Freedom is the position each one of us stands in once we turn our lives over to Jesus, our Savior. We become heirs to the Kingdom, children of the Father, daughters, and sons who, according to today's gospel, are free. So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. John 8:36. So we don’t need anyone telling us we are free, we are, in fact, free.
When Peter wrote “Live as people who are free,” he wasn’t writing to Americans, he was writing to people that were anything but free in our way of thinking. Slaves and servants, women, subjects of the Roman empire. Peter, himself, was a prisoner. These words only make sense if we see freedom as a state of being, not something that we have to demand from another. It is good to have constitutional freedom, and I pray all countries would one day have the kinds of freedoms that Americans have enjoyed for hundreds of years, Yet, even here, some are not free at all. So many things can steel our freedom, and standing out in that group is the enslavement of sin.
What then are Christians primarily free from? Sin! The law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death Ro 8:2 What is sin? According to John Piper, it is desiring something more than you desire God.
Sin entered the world through the first couple. So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, Ge 3:6
What she realized was that this forbidden fruit was good and functional. She had to eat, and this fruit looked pretty good. It was also delightful. Her eyes saw it, her nose smelled it. It felt appealing, so it should taste wonderful. Lastly, it was desirable. She wanted what this tree offered, and she had to have it. But what the tree had to offer was death. Not quick death. Slow almost imperceptible death and loss. This was the beginning of sin. Desiring something more than we desire God.
Desiring something more than God, enslaved her and all of creation into the bondage of corruption. Sin’s very nature is to enslave us by enticing us to desire something far more than we desire God. 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. Jn 8:34–36 We are free in Jesus. He has done that for us by his death and resurrection. We just need to remember that we are truly free.
We are freed from sin, but our freedom has another purpose. This kind of freedom allows us to serve the Lord. Paul writes in Romans: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life Ro 6:22
We are set free to serve God. Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 Ro 6:17–19
In the kingdom of heaven, freedom is a paradox. We are only truly free when we become the Lord’s servant. It is only truly free people that can love in the same way that Jesus did by laying it all down for another. It is only truly free people that can lay their freedom down for another.
Lord, help us to know true freedom. Amen.