The thirst for freedom is engrained in every one of us. Everyone wants to be free to do whatever they wish. Answering to no one, and being limited in nothing the heart desires is the motto of many. Freedom is doing whatever seems right to me. I am “free to be me”! What I choose is “right for me”!
So if freedom is the right to choose one’s own course or destiny, what happens when your rights conflict with someone else’s rights? Freedom for one may mean others will be denied their freedom.
Conflict arises as it must.
Who determines the right and wrong in these situations?
God has. As the Creator of all things, He has established a standard or Law by which we are to live. It is found in the Bible. Start with the Ten Commandments. Then go to the Judgments, a series of rules for orderly living, starting in Exodus 21.
The law discussed in the Bible teaches us the difference between right and wrong. It serves as God’s standard for righteous living. It teaches us God’s ways.
Mankind has always established laws to control people. Biblical “Law” establishes a difference between what is righteous and what is unrighteous. All lawbreakers are guilty before God, and condemned. The only acceptable solution is perfection. However, no one is able to keep the “Law” perfectly.
Biblical “Law” condemns rather than saves, because with the breaking of a law, comes punishment. Hence the need for a Savior who will deliver us from the consequences of breaking the “Law”.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 12:10 (KJV)
The way of deliverance…
Accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord provides freedom from the Law. Why? Jesus took the penalty for our sin when He died on the cross. Then He rose from the grave to signify that redemption from sin has been paid for. If the debt has been paid, then there is no further penalty needed. Jesus died in the place of the law breaker, satisfying God’s Law.
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promises of the Spirit through faith. -Galatians 3:10-14
“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:21-26
True freedom comes when one is able to distinguish the difference from right and wrong.
True freedom comes when one refuses to compromise what is righteous and true.
True freedom comes when one is following God’s ways.
The Bible gives us a standard for living…
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Galatians 5:14
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Following a standard for living removes the question of what is right or wrong. There is absolute certainty that God’s ways are always righteous. Confusion is removed, doubt is stilled, and peace reigns.
If everyone lived by God’s standard, there would be less confusion between what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately in today’s world, everyone seems to be doing what is right in their own eyes. People have lost their way. The result in our society today is appalling. What is wrong is considered righteous. What is righteous is cast out and condemned. The Ten Commandments have become abhorrent and those that follow them are mocked.
Peace cannot reign when such conflict exists. There can be no meeting of the minds when God’s Laws are violated.
Consider if everyone followed these rules for living in Romans 12:10-18:
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Believers must stand firm on the tenets of the Bible. Our faith will sustain us. Our trust lies in our Savior who will direct our paths, and uphold us in times of trial. Let us remain constant in faith, always looking to our Lord for strength and wisdom in time of need.