This freedom Paul is speaking about means liberty from the rituals and ceremonies of the Mosaic Law…but not from its standard of morality and justice. He also warned of using this freedom to cause someone else to stumble. (I Corinthians 8:9) To illustrate this further, Paul wrote that though he was free, he made himself a slave to everyone, in order to win as many as possible to Christ. (I Corinthians 9:19) As the COVID 19 pandemic continues in the United States, words like freedom, rights, and liberty have become hot-button topics. But no matter where we stand on these issues…God’s Word remains. Or as Peter wrote in I Peter 2: 16-17, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”
For many, the bondage of fear stops us from being able to move forward with life. We long to be liberated from the paralyzing emotions, but feel there’s little we can do to change. But if we’ll take the time to study a few Scriptures, we’ll discover that God has already made the way for us. It starts with this verse in Psalms. When I cry out to the Lord, He answers by liberating me from the terror I’m going through…in other words, setting me free from its control. And this freedom from fear can only be found in the truth of the Gospel. For Jesus declares to us in John 8:32, ” If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” There can be freedom from doubt and fear, and it starts with the saving revelation of the Gospel Message.
The selfish human nature is always striving for the liberty of self-determination. “I want to do what I want, when I want to”, is our mindset. But with that enticement comes deception and seduction as we wander farther and farther off the right path. And sooner or later, we find ourselves in the middle of perversion, and wonder just how we got ourselves into such a mess. In the search for freedom, we have instead become a piece of property…owned and controlled by depravity and lies.
Paul wasn’t legally, socially, or personally obligated to anyone…but he willingly relinquished his freedom for the sake of winning others to Christ Jesus. And as Believers, we too are free…but that freedom was bought with a heavy price. And in realization of that mind-boggling freedom…it compels us to submission…first, to yielding our will to His… and then, to thinking of others before ourselves. Yes, we are free indeed…but in love, we need to submit one to another.