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"Free for Life" (posted May 1, 2005)
Having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
- Romans 6:18
How can a person be free and obedient at the same time? To many people this makes no sense. They think that freedom means the ability to do as they please without restrain or hassle from anyone or anything. "If I must obey someone, I am not free," they reason.
Even true Christians sometimes think this way. However, as we follow the Lord and read the Scriptures, we learn some new things about freedom and obedience. True freedom for man was nullified by sin. The Lord Jesus said, "Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin" (John 8:34). By nature, all people practice sin and find themselves in bondage to things like lust, envy, hatred, and selfishness.
True freedom for man was restored by Christ. He said, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). He is "the Truth" (John 14:6), who sets us free from the bondage of sin. He not only forgives our sins, but He also gives us a new nature which has no delight in putting the chains back on.
This freedom can only be known and enjoyed within the boundaries of obedience. God sets these boundaries in His Word. They are for our own good and in accordance with His holy nature. As Romans 6:22 expresses it, "Having been set free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."
Are you really free?
Grant W. Steidl