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Free To Do As I Please?
A Look At Spiritual Freedom

by Bob Conar, Bible Study created July 1995

When I think of the 4th of July, Independence Day, I think immediately of the many freedoms we have in America. Freedoms which our forefathers died to gain. I thank God for the privilege of living in this fine country.

To the Christian, there is a freedom far greater than those our forefathers established. The freedom from the power and control of sin is indeed the most important freedom we have. And it was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Dear Lamb of God Who made it all possible. Because of this freedom, we are free to receive everlasting life and live the abundant life. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the New International Version of the Bible.

This Bible Study was originally written for young Christians, although much can be learned by non-Christians and older Christians.

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We're free

In The Bible, God's Holy Word, we read the following verses of Scripture... John 8:32, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"; John 14:6, "Jesus answered, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father, except through Me'"; John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, ye will be free indeed"; Romans 8:2, "But through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
For those of you who have just come to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior, I rejoice! You see, it is He Who has set you free from the control of sin in your life, and has replaced sin's control with His control!

Some people, with a casual reading of these verses of Scripture, might conclude that once we are saved, we have the freedom to live as we choose. After all, some may argue, our salvation has made us free! Lest we jump too quickly to that conclusion, let's consider the possibility that we are not free to do as we please.

But we are not "free" to live as we choose

Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means." The King James Version reads, "Shall we continue in sin?" We could just as easily say, "Shall we go on sinning and sinning?" And, "Shall we continue to allow sin to control us?" And the obvious answer is, "Absolutely not!" Look at Romans 6:6-8, "For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should not longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him."
Because of Christ's death on the cross, sin does not have control of the Christian if we do not want it to. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death." But, because of Calvary, "death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin... But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). With sin being powerless to control the Christian, there is no need to obey satan. Romans 12:13, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought back from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness."

When we accepted Christ into our heart, at that same time, we should have committed our life to Him for service. He became the Lord, the Master, the Controller of every part of our life; our thoughts, our speech, and our actions. Our thoughts, our speech, and our actions will demonstrate how willing we are to allow Christ to control us. It is important for us to form the 'habit' of serving Christ. Romans 8:4, "in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."

Romans 6:16, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" Striving to be Christ-like can become a lifestyle. --No, we are not free to live as we choose. So, Brother Bob, what does this say about our being free?

We are "free" to serve, to obey, and be led by God

Romans 6:18, "You have been set free from sin and have become (past tense) slaves ("servants", KJV) to righteousness." Verse 22, "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." John 8:31, "To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to ("continue in", KJV) My teaching, you are really My disciples." Following Christ's example and teachings becomes our lifestyle. We aim toward the this goal day by day. Romans 8:14, "Because those who are live by the Spirit of God are the sons of God." Who, or what, is leading us? If we are to follow Christ's leadership, our life will demonstrate that we are His disciples. Do our thoughts, our speech, and our actions exhibit Christ's righteousness, and His holiness?

We are free to be Christ-like

"But, Brother Bob", you may say, "things are not always black and white in this old world. Sometimes there are times when it is not clear what is right. How can I tell what is right?" Here is a good verse to begin with. 1 Peter 2:21, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should Follow His Steps." (The upper case is mine.) A sure way of knowing what do in any given circumstance is to ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" If Jesus would think, say, or do the thing, you are safe in thinking, saying, or doing it. If He would not, don't you do, say, or think it either. Following His Steps is a choice.

We are free to choose

Freedom brings responsibility. The free life in Christ is a disciplined life. It is from the same word that discipleship comes. Our life is not a careless one. The conditions of the New Covenant (salvation by grace through faith) require a commitment on our part to obey, to serve, and to be led by God. The agreement calls for us to yield our life to His control; not sin's control. But ultimately we have the freedom of choice. We can choose to refuse, neglect, or discard God's way, and pay the consequences. Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that sinful nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." Yes, we can choose God's way, and come under submission to Him, shouldering the responsibility of living the life which will enable us to be Disciples of Christ, Soldiers of the Cross, Defenders of the Faith, Prayer Warriors, Opponents of satan.
Joshua 24:15, "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

I welcome you to visit my page, How to Have a Full and Meaningful Life, then, my Feedback Page and send me your comments, or request additional information. I would be delighted to hear from you! Do you wish to return to The Bible Studies Page?

May God speak to your heart! Bob Conar