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Free to serve

Christians are free by the grace of God so they can love others.


I’m not just talking about the freedoms we have here in the United States. God offers us a freedom you can’t find anywhere else in the world: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1,2).

Did you catch what you’re free from? Free from condemnation. Free from sin. Free from death. Free from hell. It’s great to be free through Jesus our Savior.

Free to do anything?

Here’s another thought from the Bible about freedom that you need to hear. Paul wrote: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1 Corinthians 9:19). Think about that. “Since I am free, I’m going to make myself a slave to everyone . . .”

What? That doesn’t sound right, does it? In fact, that sounds awful! I don’t want to be a slave to you or anyone else. In fact, when I hear that I’m free, my first thought is, Then I can do whatever I want. Amen, we say! That’s the spirit here in America, isn’t it? “I’m free to do what I want any old time, and you can’t say anything about it. I’m free!”

That’s not freedom. Living for yourself isn’t freedom. It’s just a different kind of slavery. It means you’re a slave to your own sinful desires. To live life serving yourself is just as empty and difficult as being forced to serve an evil king or wicked queen. That’s not freedom!

But that’s a difficult lesson to learn.

Free to serve

That’s why Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). He’s right! But then he offers us this promise: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). With your eternal future assured in heaven, you’re free from focusing your life on yourself. With your sins forgiven at Jesus’ cross, you’re free from trying to earn your own salvation. With Jesus by your side every day, you’re free from using others as your tools for personal gain. Jesus has set you free indeed!

Here’s what that looks like: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). Can you see how a Christian looks at freedom differently? You’re free to serve. Your life isn’t about your preferences or your way or your wants. Jesus gives you so much more! So, your life can be about humbly serving others in love. You’re free to serve.

We could use more of that kind of freedom in America—and everywhere. Our world needs more Christians serving one another because of the freedom they have in Jesus. Our world needs more Christians willing to make themselves slaves to those around them, all with the goal of winning more people to faith in Jesus. Our world needs more Christians willing to sacrifice their time or preferences to encourage and raise others up.

Brothers and sisters, you were called to be free! So, let’s use our freedom to serve one another humbly in love. You’ll find that it’s great to be free—free to serve!

Author: Nathan Nass
Volume 108, Number 7
Issue: July 2021

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