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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A common component of modern political jargon is the amorphous term ‘liberty.’ President Bush has claimed that the war on terror is a war to preserve our liberties and our way of life. It is also possible for a person to call themselves a ‘libertarian’ in regard to their political leanings. But what does the term liberty mean Biblically? Surely there is something about liberty that the Christian can take to heart in this season of patriotism and songs about the land of the free!
I love what Paul says about liberty and freedom in Galatians. He proclaims the freedom that is found in Christ Jesus, but then he goes on to apply that freedom to the life of the believer. He claims that we were called to freedom by the call of salvation in Christ and that it is for the very act of emancipation from the tyranny of sin that we have been saved. This is not the end, though. At no point are we sanctioned to revel in our liberty, or to even dwell in it. Since freedom has come from sin and death through the blood of Christ, we are then free to become enslaved to one another through love. Paul goes on to say “only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.” Slavery and the loss of liberty is not at issue within the faith community. What is at issue is the instrument of that slavery in our lives. Rather than being slaves to sin and ending up in death, we are to be slaves of love to one another! Liberty is not the point!
Let us be a people who are slaves to love. Yes, we are free, yes we have liberty, but the sign of the mature believer is slavery to one another. We must grow into this image of the believer.

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