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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Purposeful Freedom

We are free in Christ.  Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers centered on that truth.  Galatians 5:1 declares that truth explicitly.  Free is free.  There are no real qualifications on that freedom.  However, Paul exhorts us in the same breath to be purposeful in the use of our freedom in Christ.  Look at:
  • Galatians 5:13
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12
  • Romans 14:14
  • 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23
We are free... So what do we do with that freedom?  Thoughts at DTTB.
Those passages reinforce our freedom in Christ but also direct that freedom.  In each case we are challenged to voluntarily, purposefully, limit our freedom for the purpose of reaching people for Christ.  I have long struggled with Philippians 2:5 – 8, how in the name of all that is holy am I supposed to do that?  I think the answer is here.

Like Christ did not view equality with God a thing to be grasped, in other words He did not flaunt it.  He emptied Himself.  Like Him we are not to flaunt our freedom.  We are to use that freedom in a way that draws people to Christ.  In a sense Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23 is emptying himself of his freedom to serve others for the sake of the gospel.  That I can do.  I can choose not to do things that will cause people to question Christianity’s truthfulness.

For instance I am free to drink wine, beer, and other adult beverages.  But in some of the places I have lived doing so would cause others to stumble.  So I choose not to.  I limit my freedom so as not to put a stumbling block in anyone’s way, Romans 14:15.  That is just one simple example.  There are many others.

It is our assignment.

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