v 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
Freedom is notoriously difficult to define. I like to think I am a free agent, but in reality I am far from it. Most of us, me included, lack the money, the opportunity, and even the physical well-being, to do all the things we might like to do. Then, there are rules and regulations set by the State to ensure that life is peaceful and safe for all members of society. And we can’t stop there, I also have a conscience that checks me and suggests that certain things might be unhelpful or even, dare I say it, plain wrong. So am I free?
In following Jesus, I have been set free from the demands of the religious law that demands 100% obedience before I can be accepted by God. God has accepted me on the grounds of faith, and then I am set free to live and walk God’s way through life. I have not been set free to be selfish but to serve. Do you remember hearing a prayer that includes these words ‘Service is perfect freedom’? We have been set free from the guilt, the moral stain and the inner power of sin that wrecks our lives. So we are now free to love and serve another from the heart – not through some external constraint. There is wonderful freedom in the With-God Life, but, as we will discover in tomorrow’s reading, that involves us in a battle if we are to continue on that pathway.