"I Want To Be Free!"

Brent Lewis
Eau Gall, Florida

The word "freedom" is one of the greatest words ever uttered by the human tongue. All of us cherish it; many have died for it.

Young people today are clamoring for what they call "freedom." They want to be free -- free to "smoke pot," free to practice homosexuality, free to "love" without the sacred bond of marriage, free to tell Mom and Dad to "cool it, Man," and free from any moral restraint whatsoever {which they call "hang-ups"). The whole idea is summed up by their slogan m "we want to do our own thing." Obviously, "freedom" to them means self-indulgence.

Freedom to Do Anything?

No man can have that kind of "freedom" in an ordered society. My freedom to run off with your wife infringes somewhat on your freedom to keep her. My freedom to punch you in the nose encroaches your right to be free from violence. My freedom to tape up your mouth because I do not like what you say violates your freedom of speech.

Obviously what some people call "freedom" is not freedom at all. The person who would run off with your wife, punch you in the nose, and forcibly shut your mouth is undisciplined- and could not be allowed such "freedom" in any society, even a heathen tribe in the wilderness. You see, he cannot (or will not) constrain himself; he is a slave to his own whims, inclinations and compulsions {come to think of it, sounds like he's ready for a straightjacket!). Yet, this is the "freedom" that many in our society want.

Is This What Is Best?

In the history of man, what has often appeared (to some) to be "freedom" has turned out to be slavery. The prodigal son (Luke 15) serves as a good example -- for he wished to be "free" from all the wholesome restraints of home. Thus, he was set free. And to what? A pig pen, where he was dissipated, degraded, filthy and hungry. And this was "freedom?"

In actuality there is no freedom for those who live in self-indulgence -- for they have imprisoned themselves. At the very time they shudder at the thought of obedience to any one or any thing, God's word says they "obey unrighteousness" (Rom. 2:8). (And obedience implies servitude.) Even as they would be of service to no one and no thing, they have become "the servants of sin" (Rom. 6:16-22). They have enslaved themselves to their own passions -- yet they are "free." Paul describes the end result of those in Romans Chapter 1 who "did their own thing" and practiced every form of perverted immorality, and he said this "receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due" (Rom. 1:27). In other words, the reward of their actions -- doing their own thing m was realized in what they had made of themselves. Now they had to live with themselves and they were "hooked" on their own vices. And this was "freedom?"

Surely there is no man who relishes freedom more than I. And yet, ff Romans Chapter 1 is "freedom" -- you can have it. (I wouldn't wish it on you, but if you want it, well, that's a different story.)

True Freedom

But, do you know what? The Christian is the one who is free! Oh, to be sure, there are many things that the world does which he must not and will not do ~ but still, in the deepest sense of the term, he, above all men, is free.

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... Verily, verily, I say unto you, every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.... If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:32, 34, 36).

From What Is The Christian Free?

1. He is free from the curse of materialism (Lk. 12:15; Mt. 6:33).

2. He is free from the awful slavery of self-indulgence {Rom. 1; 6:15-22).

3. He is free from mental anxiety (Mt. 6:25-34).

4. He is free from sin (Rom. 6: 18, 22).

5. He is free from the fear of the world {2 Tim. 1:7; Phil. 1:14; Psa. 23:4; Heb. 13:6; Rev. 2:10).

6. He is free from the power of death (Rom. 8:2, 11; 1 Cor. 15:54-57)

I ask you -- is this not true freedom? God's people are as free from the bondage of the

world today as were the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt after Moses delivered them.

It is as true today as it was in the long ago:

Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea!

Jehovah hath triumphed -- his people are free.

(George Gordon, Lord Byron)


May 28, 1970