Freedom

"For freedom, Christ has set us free." What the heck does that mean? For such a truth filled book, the Bible can sometimes read like Dr. Sues. Consider this one from Romans 7:15.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
It doesn't make sense to us. We are people who make their own decisions and live freely. We are are Americans. We are citizens of The World Super Power. We do not do the things we hate. We do the things we choose to do. Right?

Except...except when we don't. I don't mean that we are walking around like zombies doing things we don't want to do without knowing it. What I do mean to say is that we often get caught up in things we do not mean to. Who has not been to a web site that they were not supposed to? Who has not been in an argument with parents over cleaning their room or doing something they want instead of something they have been asked to do?

That's life. Life is full of choices. We make our choices and we deal with the outcomes for good or for bad. Then we make more choices. But here's the kicker. How much control do we really have? God has given us many gifts and made us only "a little less than angels" with dominion over the earth. The problem is that we tend to see the world from our own individual perspective, and instead of thinking about ruling the world as a thing God trusts all of us to do together we become like a million kings and queens fighting over territory. Even if the only territory we can rule is through our iphones and wiiis.

To understand Christian freedom we have to look at what follows both of the passages above. In Romans 7:20 Paul says, "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." Sin is like the virus in Resident Evil. It kills people and then re-animates their flesh. It makes them into zombies. That's what we are like when we think our decisions only effect ourselves.

In Galatians 5:1 Paul says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." That is what it means to be free! We are set free from our own desires. We are set free from worrying about what others think when we take time to help someone who doesn't even seem to help themselves. We are set free from needing the coolest phone or the newest game system. There is nothing wrong with wanting these things, by the way. The problem is not the wanting but the way we let our wants influence our decisions.

Because of Jesus, we can be free to see past our own wants and into the needs of others. Not only that, but our biggest want becomes the needs of others! It's like this, if sin is the virus that keeps us stuck in behaviors that limit us, then faith in Christ is the anti virus that sets us free to choose another way. So do what you do today because God loves you, and because you want to share with others. If you can let that be the thing that motivates all of your decisions, you will truly be free!

Take care, have fun, and be the person your best friend thinks you are.

Rev Zach
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