More Thoughts on Freedom
Today I am pondering the implications of God's Absolute Freedom. As one who holds firmly to the conviction that it is God alone who chooses whom to save from eternal damnation, God alone who effectively executes that salvation, and God alone who perfectly carries out that salvation, I must also acknowledge that until a man is regenerated by God, that man's will is utterly in bondage to sin. He is not free to do anything except please the dictates of sin.
On the other hand, every man regenerated through the work of the Sovereign God is free to obey God. And the character of this freedom is different from the slavery of the unregenerate man. For while the unregenerate man is not free to obey God, the regenerate man is free to disobey God.
And this causes me stop and shudder - what a horror to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus and then use that marvelous freedom as an opportunity to indulge my flesh.
This would be like a man miraculously cured of emphysema using his new-found health to smoke as many cigarettes as quickly as possible. It would be like an alcoholic miraculously delivered from liver failure using his new-found health to drink even more booze. It would be like a convicted murderer miraculously pardoned using his new-found freedom to become a serial killer. This is not why God saved us!
Galatians 5:13 tells us that You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Another way of viewing this is to recognise that until God saves us, we are not free to serve one another. Rather, we are enslaved to our own desires and must work to serve our own desires. It is only the free man, only the man whom God has foreknown, predestined, called and justified who can serve his fellow-believers. And this is one reason that we were set free.