In America, we talk a lot about the freedoms we enjoy, many of which our constitution guarantees. These freedoms are part of what makes this country unique and perhaps explains its longevity. But in our secular progressive society, freedom has morphed into the idea that we’re free to do anything, even if it violates longstanding moral codes or blatantly breaks laws. Absolute anything, especially truth, is no longer embraced.
The Battle of Wills
This ideal actually has less to do with freedom and is more an issue of free will—and often an unwillingness to relinquish that will for the good of our fellow man, the fabric of our country, or even for our own long-term good.
We hear the term “free will” in the Christian realm as it relates to our flesh vs. spirit and why God allows things to happen as they do in the world.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.”
As the Apostle Paul preached, we must die to self in order to live effectively for Christ. As long as we insist on maintaining the freedom to sin, we can’t experience the freedom of forgiveness and the growth to become more Christlike.
So it becomes a battle of the wills—ours vs. God’s.
Are Christians Truly Free?
Because Christians are no longer under condemnation (John 3:17), does this give us the freedom to keep on sinning (Romans 6)? As Paul put it in verse 2—by no means! Our old self was crucified with Christ so our sin could be put away and we’d no longer be slaves to it (v. 6).
May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. ~Peter Marshall
Or as I’ve often said, “Just because we have the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”
So is it more important to cling to our free will, when in fact it actually hinders our ability to live freely?
Free will is something we must master and not be enslaved by. “To live is Christ—to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Christians are actually more free than those living under any other religion on earth—and more free than sinners.
How can this be? We have eternal freedom that sets us free from the sin that enslaves and the consequences of that sin.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Jesus is the perfect example of having free will and yet yielding it to His heavenly father for the good of many. God’s plan is always better than anything we could imagine (Eph. 3), regardless of what our minds—and free will—might lead us to believe. Jesus freely died for us, providing the ultimate example of not looking at earthly gains but eternal ones.
Our willingness to yield our will to God, just as Jesus did, is congruent to how free we truly are.
Resting in God’s love and redemption envelops us with peace that is other-worldly—one that carries us through temptation, trials, and self-centeredness. When we look at our choices through that lens, there truly is no greater freedom on this earth.
What Freedom Will You Choose?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
The choice of freedom vs. free will really is an oxymoron. You have the free will to choose the greatest freedom ever offered to mankind—the spilled blood of Jesus on the cross for your sins, freedom from condemnation, and the blessed assurance of eternity in a perfect world (Revelation 21-22).
What will you choose?
Join the conversation. Has there been a time in your life that choosing to give up something actually liberated you?We would love to hear your comments.
- Freedom Vs. Free Will - July 26, 2017
- Wisdom Of A Godly Father - June 28, 2017
- God’s Solution For Being A Worrying Mother - May 24, 2017
- The Last Supper And Jesus’ Quandary - April 10, 2017
- What Hagar Reminds Us About God - March 22, 2017
- The Heartbeat That Keeps Me Alive - February 22, 2017
- Time Trials and the Effect on Our Spirituality - January 25, 2017
- Christmas Traditions and Grief: The Empty Seat at the Table - December 30, 2016
- Finding Peace In The Holidays - November 23, 2016
- Do We Value Our Elderly? - October 26, 2016