Freedom In Christ   2 comments

True Biblical Christians do not think we are good. We think God can do good through us.

That’s an important distinction. Salvation doesn’t mean we’ve become good, but that we have become conduits of God’s goodness. “The container never becomes the contents,” Jacques Ellul wrote. “The entire Bible constantly iterates that nothing has changed intrinsically or ontologically in this person who has been enlightened by the revelation. He is saved. He is justified. He is sanctified, but he is still himself.” (To Will and To Do. pg. 210)

Becoming Christians may have turned on the light for us, but as we’ve never seen the furniture before, we are still incapable of recognizing it. Concepts of good and evil do not come to us naturally.

And this is where Christianity has often gone off the rails. Jesus was perfect, He lived a sinless life. We are to look toward Him as an example in how to live our lives. But He is merely our example. We did not become Him.

Paul’s explanation of Christian behavior is that of “the manifestation of the life of Jesus in our mortal bodies” (2Corinthians 4:10,11); not by any human imitation of Christ’s behavioral goodness. Christian living is not “monkey see, monkey do,” the apeing of reproduced external behavior. The character of God’s goodness manifested in our behavior. “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

To whatever degree we express behavioral goodness it is not by or through our own effort. Jesus said: “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing that manifests the character of God. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing good. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing that glorifies God. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing that qualifies as Christian behavior.

Do you hear me, Christians?

Goodness is known and activated only by God’s grace, which is God’s activity consistent with His character. By His grace, God reveals Himself and His intent to us in a personal and intimate way, informed by the Bible and accountable to the congregation, but stemming from our “sitting under” His instruction in the obedience of faith.

As Christians we must continue to be available and receptive in faith to the expression of God’s goodness in our behavior. “He who began to good word in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

The “good work” is not perfection in conforming to a “standard of goodness” or mustering up good behavior, but in letting God use us to accomplish His work.

Jesus allows us the freedom to express His goodness in our lifestyle. Such expressions are not forced upon Christians. We still have freedom of choice. And freedom comes in “flavors”. Often, we think of freedom in Christ as a freedom from something — sin, death, immorality, but there is also freedom to God’s intent. Some people fear a lack of moral code as a lapse into lawlessness, but if God be our guide, there is no way we can stumble.

Jesus wants to express His character of goodness in consistent, practical Christian behavior. We don’t want to be so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good. God is a practical Deity and Christian living has to do with expressing God’s goodness in all of our interpersonal relationships — husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, friends, acquaintances, and the general public.

Paul warned “Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). I know some anarchist-type Christians who advocate against moralism and repudiate all behavioral considerations and preaching. They’ll tolerate any behavior in the name of “freedom”. That may be a valid secular backlash against moralism, but it will lead to social chaos apart from the recognition of God’s grace expressed as goodness.

Sin is still sin and it is not derived from God. It does not express the character of God, but is derived from Satan (1John 3:8).

So what does freedom in Christ look like?

2 responses to “Freedom In Christ

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I like the ideas, “freedom,” “individuality,” “avoiding freedom-from (rebel without a cause).” However, it sounds as if you are attempting to convince others to be free precisely because you are not free yourself.

    Like

Leave a Reply to aurorawatcherak Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

Rebellious Hazelnuts

Surreal Stories, Very Tall Tales

Adjusting My Sails

When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Tales: Books + Compassion + Culture

Fairfax & Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

Magical BookLush

A New Dimension to Explore!! A reason to Love and A promise to fight the wrong is hidden in Books. Come, Let's Explore it!!!

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

%d bloggers like this: