Don’t Get Cocky, Kid! (Freedom isn’t Free)

                Plenty of people talk about the New Year as a chance to start over, and plenty of people take those chances to pursue various methods of improving their lives. My wife and I are doing the Whole 30 diet to start off the year. However, plenty of people will have fallen off the tracks by Valentine’s Day. In Christianity, we have another chance with Christ, by accepting his gift of salvation to free us from the chains of sin and to restore us to fellowship with God. The New Testament contains quite a few passages on the new life we have been given through Christ, and what we should do with this newfound freedom from sin and the condemnation of the law. What I want to do here is to show what scripture says about freedom, and how it was bought with a price.
                We see in Romans 3:23 that all men are guilty of sin, that we all have transgressed the law of God. We also see in James 2:10 that if we keep the whole law, yet stumble in one aspect, that we are guilty of breaking the whole law. So we see that if we break a single law, we have broken all of the law, and are sinners to the highest degree. Under this, our wage for our transgressions is death (Romans 6:23). Yet Christians know that this is not the end of the story, for we know that God had mercy and grace for us, and sent of himself to die on the cross as payment for our sins, so that we may freely come into the presence of God (John 3:16).
                It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1). This verse continues to tell us to stand firm in this truth, and to not fall victim to the yoke of slavery. So why do so many Christians take our gift, and go right back to that which enslaved us? I was talking with someone a couple months ago, and what they said to me came to mind. They told me that they were non-religious, but their mother was Catholic, and had her baptized “just in case”. There are plenty of Christians who do this. They treat Christ like fire insurance, and carry on with their lives, believing that since they are saved, they can get away with whatever they want here. I myself used to act this way with regards to my salvation when I was rationalizing my pornography addiction. I would go and look it up, then pray for forgiveness, but come right back to it and continue the cycle. By the grace of God I have broken this cycle, and live to strive after Christ, not my own desires. We also have a passage in Romans that talks about this too. “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slave of the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slave to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:15-22)

                So we are set free from sin, but we should take that freedom, and pursue those things that are worthy of our hearts (Philippians 4:8). I would hope that this article is a useful parallel to the New Year resolutions. If you still find yourself struggling in sin, even as a Christians, then know that there is hope for you, and grace is abounding for us in Christ.

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