Freedom – I do not think it means what you think it means.

A sign saying freedom

In the movie, “The Princess Bride”, Sicilian boss Vizzini continually describes events as “inconceivable.” When he attempts to cut the rope that the pirate Roberts is climbing, Vizzini yells out that it was inconceivable that the pirate didn’t fall. To this, Montoya replies, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Freedom is the “inconceivable” word in Christianity. Here’s an example that may help us have a common understanding of freedom in Christ.

An Example of Freedom

Take, for example, a homework assignment. Your teacher tells your class on Tuesday that the homework must be turned in on Friday. Within your teacher’s constraints, you’ve just received freedom. You received the freedom to decide when to do your assignment. You received the freedom to choose how much time to invest in the assignment. Lastly, you received the freedom to determine the completeness and quality of what you turn in, if anything, to your teacher on Friday.

Still, within this freedom that your teacher has extended to you, you know that there will be judgment (i.e., your grade) and reward or punishment (i.e., passing or failing). What we see from this simple example is that freedom plus self-control, or lack thereof, results in consequences.

We each have an appointment with God. As the Scriptures state in Romans 14:12, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” This appointment with God is not a bad thing for people that have used their freedom to serve Jesus. It’s like a good student turning in their assignment to their teacher. The teacher rejoices in the student, and the student rejoices in their teacher.

It’s Not Too Late

The amazing thing with God is He will receive you right now, right where you are. It’s not too late to accept Jesus and live your life for God. You can read a great example of this in the parable Jesus told of the workers, which can be found in Matthew 20:1-16.

The Consequences of Freedom can be Good or Bad

Therefore, from the perspective of our freedom, let’s consider this well known Scripture:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Freedom is not the absence of consequences. And the consequences can be good as well as bad. So we see that the “account” we will give to God is within our control. Freedom in Christ is a good thing.

Photo by Kristina V on Unsplash

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