Substance (7) - Virtuous Freedom 2: Freedom For
Last week I wrote about how God not only forgives our sins and saves us from our sins, He also frees us from the power of sin. Without God’s grace we are slaves to sin, slaves to our flesh and worldly desires.
God’s sanctification of us produces the virtues that direct what we are meant to do with our freedom. Yet growth is often slow. Painfully slow. Pastor Gibson reminds us to remember that virtue and deep faith often take decades to grow and that what God is planting now are mere shoots that will only fully blossom in eternity.
God created us in His image so that we would express Him and His dominion over creation. We are to be embedded in His creation while thinking and acting like Him. To this end God initially gave us the law. Law is an expression of universal truths applied to particular situations, times, and cultures. And while the law restrains sin, it also provokes it. God’s goal is to have people that do more than just obey the law. As much as law can do it is limited in that it can’t produce anything more than law abiding people and God desires sons and daughters, co-heirs of Christ.
According to Gibson, Jesus freed us from the law for at least two reasons. First, so we would not look to it to be made right with God. Second, He freed us from the law in order to allow us to be maximally good. The law, in order to restrain evil, often prevents the full development of good by limiting people’s freedom.
God’s purpose for making us remains the same; He wants us to be His stewards. God didn’t just give us creation. He gave us a job here. In the redemption He allows us to carry out the job. We are to bear God’s image in his creation as His stewards. It was our job before the fall, after it, and it will be our job in Heaven. We own nothing, but govern everything.
Think of what a steward does. A steward uses his judgment to invest and govern the master’s affairs and is free to do so as long as what he does furthers his master’s goals and is done according to the master’s ethics. A faithful steward only honors his master and doesn’t worry about the opinions of others or even his own desires.
Ultimately, as Christians we are to be guided by God’s character and purposes. We are not helpless children with no responsibility. We are also not slaves attempting to win approval that has already been freely given. When we give ourselves to God we become fully ourselves, freed from the law not so that we may sin, but freed so that we may do the good work He has prepared in advance for us to do as He conforms us into the image of His Son.