Act As Free Men

Text: 1 Peter 2:16

This country was built upon the foundation of freedom. Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This was not just the opinion of this nation’s founders. The principle of freedom is found in God’s founding of the human race in the beginning.

God’s Gift of Freedom to Mankind

  • Man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) – with this came certain privileges
  • Free choice – though God wants man to obey Him, He never forces man to obey (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6,11; 4:3-7; 6:5,8-9)
  • Freedom of movement – instructed to “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28; 9:1,7)
  • Freedom to use natural resources – given dominion over all things (Genesis 1:28-29; 2:16; 9:3); would require work (Genesis 3:19); man could misuse God’s provisions (Genesis 9:20-22)
  • Freedom of speech – at first all men had the same language, allowing them to easily work together, even contrary to God’s will (Genesis 11:3-6); God didn’t take away their ability to speak, He allowed them to speak, but in different languages (Genesis 11:7)
  • Freedom to approach God unhindered – direct access in the garden (Genesis 3:8); afterward man could choose to worship (Genesis 4:3-4)

Freedoms Were Taken Away

  • While God wants men to be free, Satan wants men to become enslaved – this hinders one from serving God & having a relationship with Him
  • Enslaved by sin – caused man to be driven out of garden (Genesis 3:24); has kept man enslaved every since (Romans 6:17,20)
  • Enslaved by the opinions of others – pressured/forced to accept the will of others or face consequences; this happened in Sodom (Genesis 19:4-9)
  • Enslaved by human governments – first the Egyptians (Genesis 47:19,25), then the Israelites (Exodus 2:23); resulted in harsh treatment, confinement, and lack of religious freedom (Exodus 1:13-14; 5:1-2)

Freedom Restored in Christ

  • Jesus came to set us free (John 8:36; 2 Corinthians 3:17)
  • Free from sin (John 8:32-34; Hebrews 2:14-15) – to gain this freedom, we must obey a certain form of doctrine (Romans 6:17-18, 3-4)
  • Free from any obligation to obey human commandments in religious matters (Colossians 2:20-23) – we do not need to submit to any command but God’s (Matthew 15:2,6-9; Galatians 2:3-5)
  • Free from civil authorities (1 Peter 2:16) – we are to be subject (1 Peter 2:13-14), but only to an extent (Acts 5:29); our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), our King is Jesus (John 18:37), our law is His word (Mark 16:15)

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