From the Pastor's Desk
Responsibilities of Freedom
I have heard for years that America is a land of freedom. It isn’t. Never has been. While at times there have been parts of our country that enjoyed absolute freedom, the country never has experienced freedom. One old frontiersman lamented to a friend that he was going to have to leave his beloved village because the village elders hired a teacher. He bemoaned that after the teachers come the preachers and after the preachers comes the Law. With the Law comes the death of freedom.
It is the same with Christianity. We are “free” in Christ but freedom comes with responsibility. As Charles Stanley once wrote, “In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul tells Christians that freedom in Christ is a serious responsibility. Yes, we can eat what we want, spend our time as we please, and pursue activities we enjoy. However, as believers, we are inseparably joined to Christ’s church. This means that when we die, we are raised up to live with Him forever. And even before that time, while we live on this earth, our bodies and souls are united with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:14–15). Simply put, they are not our own.
As temporary owners of these bodies, we have the responsibility to find out what is and what is not good for them. We must exercise discipline with our God-given liberties because there is no value in “freedom” that spiritually cripples believers or causes pain, shame, and guilt.
Notice the distinction that Paul makes between freedom in Christ and reckless abandon: God’s grace and forgiveness cover our sins, but that doesn’t give us permission to engage in harmful behavior. As followers of Jesus, we’re to give ourselves over to the pursuit of godly living, not to self-serving pleasures. Christians are “earthen vessels,” created by God to fulfill His purpose and bring honor and glory to Him (2 Corinthians 4:7). Therefore, anything that violates the human body is not permissible for us.
True freedom means living without the chains of sin and destructive behavior. Jesus Christ paid a price to release you from those bonds. Therefore, do not put your body into slavery to damaging habits. Glorify God with your whole self—heart, mind, soul, and body.”
Blessings to you,