Trading Liberty for Security

Text: 2 Corinthians 3:17

Benjamin Franklin said, “They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Though this quote is used to refer to matters relating to civil government, there is a spiritual truth contained in it as well. How this principle applies to our spiritual lives is far more important than how it applies to government. So let us consider the spiritual implications of this principle.

Liberty in Christ

  • Paul told the brethren in Corinth that there was liberty in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17) – but this liberty was not the freedom to sin & do as we please (Jude 4)
  • Rather than giving us the freedom to sin, Jesus offers us freedom from sin (John 8:34,36) – without freedom from sin, we would face eternal punishment (Romans 6:23)
  • In being freed from sin, we are no longer to be slaves of sin (Rom. 6:6-7)
  • Jesus showed us through His example how to avoid sin (1 Peter 2:21-22)
  • God has promised a “way of escape” for every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • For the times when we fall short, we have an avenue of forgiveness (1 John 1:9; 2:1-2)
  • The liberty we have in Christ involves both freedom from sin & freedom from the punishment of sin

Temporary Security

  • Even though Jesus offers us freedom from sin, we will face difficulties in life if we follow Him (Luke 9:23; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12)
  • The goal of persecution is to cause one to abandon his faith
  • If one wants to live securely (temporarily), he will live as one who is of the world, not one who is of Christ (John 15:18-19) – if the world loves us, we will enjoy temporary security among those in the world
  • If we want the world to love us, we should conform to the world – this is the opposite of what Paul said we must do (Romans 12:2)

Trading Liberty for Security

  • The Lord has given us great incentives to follow Him (Romans 6:23; Philippians 3:8,11) – but many are willing to trade liberty in Christ for the temporary security found in the approval of men
  • One who has the goal of pleasing men cannot also please God (Galatians 1:10)
  • Forfeiting the freedom from sin that Christ offers causes one to be again enslaved to sin (John 8:34; Romans 6:16) – therefore, the liberty that one has in Christ is lost
  • However, the security rooted in man’s approval that one hopes to gain is only temporary – can be lost as men deal treacherously with one another (Jeremiah 9:4-5) & will be lost when this world comes to an end (2 Peter 3:10)

Only Real Security Found in Christ

  • Many are tempted to trade the blessings of liberty in Christ for the temporary security of the world – but the only real security is found in the Lord (Proverbs 18:10)
  • When we hear & obey His words, we will be able to face the storms of life (Matthew 7:24-25)
  • The hope we have in Christ is an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
  • The world tries to offer us temporary security as an enticement for us to forsake Christ – never forget the reward for the faithful (2 Corinthians 5:1)


  • Those who would give up their liberty in Christ (freedom from sin & the punishment for it) to obtain a little temporary security (found in the approval of men), will in the end lose both
  • Instead, we must remain faithful to Christ by being “slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18) so that we might obtain “the free gift of God [of] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

Read the article: Trading Liberty for Security

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