July 2nd – Liberty and Freedom For All

Romans 8


Introduction:

Seeing that we are starting our 4

th

of July week and all that goes with it, I want to address the differences between freedom and liberty and how that applies biblically to us.

Like many people, I suspect, I’ve always thought of the words 

Liberty

 and 

Freedom

 as meaning the same thing.  In speeches and written pieces they are used pretty much as synonyms.   But several weeks ago I heard a commentary on NPR 

(specifics have escaped my memory)

 in which the commentator distinguished between the words in a way which makes all kinds of sense.

Freedom 

is a state of being capable of making decisions without external control.

Liberty

, on the other hand, is 

freedom

 which has been granted to a people by an external control.

————————————————————–

In an article written by a blog named



The Penultimate Word



in December of 2016, the blog gives the explanation of the differences between Liberty and Freedom by using the Declaration of Independence and the newly formed United States of America in its relationship to England as the example:

One paragraph toward the end of the declaration of independence reads, “

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The Declaration of Independence

 declared that the King of England had undertaken such actions as limited the 

freedom

 of citizens of the newly-established colony in America.   By his actions the people were restricted and controlled in an unjust way.  The complaint was not just about rules and regulations; it declared that the very nature of

 


freedom

 had been violated.

It is a powerful statement, in which the assembled leadership of the new country identifies the concept of

 


freedom

 and declares itself to be capable of granting 

liberty

 to the people of the emerging nation.  The difference is clear:   people are, by nature, meant to live in 

freedom

, and the new government will grant such 

liberty

 to its citizens.

With that thought in mind, I choose to pursue that thought along spiritual lines.

Freedom


 

is a state of being capable of making decisions without external control.

Liberty

, on the other hand, is 

freedom

 which has been granted to a people by an external control.

Galatians 5:1


“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free

1

, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

(NKJ)

2 Corinthians 3:17


“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

 NKJ)

1 Peter 2:15-16

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men–

16

as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. (1Pe 2:15 NKJ)

In 1 Peter 2:15

, [

As Free

] The Jews pretended that they were a free people, and owed allegiance to God alone; hence, they were continually rebelling against the Roman government, to which God had subjected them because of their rebellion against him: thus they used their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness-for a pretext of rebellion, and, by it endeavored to vindicate their seditious and rebellious conduct.

“Do not use liberty as a cloak for vice…”

Reason, Purpose, Excuse!

Cloak

– Greek word is literally translated,


covering, pretext


Vice

= malice, ill-will, desire to injure

Application

: Sometimes we just use our liberty as an excuse or reason to sin.

Application

: But Sin has it’s consequences!

The same needs to be said of us, our faith, our relationship to God and our Liberty and our Freedom.

———————————————————-

Freedom

All though we have experienced and live in a constant place of

liberty

(granted to us by work of cross) we are still free to make choices.

Freedom

(Choices)

I would say to us today that we have a

responsibility

, a duty, an

obligation

to live in repentance in pursuit of a standard of biblical holiness (separateness).

Application

: Where we work or who we work for: we have responsibilities, duties and obligations that should be met.

Transition

: Quotes about Making Life Choices

Romans 6:1-2, “

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

2

Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

(NKJ)

Romans 6:2

[

God forbid

.]

Mee genoito

, Let it not be; by no means; far from it; let not such a thing be mentioned! – Any of these is the meaning of the Greek phrase, which

is a strong expression of surprise and disapprobation

: and is not properly rendered by our “God forbid!” For, though this may express the same thing, yet it is not proper to make the sacred NAME so familiar on such occasions.

Transition

: When it comes to spiritual or biblical choices here are some of the results:

When we Choose God’s Ways

:

1

Obeying God in small matters is an essential step in receiving God’s greatest blessings.

Accompanying Benefits:

1 Peace

2. Hope

3. Confidence

4. Joy

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