I’ve been a Christian for over 30 years and it wasn’t until recently that I really understood what it meant to have freedom in Christ. It was mostly just a phrase that I had heard in church. When I was a teenager some of my friends told me that they would never become a Christian because they wouldn’t be able to have any fun, They liked their freedom too much. I simply didn’t know how to answer them. Mostly because I was young and still figuring out my faith. But now I realize how far from the truth their thinking actually was. There is in fact incredible freedom that comes from accepting and knowing Jesus Christ!
God says through Paul in 1 Corinthians that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. This made me think about some examples of when my kids were small and they would want to do things that I knew would have bad consequences. Little things like, eat all their Halloween candy in one evening, or watch a scary movie. I knew that they would probably get sick or need to sleep with the light on and the bedroom door open for the rest of the month, so I simply didn’t allow it. They may have been willing to take the natural consequence that went with those choices, and perhaps later in life they did experience them, but I did what I could to protect them at that time. However, God often allows us to make mistakes because through them we learn the most valuable lessons. The price of this free will is that He allows people to do stupid and often awful things. We can however, take comfort in knowing that He is in the process of setting all things right! He promises to right all wrongs and to work out things for good for those who love him!
But God loves us too much to force his will on us. He wants us to choose Him and love Him simply because He loves us! He’s amazing like that. He gives us the freedom to choose how we live our lives. To even choose to believe in Him or not, but He doesn’t take away natural consequences. God teaches us and warns us throughout His word about those things that are good for us and those that aren’t. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to understand what the bible says and not just what we think it says.
In America we have a lot of freedoms. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this freedom. We have the right to speak our minds, go to school, pursue our own happiness, and more! What a blessing! But it took great sacrifices for our country to gain its freedom. Similarly, it took an even greater sacrifice for us as Christians to gain a different kind of freedom. Jesus came and took the punishment for all of the sin of the world. He suffered a brutal death on a cross and then defeated death in 3 days and rose again. He did this so we could be free to come to God the father through Him and not through the law. The law that was given to Moses in the Old Testament in order for God’s people to remain righteous. Now we don’t have to follow a bunch of rules and regulations to receive grace, forgiveness, and new life. Instead, we simply need to believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross, and allow him to be Lord over our lives. By doing so we gain new life and an immeasurable freedom! Freedom from fear! Freedom from doubt! Freedom to love and be loved by an amazing Heavenly Father! This is Freedom in Christ!
God desires for us to make choices that will be beneficial because He loves and cares deeply for us! He wants us to enjoy life and have fun! So I encourage you to ask Him to help you pursue those things that, according to His Word, are good, healthy, and right. I promise that there is no greater feeling than when we experience this kind of freedom!