What Does It Mean to Be Free?


Pastor Jeff Wade, The Rock of Panama City Beach

I think that freedom is objective and most of us have our own definition of what that is, what it’s used for, and what we should do with it. For example, although we live in a free country, a person who is incarcerated probably doesn’t feel very “free.” I’ve had people tell me before that they feel that having to get up and go to work is a form of modern-day servitude – even though they have freedom, while they are at their job, it seems like freedom doesn’t exist. They are told when to be there, when to leave, and what to do while they are there. I’m not saying I agree with their summation of work, I’m just saying that freedom looks different to different people.

An animal in the zoo is free to roam around within the confines of its enclosure. But is it truly free?

I am so thankful that I live in this great free country, the United States of America. But even under the banner of freedom, there are laws. Even though I am free, I cannot just go and do whatever I want. Try driving as fast as you please down Front Beach Road and see what happens. Your abuse of the freedom that you have to drive will land you a hefty fine.

The Apostle Paul knew quite a bit about freedom. He spent a great portion of his ministry incarcerated for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. As a matter of fact, many of his letters to the early churches were written behind bars. His use of his freedom cost him his freedom at times.

So how are we to use ours? Not just our freedom in our own country, but most importantly the freedom that Christ brings us by way of the cross? For all who call on the name of Jesus for salvation have been saved and set free. It’s a global freedom for all of mankind despite where you may live geographically. How are we to use that?

In one of Paul’s letters, he wrote to the churches in Galatia. He had these Holy Spirit inspired words to write in Galatians 5:13:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve one another humbly in love.”

We see the misuse of freedom all the time. Biblically we are told not just how to be free, but what to do with that freedom. Is your freedom about self-indulgence? Or is your freedom being used as intended by Christ which is to serve one another with a humble heart out of love? Our freedom calls us into a life of servanthood to be used to glorify God.
Let us think on this today and find ways to honor Christ with the very freedom He gives us.