2 Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Freedom and Liberty. These ideas are treasured. However, many do not understand how liberty is accomplished and maintained. On one hand there is discretion, and on the other is licentiousness. Liberty is where we apply the one and avoid the other.
Great theologians have debated the freedom of the human will for generations. It is clearly a confusing issue. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not,” said the Apostle Paul (Romans 7:18-23). However, he also told the Corinthians, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The key to the new life is found in those two words: “in Christ.”
Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Following Jesus Christ leads to freedom from sin and the consequences of it. We can follow and serve Him, or we can serve sin, but the two never go together. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:12).
As new creatures, Christ’s disciples have a new lease in life. However, like Paul, we must realize that our fallen flesh struggles against the Spirit. For this reason, we cannot achieve sinlessness in this life. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
Live in Christ for there is liberty.