Freedom and Faith

The phrase freedom, as it relates to faith, is a colloquial expression that I have found integral to my being a believer. A case in point: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal.5:1). This verse clearly illustrates this point. Though I am free in Christ, faith was an underlying condition by which freedom is manifested in my life on a consistent basis. In other words, without faith in Christ the freedom afforded to me through Him would not be an actuality.

Another parallel may be drawn from John 8:36, which states, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” While this biblical passage clearly outlines that one’s source of freedom is found in Christ, Romans 3:28 further solidifies the point “…that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” In actuality, one may ascertain that freedom in Christ, coupled with justification by faith, is genuinely innate—in that there’s a correlation between the freedom found in Christ and the faith that Christ supplies as one truly embraces Him. Again for me personally, I believe that the phrase freedom, as it relates to faith, is a pragmatic concept in that one is unable to differentiate between the two biblical principles. Needless to say, one must embrace both biblical principles simultaneously in order to acquire a proper perspective concerning freedom as it relates to faith.

Although faith is an intrinsic element of freedom, personally I struggle on a spiritual level to “not turn [my] freedom into an opportunity for the flesh…” (Gal.5:13). This struggle reveals itself occasionally in my resistance to serve others through the love of Christ. To remedy this issue, I have predetermined that I will love others unconditionally by withholding judgment of them and by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me in the area of discernment as it pertains to them. By focusing upon the well-being of another, as opposed to myself, it compels me to direct my energies towards that person, thus averting an opportunity for me to indulge in fleshly appetites while simultaneously providing me with an occasion to serve someone else. Here again, faith is an essential component in which freedom in Christ is expressed in an unpretentious manner.

In conclusion, it should be clear that both freedom in Christ, along with faith in Christ, are essential to one another and that differentiating between these two biblical principles is inconceivable. Consequently, freedom as it relates to faith is an intricate expression of these two biblical fundamentals.

Born Again, Born to Shop

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker, “Born Again, Born to Shop”?  When I was first saved, I naively believed that there was some truth to this, but now that I have grown, I’ve come to realize that this common catchphrase is an inaccurate statement.

  • First, being born again is of a divine nature, whereas being born to shop is a personal desire.
  • Second, being born again requires grace, whereas being born to shop may hinder my growth in grace.
  • Last, being born again transformed me in a positive manner, resulting in a changed life, whereas being born to shop may result in a negative impact towards my finances.

At any rate, loving to shop isn’t a bad pastime as long as I am able to keep things in perspective; but it pales in comparison when I realize that loving Jesus infinitely outweighs my appetite to shop.

How does this relate to my faith? My love for Jesus supersedes any love I may possess for shopping, and it never ends. It compels me to be thankful for the blessings He has bestowed upon me, whereas shopping only fuels my desire for more. As the little girl said in the AT&T ad, “We want more, we want more, when we like it, we want more.” But in Jesus, I have found all that I need! Knowing Him and loving Him brings contentment and joy. You may have been born to shop, but the question is, are you born again?

 

This guest post is from CASM member, Mary Knight.  Mary is the wife of Pastor Marvin Knight and they have two sons: Jordan and Joshua.