CHRISTIAN LIBERTY PART 4

CLARIFYING SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FREEDOM

PART II

2. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE FREE WILL TO DO SOMETHING DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO IT. This is another difficult concept to grasp and I pray God help you understand and accept it. If you understand the difference between freedom and free will you’ll be better able to understand the truth I’m trying to present here.

As a free moral creature, endowed by God with free will, you’re free to fornicate. Free to cheat on your taxes. Free to rob a bank. Free to do a million and one things because you’ve got the power and ability to choose for yourself and make your own decisions.

But as a Christian who knows God’s Word, you realize you’re not free to do these things because God has prohibited them in His Word. He commands you not to do them. Consequently, as an obedient Christian, you don’t do them.

You see, you can go ahead and do these forbidden things if you want to: you have the free will to do them. But you don’t do them because God forbids it. And since He forbids it, you understand that you don’t have the God-given freedom to do them. You have the free will to do them, but you don’t have the freedom to do them.

God’s commandments, you see, restrict the freedoms that humankind and flesh would otherwise love to have. While we don’t have the freedom to do a million and one things that self and flesh would love to do, nevertheless, the greater and more precious freedom that we do have is the freedom not to give in to sin, self, and the flesh.

Brethren, we’ve got the greatest freedom of all and that is the freedom to obey God and do the right thing. Without Christ in our lives we wouldn’t have that freedom. We would be enslaved to sin. We would spend our eternity in hell. Praise God we have the freedom to do what we couldn’t do before, and that is, obey and please God–not ourselves.

3. Another hard concept for people to grasp is the fact that EXERCISING YOUR FREEDOM DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU RIGHT. You see, in the natural realm, if you’re free to do something, then it isn’t wrong for you to do it. For example,

  • If you’re free to own a car, then you can own a car and you wouldn’t be breaking any law to own your own car.
  • If you’re free to adopt the religion of your choice, then you can practice whatever religion you want to without interference or persecution from the State. You wouldn’t be doing anything illegal to practice whatever religion you want to practice.
  • If your parents give you the freedom to date, then you wouldn’t be breaking your parents’ rules when you go out on a date because your parents don’t have any such rules against dating. You wouldn’t be doing anything wrong as far as they’re concerned.

Do you see what I mean? The freedom to do something in the natural automatically presupposes you would be right in doing it. You wouldn’t be breaking any laws. You wouldn’t be wrong for doing something that you’re free to do.

Brethren, no matter how you define freedom, when you use your freedom and/or your free will to disobey God, then what results is an act of sin and disobedience. Even though you were free to make that choice, you would be wrong for disobeying God.

Take Eve for an example. Eve was free to either eat the forbidden fruit or not eat it: it was her choice to make. The moment she ate that fruit she disobeyed God. The act of eating was an act of disobedience, she freely chose to disobey, and that act of disobedience was sin. In other words, an act of free will or freedom can also be an act of disobedience.

The same thing can also be said with respect to genuine Christian freedom. An act of freedom can also be an act of disobedience. For example, when you use your freedom to drink wine to become drunk or become an alcoholic and a drunkard, then you’ve used a legitimate freedom to disobey God’s prohibition against drunkenness. Do you see how you can use your freedom to disobey God? Brethren, WHEN YOU USE YOUR FREEDOM OR FREE WILL TO DISOBEY GOD, YOU’RE NO LONGER RIGHT. YOU’RE WRONG AND YOU’RE IN DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD.

Brethren, DON’T BASE THE RIGHTNESS OR WRONGNESS OF AN ACTION ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU’RE FREE TO DO IT. Just because you’re free to do something doesn’t automatically mean you’re right to do it. An act of free will or freedom can also be an act of disobedience.

Coming Up On My Next Blog, Part 5. More food for thought as I discuss another misconception of freedom. It’ll be crucifying, so bring your cross. God’ll have the nails and hammer.

2 Comments

  1. queenlorene said,

    February 15, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I have been struggling with grace vs free will. While I understand and accept the free will vs God’s commandments, I don’t see where grace fits in. Jesus says he came to fulfill the law, but we still must follow the law, further, even if we THINK about it but don’t do it, we are disobeying the law. So where is grace in all this? I do see God’s laws as a sort of guardrail, keeping us out of harm’s was and preventing us from going off a precipice. Kind of like a child gate for toddlers 🙂

    • gaylorddiaz said,

      February 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      Hi Lorene, Seeing God’s laws as a guardrail is a wonderful way of looking at them. I haven’t seen them in that light before. So thanks for sharing that tidbit with me. Now about grace, we have free will and God doesn’t infringe on that. He doesn’t force His will on us, He doesn’t make the decision for us, He doesn’t manipulate or control our free will. He lets us make our own choices and decisions. What His grace does is it gives us the desire to choose God’s will and, with that desire, grace also gives us the power, strength, or ability to do God’s will (Philippians 2:13). Grace enables and empowers us to use our free will to choose God. God isn’t forcing us to choose Him. We choose Him freely of our own accord…because we genuinely want to. But the want-to is a work of grace. Everything about the Christian life and salvation is a work of grace…so that God alone gets all the glory and none of us can rightfully boast that we chose right, we did right, we got saved…all by ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 1:29, Ephesians 1:4-6). We did nothing on our own: we decided and did the right thing because God gave us the grace to do that. It’s all about grace. Without it no one would be saved; none of us would have chosen God. Hope this helps. If not completely, please ask for additional clarification. I’ll pray that God will make things clear to you.


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