“It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.” (I Peter 2:15,16) That is an oxymoron, free but slaves. What does Peter mean you are free, but God’s slaves? How can we be both?
What does scripture say we are free from? We are free from sin’s power over us. Paul instructs the Romans about our freedom from sin’s control in Romans 6:5-6, “Since we have been united with him in death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.”
Paul goes on to say that we are slaves to righteousness in Romans 6:18, “Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” We are free to not sin and obligated to God to live righteously because of our union with Christ.
The problem comes when I forget that I am free from sin’s power and give into it once again. I forget what Christ has done for me. I forget I can say no and resist the temptation. Instead, I give into sin without even a hesitation. When I forget to be grateful, my motivation to live in a manner that glorifies God is missing.
I have observed those who have totally forgotten their freedom and have let sin master them. They live in shame and fear and defeat. They cannot seem to conquer their demons. They claim Christ, yet don’t experience his freedom.
I desire for them to understand their freedom and live according to it. I pray that God will open their eyes to the truth of their freedom, so they can be more than conquerors. I long for them to experience the joy of their salvation once again. I long for them to grow spiritually and learn to love and trust God.
All I can do is to remind them of the truth, like Paul did, and pray for them. It can be a very sad and discouraging journey to watch those you care about live in defeat. But there is always hope! Jesus, through the Holy Spirit is more than capable of working in their hearts.
I pray that Jesus will constantly remind me of my freedom, so I can pledge to enslave myself to righteous living. Being a slave of God is joyful, burdens are lifted, gratitude is overflowing. I love that I am a free slave.
Do you need to remember you are a free slave? Ask Jesus to remind you. Pray for those you see living in prison to their sins for Christ to set them free.