Monday, January 26, 2009

Freedom is not Independence

Who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? (2 Samuel 7:23)

During my devotion time this morning I was struck again by the freedom I have been given in the cross of Christ. I was particularly touched by the end of King David’s words to God here: “. . . your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt.” What we are reading here is that God sovereignly freed His chosen people Israel from their enslavement in Egypt - in order to bind them to Himself. This is not how we normally think of freedom.

God defines freedom much differently than we do. In our sinful state we continue to fall victim to seeing freedom as independence. The freedom we have been given by God is not to be independent from God, but rather so that we would fully belong to God. For those who see this as an Old Testament teaching, they need look no further than 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” Jesus sacrificed his life on a cross to free us from our enslavement from sin, evil, and death not so that we might have the freedom to do as we whatever we want - but rather so that we might have the freedom to fully live our lives for Christ.

Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But 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. (Romans 6:15-18)

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