HAND: Freedom

By Becky Hand

Pastor, Faith Fellowship

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13-14

“Freedom” is an interesting concept. Everybody of every age wants freedom: No one wants to be controlled. What does it mean, though, to be ‘free?’

The Oxford dictionary defines freedom as, “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Do you ever have that? In public or in church, at least, the answer is “no.” So what freedoms do you have?

Adam and Eve were free, well … except for that one rule, that one fruit to not eat. They did the one thing they were not free to do. Martin Luther wrote, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” When you ponder this statement you find waves of complexity. Is a Christian free or not? The answer is “YES!” Your debt has been paid. Sin and death no longer determine a grime fate. You are free. Luther’s point is this: Now that you are free from sin, death and the devil (though they still haunt you in this life, they cannot take you away from God or his love for all eternity,) you are free to…?

What are you to do with all this freedom? Go to the second sentence of Luther’s statement. You are free to serve your neighbor. You are free to serve the man down the street and the woman struggling to get her groceries in the car. You are free to humble yourself before the person who accuses you of wrong doing. You are free to worry about the people who are overlooked or underfed. You are freed from yourself, to serve someone else. You no longer have to establish your position before others, or dress to make a desired impression, or play silly games to fit into someone else’s mold. You are free in Christ and He lives in you. You are whole because HE lives in you and HE makes you whole and HE makes you free. Go, in your freedom, and serve the Lord.