1 Peter 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond slaves of God. NASB
We all have the great privilege of living in a country where freedom has deep meaning. No other country on earth allows people of all creeds and colors to come together and work, live, and worship as they please to the degree that these things happen in the United States. But in the midst of this bastion of freedom do we really understand what it means to be free?
Some might argue that because they served this nation within the military they have the best understanding of freedom because they helped pay the price to keep us free. Still others might say they best understand freedom because they have lost loved ones in the fight to keep us free.
An anarchist--not antichrist--might say that, "Freedom is being able to do what we want to whomever we want whenever we want." A police officer might say that, "Freedom occurs for the rest of us when all the crooks are taken off the streets." Freedom would thereby be equated to being able to exercise our rights without infringement or hindrance. This would lean towards a dictionary type definition of the term that says freedom is: the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints. But I would beg to differ and offer that freedom comes only when there are externally imposed restraints.
I say this because freedom without restraints or boundaries in not freedom for everyone. If I have no restraints on what I can do then I could very well directly limit the freedoms of others simply by virtue of the fact that my actions, words, or thoughts were not being restrained in some form or fashion.
If we look at freedom from a Christian's perspective we find that freedom only comes through limitations and boundaries. Meaning that when I live my life apart from Christ then I live a life that has no real direction. But when I live for and through Christ then I will be directed by the One who knows the beginning and the end. He is the only One that truly help you and me experience true freedom.
Writing to believers, Peter said that we are to act as free men who do not use freedom as a covering for evil (1 Peter 2:16). What does he mean by this? He means that true freedom does not give us a license to do whatever we please to whomever we please. True freedom is defined as letting God direct every aspect of our lives. When we allow Him to have full control we are then His bond slaves. Not slaves in the context of America's sordid history of slavery, slaves in the sense of children who are taken care of wholly by their Father God. As our Master, we would agree that He has the right to call all the shots.
The moment that you and I accept Christ as our Savior and Lord we are to cast off the bonds of sin and become children of God who are heirs according to His promises. That is why Jesus said in John 8:36 that if the Son sets us free then we are free indeed. We are not free from godly restraint, on the contrary we are free from eternal damnation; we are free from condemnation; we are free from guilt and worry, and the list could go on and on.
It is my prayer for each of you that if you are not living in such a way as to experience true freedom by letting God control everything in your life then choose to make a change. Make that change that will set you "free indeed" in the loving arms of our amazing Savior God.
Dear Father God,
I want to thank You for being our awesome, sovereign God. Thank You for Jesus who sets us free from sin and condemnation and thank You for giving us boundaries and guidelines that keep us safe and allow us to follow Your path. Please inspire us to live free every day. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.