“It is a fact beyond question that there are two kinds of Christian experience, one of which is an experience of bondage, and the other an experience of freedom.” This sentence from Hannah Smith’s book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life summarizes the dilemma of so many. There is no greater need in the church today, and there is no greater blessing than freedom. Several questions arise: What is Freedom? How do we attain this freedom? From what, for what, and through what are we free?

True freedom comes only from within, and our inner freedom must come from an understanding of the love and faithfulness of God. To be free we must realize that our relationship with God does not depend on our own goodness.   We cannot be good by human effort alone, but we can become better through the power of God working in us. One of the reasons we do not experience freedom is that we do not understand what freedom really is.

God is the author of our freedom because He safeguards our right to opinion as well as our own privileges. The Christian tests the correctness of his actions by an appeal to the standard of God. He tries to “speak and act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.” And this law restrains him even when the statue laws may not.

We pride ourselves on our freedom of worship yet in our places of worship we are under certain restraints as to our conduct. We do not interrupt the services of worship, and the preacher does not take the liberty to say everything he thinks.

We insist on freedom of speech, yet a good teacher feels the responsibility of restraining himself from expressing every fleeting idea passing through his mind.

We think too much about freeing ourselves from our restraints and too little about freeing ourselves for our responsibilities. Jesus stressed the fact that the freedom from evils or restrictions is not enough. He told the parable of the house which was freed from evil spirits and left empty. Its latter state was worse than the former. (See Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26.)

Jesus came to free people with a yoke (Matthew 11:29). He knew that our nature is made for service to others and not for self-service. The only way to be really free is to fulfill our true nature by becoming involved in something greater than ourselves.

Truly, there are two kinds of Christian experience: one restricts the flow of God’s blessings; the other receives the flow of God’s blessings and responds in loving service. Too many of us have locked ourselves in rooms with open doors. Jesus came to set us free.

–Darrel G. Rickard


Comments are closed.