Thursday, April 16, 2009

Handling of our freedom

Freedom always comes with a risk. The risk of misusing it. The risk of licentiousness to go uncontrolled in life. No wonder the churches over the ages teaches about freedom in Christ doctrinally, but never encourage people to apply it in practical life. For the practical purpose, they think, that people need law. At least some of them, like the 10 commandments for example. So they 'teach' freedom, but never let them live in freedom.

The result is slavery.

Slavery (law) is not the solution for the misuse of freedom.

Apostle Paul said "Everything is lawful, but not everything is profitable" (1 Corinthians 10:23). He also said, "do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love." (Galatians 5:13)

There is another passage which has a lot of implications in it: "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." - 1 Corinthians 8:9

Apostle Peter also encourages us saying "do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." (1 Peter 2:16)

What is NOT the solution?

Apostle's solution wasn't suggesting to put us back under the law even while it was a fact they knew very well that people could misuse their freedom and indulge in sin. But, as a solution they did not give a set of principles along with the freedom they preached. In fact, Paul had some strong words against people falling back in to the law.

He said "stand firm in the freedom" and "do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery"

Is there a solution?

I have heard a great analogy about the difference between the country dog and city dog. The city dog usually live inside a fence, restricted from his freedom. So he is always looking for a crack in the fence, so that he can escape from his slavery. and He WILL sneak out, when he get a chance. Whereas, the country dog is totally free, he can go anywhere he wants, there is no fence, law or restrictions. But where would you find him all the time? At the feet of his master! He don't want to go!

He knows his master loves Him. He knows that His master has given him freedom. He sees His master's love and acceptance, and don't want to run away...

Knowing His love is the solution. As we get rooted and established in His love, we don't want to go, we don't want to misuse our freedom. Our desire is Him, His presence, His love and His grace. We realize that the temporary pleasures out there is nothing compared to His love and His presence in life. His grace "teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness"(Titus 2:12). And as we see this truth, we would start living in His best interest.

10 comments:

Amy said...

Bino,
Excellent blogpost! All I could think of is Amen! Living in the Freedom and reality of Papa Jesus Holy Spirit's love does NOT cause one to stray and go all-out into rebellious abandon of sinning.

Rather the Love and Grace of Papa causes us, all the more to desire to live closely to/in/with Him. The transforming work He does within us, and our receiving and partnering with Him in it...causes us to grow more closely into the character of Christ in our uniquely God-Created personalities.

I love what you said here:
"Knowing His love is the solution. As we get rooted and established in His love, we don't want to go, we don't want to misuse our freedom. Our desire is Him, His presence, His love and His grace. We realize that the temporary pleasures out there is nothing compared to His love and His presence in life. His grace "teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness"(Titus 2:12). And as we see this truth, we would start living in His best interest."

Amen!

Hope you are having a great week!

Blessings,
~Amy :)

Joel B. said...

Great analogy, Bino! Christians everywhere are teaching rule after rule after rule, and principle after principle after principle, thinking that somehow this will keep people "in line," all the while failing to see that it's a love affair with the Bridegroom that keeps us.

Indeed, the cage only makes us want to escape, but the love of the Master makes us want to stay with Him.

bino said...

Amy & Joel - Thank you!

lydia joy said...

Excellent, Bino, just excellent!!! You teach well my friend.............

Grace and peace to you!!

Joel B. said...

I agree with Lydia! Bino, you do wonderfully at teaching the grace of God!

lionwoman said...

Thanks, Bino, well said! The missing element for many is understanding how much we are loved and accepted. May we all continue to grow in this knowledge...

Leonard said...

Joel, I'll see your Lydia and raise ya 2 Amys...

Bino M. said...

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement! We all need each other to teach, encourage, correct and exhort...

In Freedom!
Bino.

Ike said...

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1).

Kenny Chesney sings,

through the joy and pain that living brings
don't we all want the same thing
freedom, sweet freedom

it's what the junkie needs that the needle can't give
the depressed and forgotten are praying for it
it's what the brave and courageous are fighting for
an open sail on a distant shore
freedom

Religion is a yoke of slavery, fit only for a stupid ox that has to be driven and forced. So is sin. Both enslave and degrade and depress.

Funny thing is, yokes of slavery can feel natural and right and safe. But God says, "Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you" (Psalm 32:9). There is another way to stay near to God. In fact, it's the only way. Jesus died to give it to us. Freedom. It's human. It's dignifying. It's unifying.

Have you ever gone in among a church and you got the impression that the power driving it was coercion -- merely human inventions that you had to submit to, to fit in? Exclusion is powerful. It manipulates people, because we are all insecure and we long to be accepted. Paul saw through it long ago: "They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them" (Galatians 4:17). "Hey newcomer, this church is about us. All this is for us. You're here for us, to make us feel better about ourselves. Get it?"

Jesus came to free us from that. His kingdom is where everyone who bows before him also stands before him. He is what it's all about - -the display of his cross-love, taking our guilt and shame and outsider-ness away, including us, lifting us up, together as one.

You are accepted in Christ by the all-holy God. And if he has lifted away your yoke of slavery, no one has the right to put it back on your neck -- not even you. You are free. Stand firm. Enjoy your freedom before God. Relish it. Prove it. Spread it. And do not submit again to a human yoke of slavery.

And when this life is over, as it soon will be, you will accelerate into a freedom even more wonderful than you've been given now. Total freedom forever. "An open sail on a distant shore." That is your destiny. Let it define you now. And bring someone else there with you.

Bino M. said...

Ike - Great words, brother. Thank you!