How We Use Our Freedom

“For freedom Christ has set us free…

“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love…

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself…’ So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 5:1a,5-6,13-14; 6:10

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin… So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you.” Romans 6:6-7,11-14

Christ sets free from, and free to. He’s done away with the chains of a petulant imbroglio of sin in order that we might serve Him as new and gracious Master, and others in His name. We have been set free to love and serve with abandon, dead to sin and very fully alive in Christ and His power.

Trouble is, without understanding the scope of Christ’s forgiveness, we accept freedom from shackles in the flesh but immediately hop up, rub our wrists, and gear toward serving and indulging self: my time, my thrills, my wants. But the way of the new creation is selfless, more significant, and joyous. It is less narrow, now broad with possibility and opportunity. When we reckon ourselves truly free from sin’s slavery, Jesus opens wide the doors to lavish loving and boundless generosity, and sheds widely abroad His light in our hearts. (Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17)

We’ve been cut loose from the penalty and power of sin and lavished in Christ with every spiritual blessing: heavenly purpose, eternal security, boundless grace, all wisdom and insight, unlimited inheritance, lasting hope. Why do we hoard such precious gifts? Or do we squander them? What are we doing in and with the freedom entrusted to us? Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8b; Ephesians 1:2-8)

A glad heart will want to sing, a forgiven heart will want to love, a grateful heart will want to give. How often do we take time to be reminded of all the Lord has done for us, and then to turn to Him in thanksgiving? Would we seek those He wants us to serve, and go and do it eagerly and with cheer?

“Thus wholly mastered and possessed by God,
Forth from my life, spontaneous and free,
Shall flow a stream of tenderness and grace,
Loving, because God loved, eternally.” ~Emily May Grimes (1868-1927)

Lord, may I freely and extravagantly serve as You have served to saved me, to the praise of Your generosity and grace.

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