As Americans we hold the idea in highest regard. But as Christians, well, I’m pretty sure we miss the true understanding of the freedom we have in Christ.
Scott and I lead the college and career class at our church. We’ve been doing a study on overcoming our fears. One idea has continued to stand out to me as we’ve worked our way through several passages of Scripture: there’s a big difference between being free and living free.
Paul wrote about our freedom in Christ in almost every one of his letters to churches. I particularly love the words he wrote to the Roman church: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2 CSB).
We are free from the law of sin and death, no longer condemned.
But are we living like that? Are we walking in the fullness of the freedom Christ died to give us?
Most of the time, I think we’re not.
We recognize we’ve been freed from death, freed from sin. But what we miss is the beauty of what we’ve been freed to!
We are free to love as we have been loved. We are free to reject the priorities of this world and choose Kingdom purposes. We are free to give the benefit of the doubt, to offer grace, to extend forgiveness, to pursue peace. We use our freedom to serve others with humility.
Christ in us has freed us from so many things. But the freedom “from” opens the door to even more freedom “to.”
Isaiah said we’ve been sent to proclaim freedom to others, to share the hope they have in Christ (Isaiah 61:1). We do this as we follow the example of Christ, who quoted that very passage in the synagogue (Luke 4:18).
Let us walk in the freedom we’ve been given, the fullness of the freedom we have in Christ. Not just the freedom from – but also the freedom to.
“For freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 CSB).