assured of His total acceptance (see Ephesians 1:6, 3:12 and Hebrews 4:16).

·         from having to try to earn or deserve our salvation (see Ephesians 2:8-9).

·         to be able to love God and others by the Holy Spirit’s power.

·         to be able to resist known sin by God’s glorious strength (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

·         to be able to choose to obey Him by His wonderful power (see Philippians 4:13 and 2 Peter 1:3).

·         from being continually ruled by the flesh (see Galatians 5:16).

·         to become more and more like Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit living within us (see 2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

·         for our bodies in future at the resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

 

What freedom in Christ is not:

 

Liberty in Christ is not:

 

·         freedom from Jesus’ Lordship and from being His slave. Also, it is not freedom to live our lives as we want. Living like this is to repeat Adam’s fall which brought sin, bondage to Satan and a sentence of eternal condemnation to every human. It is horrific to suggest freedom in Christ is freedom from His Lordship and freedom to live as we desire.

2 Peter 2:18-19 warns us of a false “liberty” or freedom in which the person becomes a slave to corruption or evil: “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul said: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” In the original Greek, the expression “be brought under the power” above is a form of the word “exousiazo” which generally means “to exercise authority” [1] or “to exercise power”. [2]

Bauer and the New American Standard Bible translate the relevant form of “exousiazo” in 1 Corinthians 6:12 as “be mastered”. In this verse, Paul reveals he refuses to use his freedom from the law to be mastered or ruled by anything. Paul wanted Jesus Christ as his only Master.

·          freedom to disobey Christ’s Law which is His two love commands and His rules and standards of right thinking, speaking and behaviour taught in the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2).

In Galatians 5:1, Paul uses the word “liberty” in relation to believers’ freedom from slavery to the Law of Moses and its condemnation of us: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” In Greek, the word “liberty” here is “eleutheria”.

In Galatians 5:13, Paul uses the word “eleutheria” and a form of it also when he refers to our freedom from the Law: For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” But note this verse commands believers to not misuse their freedom in Christ. Believers are not to use their liberty in Christ as an opportunity to let the flesh rule them.

Also observe in 1 Peter 2:16, Peter shows that even though believers are free, they should not use their freedom as an excuse to sin but should use it as slaves of God: “as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bond-servants of God.”

 

Let us enjoy our wonderful liberty in Christ by living as His love slaves.

 

 

Bible Study Questions

 

1.       What are the features of our freedom in Christ?

2.       What does our liberty in Christ not mean?

 

 


 

[1] Vine, page 479.

[2] Ibid, page 46.


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