(10 of 11 in a series)
When we hear the word freedom, we often think in terms of politics. As part of a democracy, we are a free people. Or we equate freedom with a suspension of the rules. Teenagers are keen on gaining their freedom by having the house rules lifted as they get older. Or we think in terms of morality, wishing we could act any way we please free from the ethics of our society, or religion, or peers. Can this be true freedom?
The Bible teaches that true freedom does not equal autonomy. Complete freedom in terms of total autonomy from any master, motivation, or influence is not an option for us in the human race as much as we like to think it is. We are all servants of something or someone. As Bob Dylan sang, “You can serve the devil or you can serve the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.”
In our natural state, we are servants of our sin nature. Just as cows eat grass because it is part of their nature, we commit acts of selfishness and harm because it is part of our sin nature. No one had to teach us how to lie to smooth out a problem and stay out of trouble. It is part of our nature. No one has to teach a child to jump into the pool just after being told it is time to get out for adult swim. It is in our nature.
That all changes, however, when we embrace the Christian message and become followers of Jesus Christ. We are no longer servants of our sin nature but take on a new nature and a new master, Jesus Christ. Let’s face it. Our own selfish nature is our worst enemy. And true freedom, the freedom offered by Jesus Christ when we embrace His message, is the power to live above our old nature. We have literally been set free from ourselves. True freedom is the power to love, to cherish, to protect, and to live in ways that are altruistic and morally beautiful.