Monday, July 11, 2011
for freedom set free
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
At stake in this assertion is not just the issue of the Jewish Law and new life in Christ. At issue here is the mentality that each believer ought to apply to his knowledge of his own salvation. We were not saved to a new bondage. The Christian life is not about submission to painful restrictions. It is about a new freedom... the freedom to pursue Christ and live in His kingdom and live in His righteousness.
Righteous living is NOT restrictive. Far from it... it is liberating to the extreme. It is real life. Jesus says that He came to bring us life... so that we can have it TO THE FULL. That is extreme living. It is full and satisfying and joy-filled beyond all capacity for description. It is the life we have always wanted and only in the freedom we have in Christ can we know it!
God brings us good things. He sets us free. And any religion that seeks to shackle us with self-righteous philosophy and practice is not the faith that Jesus brought! Any time we reduce our lives down to the "right" checklist, we need to be careful... we have probably entered the realm of man-made religion and not the life that Jesus brought. And that sort of thinking is slavery again. Don't get me wrong. Righteousness is holiness and it does "look" a certain way. But we do the righteous things because we are new in Christ. We don't do them to get better. We do them because Christ has made us better and that is all the difference in the world!
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13