Monday, July 2, 2018

Freedom to Do

Freedom to Do
July 2, 2018
Romans 6:17  "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slave to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance."

In the Old Testament, the Bible speaks often about setting a slave free. The instances around that freedom were always defined, that led to the freedom, but it never explained the outcome of that freedom. It seems obvious; the slave was free. The outcome and benefit to the slave was his personal freedom. We seldom have to define that benefit of freedom, thinking it self explanatory. Being free means you are open and able to do whatever it is you would like. Being free means no one is controlling you, telling you what to do, requiring anything from you, or forcing you to do something you do not want to do.

The Bible says very clearly, though, in the New Testament, that freedom from slavery isn't just about being free, it is freedom from something in order to do something else. You are freed from something; the hindrances are removed so you are able to do whatever it is you are supposed to now do in freedom. Being free does not mean you are floating in space. While you are free to relax when you need to relax, you are also free to be productive when you need to be productive. More specifically, you are free to serve the Lord, as He has something for you to do. This is voluntary, though, not something you are forced to do. He wants willing participants, those who choose Him and have a desire to do whatever it is He requires.

This isn't just about a mission in life or job that the Lord has for you and me. We are free from sin in order to submit to righteousness and holiness. Holiness seems ignored today, but we are asked to be holy if we want to accept what the Lord has for us. For some, that requirement to be holy feels like an obligation of drudgery, as it is in direct opposition to being free. It can feel like slavery, when your body wants to participate in sin or worldly activities, but you know you are asked to be holy. This is where the desire to serve the Lord kicks in gear. If you desire to serve the Lord, then you desire to be holy. The Bible uses the words, "slave to righteousness." It says we are free from sin and now a slave to holiness. It feels like going from one slavery to the next. 

As a slave you are not free to choose. But the Lord says very clearly, we are free to choose Him or not, to choose His way or not. The Lord does not keep us a slave. We, ask Christians, must acknowledge when we willingly want to come in to the Lord's family, that we will be asked to follow the guidelines of the father's house. This is also voluntary, as you can leave the father's house anytime you wish. You may struggle with the idea of being a slave to righteousness, but that is something you should want to do, not have to do. You are freed from sin so you can do what it is the Lord wants for your life. If you want the Lord, then you'll want what He has for you. Your desire, then, should be for His ways and His will and His plan. If you find yourself in a conflict with being a slave to righteousness, not wanting that lifestyle, you are more than welcome to become a slave to sin again. Just know there are consequences to both lifestyles. You have the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do. Use caution and care in exercising your freedom.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Romans 6

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