Summary: How are we to use our freedom in Christ?
Do you think the world thinks when a person gives their life to Jesus that they are free? Does the world think that our lives are about a bunch of ¡§you cannot do that¡¨ rules?
True freedom cannot exist without boundaries.
Freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive, when in fact freedom is not at all the opposite, but the final reward, of discipline. It is to be bought with a high price, not merely claimed. ... The [professional] skater and [race] horse are free to perform as they do only because they have been subjected to countless hours of grueling work, rigidly prescribed, and faithfully carried out. Men are free to soar into space because they have willingly confined themselves in a tiny capsule designed and produced by highly trained scientists and craftsmen, have meticulously followed instructions and submitted themselves to rules which others defined.
ƒÞ Elisabeth Elliot in All That Was Ever Ours. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 16.
Freedom is not free, with freedom comes responsibility, we have to decide what we will do with our freedom in Christ. In our country we have been given freedom, the problem our country is having is that we have forgotten that with freedom comes responsibility.
The Founding Fathers understood that how a person uses their liberty or freedom will determine how well the nation would function.
Christians have responsibilities that come with our gift of freedom.
We have to decide if we are going to use the gift of freedom or abuse the gift.
I. OUR CALL
„X GAL 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
„X (GWT) 5:1 Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm
„X Our call authorizes believers to lay claim to their freedom, and It challenges believers to use their freedom responsibly.
„X Paul begins by explaining our calling: we are called to (freedom) liberty. The Christian is a free man. He is free from the guilt of sin because he has experienced God¡¦s forgiveness. He is free from the penalty of sin because Christ died for him on the cross. And he is, through the Spirit, free from the power of sin in his daily life. He is also free from the Law with its demands and threats. Christ bore the curse of the Law and ended its tyranny once and for all. We are ¡§called unto liberty¡¨ because we are ¡§called into the grace of Christ
„X JOHN 8:31-32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
„X Notice the implication and responsibility that comes with freedom.
„X Our freedom is something that we can use for God and his kingdom, or it is something that we can abuse and use for our own selfish benefit. We can take the freedom that we have and use it as a license or turn it into legalism.
„X Many feel that when you become a Christian that you give up your freedom, what you give up is your slavery to sin.
II. THE ABUSE OF THE GIFT FREEDOM
1. Turning our freedom into license.
„X In his book, Rebuilding Your Broken World., -- Gordon MacDonald states. In early 1988 Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, and some friends took a skiing trip to Switzerland. The shocking news came one afternoon of a terrible accident caused by an avalanche in which one of the prince’s lifelong friends was killed and another seriously injured. It seemed sheer chance that the prince himself was not killed or hurt. How did it happen? A day or two later the press reported that the prince’s group had chosen to ski out on slopes that were closed to the public. The avalanche warnings had been posted, but they had chosen to go beyond the fences because, as one of them observed, that’s where the optimum fun and excitement were to be found. Most likely, they found a brand of pleasure that was indeed more than attractive. But it went beyond the margins of what was wise and prudent. And the avalanche exacted its price among those who went beyond the fences. The result? Several broken worlds. Like the prince and his party who could not stay inside the fences, all of us become curious enough at times to edge out to the fences and see what’s on the other side. Perhaps we become curious to see how far we can sneak away from God and not suffer the consequences.