a scandalous freedom
oh, this is a controversial and fascinating book. i love books that challenge me and make me think beyond my theological comfort zone. we have been discussing the idea of true freedom in our community group and some fantastic conversation has been sparked. what does it mean to be free? how have i defined freedom in Christ? is my definition the right one? am i still a slave to the law? or am i a slave to righteousness? perplexing.
galatians 5: 1
for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
romans 6 [all of it] but particularly verse 18
and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
so Jesus said to the jews who had believed him, "if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." they answered him, "we are offspring of abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. how is it that you say, 'you will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "truly, truly, i say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed..."
God has set us free. Jesus paid it all, all to Him i owe. sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. we are justified in His eyes. we are free. and God has set us free from sin to live a life of freedom in Christ. why is it that we then choose to walk our Christian walks chained to the former life OR in bondage to a new way life that we have devised based on the law? rather than delighting in God's lavish grace, we become fearful of igniting His displeasure. we stick to rules and impose those rules on others. why don't we find rest in His all-sufficient grace? why, once we are freed from the yoke of slavery to the master of sin, do we choose to take up a new yoke of slavery to man-made regulations?
Jesus not only opened the door to the prison, He loosed our chains. He destroyed the locks. He threw away the key. He led us away from this prison and welcomed us to His banquet table. He gave us snow-white linens and put a royal robe on us. we now have access to the Most High. we are sons and daughters of the Creator of the universe and King of glory. the King then gives us His signet ring and offers us bountiful land for our stewardship and sustenance and a kingdom for our enjoyment. at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. sounds pretty good. okay, so why do we throw off our robes, tear our clothes, roll in the dirt, dress in sackcloth and ashes, beat our chest, run back to the prison, slam the door behind us, and sit in our cells. all the while, complete freedom to be free and enjoyment of a life with our Savior is right outside the unlocked prison door. instead, we choose a life of imprisonment in that cell. a self-imposed sentence to a miserable life indeed. is it because we long for the "security" of that cell? the familiarity of that cell? the isolation of that cell? is it easier to follow rules and check off boxes on our "to-do" and "to-don't" list while we scratch off the days on the wall of our cell instead of living the adventurous life of freedom? are we scared of what freedom truly means?
what is with us and our all too common freedom-stifling tendency? a freedom-less life is a life without joy and void of celebration of our unique gifts in Christ. this book has challenged to me explore the joys of biblical freedom. to open the door to the fresh air of liberty in Christ. and yes, while i don't agree with everything in the book...it does challenge me to engage my mind. to munch on the meat of the Word. to discern Biblical truth and conform my life to those precepts. to become a slave to righteousness. may i continue to be sharpened as God uses His word to renew my mind and refresh my walk.