Monday, January 11, 2010

Liberty and Freedom, Sisters but not Identical Twins

Too Much Liberty and Too Little Freedom
     Freedom is priceless and where it is present almost any kind of life is enjoyable. When it is absent life can never be enjoyed; it can only be endured.
     Though millions have died in freedom's defense and though her praise is in everyone's mouth, yet she has been tragically misunderstood by her advocates and sorely wounded in the house of her friends. I think the difficulty lies with our failure to distinguish freedom from liberty, which are indeed sisters but not identical twins.
     Freedom is liberty within bounds: liberty to obey holy laws, liberty to keep the commandments of Christ, to serve mankind, to develop to the full all the latent possibilities within our redeemed natures. True Christian liberty never sets us free to indulge our lusts or to follow our fallen impulses.
     The desire for unqualified freedom caused the fall of Lucifer and wrought the destruction of the angels that sinned. These sought freedom to do as they willed, and to get it they threw away the beautiful liberty that meant freedom to do the will of God. And the human race followed them in their tragic moral blunder.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Freedom in Christ is not for the purpose of indulging the sinful nature but to lovingly serve one another. Indulging the sinful nature only leads to enslavement to it -- loss of freedom and liberty. How we exercise freedom forwards our growth in Christ or seriously impedes it.

Thank You, Lord, for freedom from the chains of sinful habits and freedom to serve You in serving Your people.
                    ~ A. W. Tozer

No comments: