Independence. It’s something we have all worked for at some time in our lives. Listen to most teenagers and what do they desire? Their freedom, their independence. As we reflected the past few days on our nation’s independence I couldn’t help but think about what scripture says about freedom and independence. The New American Standard Bible has ten references to the word freedom with eight found in the New Testament. This tells me that Christians today have a freedom that we exercise. But what exactly is it?
Paul tells us in Romans 8:2 that we have been freed from the law of sin and death. If we are free from that then at one time we bound to a law that involved sin and eventually death. The death being spoken of is a spiritual death, a death that results from sin not atoned for. Being free from the law of sin and death indicates a condition that is referred to in the previous verse in that there is “now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Free of condemnation! Free of death, the second death, for we shall all taste the first death, barring Jesus’ return. Isn’t that wonderful news?!! We are free!! We have our independence!!
Now then, let us examine that idea a bit closer. Independence is wonderful in most senses, but in the realm of Christianity there is one kind of independence we will never have nor should we strive for. That is independence from God. Again, from the writings of Paul we find that “and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:15) While we seek freedom and independence we must come to the realization that in one sense we will never truly be “free”. We will either serve God and His ways or Satan and his ways. The one true freedom we have is that we choose for ourselves which we will serve. My recommendation is to follow the example of Joshua and his declaration in Josh 24:15 “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (NAS) Do as Joshua and so many others, be free from sin but slaves to God and righteousness.
Copyright © 2005, Nolan P. Rutter