Wednesday Dec. 20, 2017
Scripture reference 1 Peter 2:
16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
- We are to live as free people but we are not to use our freedom as a cover-up for evil. When God delivered Israel out of their slavery in Egypt they had to learn how to live as free people. That might seem a foreign concept to many of us but for the people of Israel it was a tremendous challenge. Think of it, they had spent over 400 years in Egypt and centuries of that time was spent in slavery. They knew how to be slaves, but they did not know how to be free.
- When they had their taste of freedom, what did they do with it? They made a golden calf, an idol that they bowed down to and sacrificed to and they declared, “behold your gods Israel who have brought you out of Egypt”, Ex. 32:4!
- You see, due to our natural propensity to sin, freedom can become an opportunity for the enemy to subdue and then conquer. The Bible tells us, Gal. 5 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.”
- Did you catch that? It is for freedom that Christ has set us free but take warning that you do not allow yourself to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. How can those who are set free by Christ be re-enslaved? Those who will not stand firm in their faith resolved to live for Christ and honor God, will in fact be re-enslaved by the enticements of the world, the flesh and the devil.
- Why would we think it could be any different? O, it is true that some ministries have come up with fanciful doctrines suggesting that the Christian can never be re-enslaved by the enemy but such a position is not biblical and in fact dangerous giving the believer an unrealistic sense of false security. In John 15 Jesus emphasized to His disciples the importance of remaining in Him to be fruitful and blessed. The exhortation that we must choose to remain in Christ suggests the converse, we can choose to not remain in Him. John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
- When we use our freedom as a cover-up for evil we not only fail to live in Christ and so forfeit the blessings available to all who live in Him, we also set ourselves up to become re-enslaved by sin. This cycle of enslavement can end right now, today for any who will acknowledge their situation, confess their sin and choose to live in the freedom Christ has made possible! You can throw off that yoke of slavery and experience the blessings of living in Christ Jesus! New life, new identity, new beginning, strong in the Lord and His mighty power, free to love, free to forgive, free to be healed, free to heal in Jesus’ name! Eph. 3: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.