Christianity · church · encouragement · faith · God · life · religion

With Christian liberty comes great godly responsibility

When someone confesses and believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, they are set at liberty from the bondage of sin and from the burden of carrying out religious rituals for the sake of attempting to make oneself righteous in God’s eyes by one’s works. It is at this moment of freedom by salvation that we will discover a heightened awareness that we are in the midst of a war against our own human nature, the world, and spiritual forces of darkness that wish to make us slaves once again to sin and works-based “salvation.”broken chains

Because this war is so intense and relentless, many have fallen prey to false ideas like legalism and antinomianism in the church. Antinomianism is the belief that when one believes in Jesus as Lord, one is in no way obligated to abide by any laws or commandments, so that one can live carelessly with no regard or concern for morals or the avoidance of sin. Christian liberty raises the ire of our spiritual enemies because they are envious and jealous when they see how much God has blessed us even in spite of our faults. They think we’re strange and speak evil about us for not giving into the sins they enjoy (1 Peter 4:4). Our enemies know deep down that their lives are condemned and miserable without the Lord, so many of them infiltrate our churches (Jude 10-13, 16) or impose themselves in our lives with the goal of attempting to soil what God has cleaned up. As the cliche goes, “misery loves company” and they want us in the company of their misery. Fortunately, many times God flips the script when people like this end up getting saved in the midst of trying to weaken God’s people.

This is why the apostles made it a point to drive home the idea that God set us at liberty to offer him the servitude of gratitude with our lives. He set us free to be his servants and to serve others, mainly our brothers and sisters in Christ. The gift of salvation was designed to be a liberty free of licentiousness (the license to do whatever makes our sinful human nature feel good). God’s word is clear that with our liberty comes great responsibility and great expectations as we work to protect, promote, and preserve our liberty. Consider these verses:

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Galatians 2

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (speaking of legalistic rituals)

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 (Liberty should lead us away from being self-serving, freeing us to serve our spiritual siblings)

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25

15 …with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 1 Peter 2

While they [false teachers] promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19

Harry A. Gaylord

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