The Responsibility of Freedom

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The United States of America is a nation built on the concept of freedom for all. We live in a time where freedoms worldwide seem more challenged than they’ve been in years. What is God’s view of freedom?

God’s view of personal freedom

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

–2 Corinthians 3:17

God wanted human beings to choose to love him freely and, thus, gave humankind free will. Some forms of animal life appear to act on an instinct. But, God did not want his human and angelic creations to be robots that were simply programmed to do his desire or love him. That is not true reverence. It was God’s will that humankind could make independent choices. And humans certainly have.

Freedom and responsibility

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”

–1 Peter 2:16

However, God also knew that with freedom comes responsibility. The late Reverend Billy Graham says that God provided “men and women with sufficient information so that choices will be informed ones.”

Both angels and humans exercised their free will from the start. The first humans, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God’s instructions, committing sin against God and condemning all of humankind after that by bringing sin into the world.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

–Galatians 5:13

In fact, sin only became greater and more significant in the world. Eventually, the level of corruption reached such a peak that God flooded the Earth and spared only Noah and his family.

A short time after the floodwaters dried up, God confused the languages of the peoples of Earth because of sin at the Tower of Babel. Later, the sin was so great in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed them with fire and brimstone that rained down from the sky.

An estimated 400 years later, Moses leads the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. He goes to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, only to come down from the mountain and find the Israelites worshiping idols.

Throughout history, God gave humans commandments and divine revelation through his word so that they had the necessary information to make informed choices.

The history of humankind is one of repeatedly falling into sin and turning away from God.

But God, being merciful, forgives, wanting to save humans from eternal damnation.

“Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

– 1 Timothy 2:4

In the ultimate move against sin, God sent his son to live and die as a human to pay a one-time-for-all penalty for all of humankind’s sin.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

–John 3:16

Truth = freedom

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32

Jesus’ statement above reminds us that there is only one truth. There is no “your truth” or “my truth.” The truth that brings ultimate freedom is the word of God.

Jesus prayed to God for his disciples:

“For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”

– John 17:8

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

– John 17:17

The truth of God and belief in Him is the true freedom from all sin and the path that leads to eternal salvation.

Jesus rose from the dead to prove that life does not end here on Earth, but is eternal.