Free or Independent?
The free dictionary defines freedom as “the condition of being free from restraints. The liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression”, whiles independence is defined as “the state or quality of being independent”, (www.thefreedictionary.com).
In the olden days, colonies who do not want to be politically controlled by another country declare independence. This independence is normally associated with the word “freedom”. For example, in Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah famously said that “Ghana your beloved country is free forever” after declaring independence from British rule in 1957. In other words, in the political world, freedom and independence are twin brothers. You can’t talk about one without the other; as such both are used interchangeably most times. Liberty is also synonymously used as freedom.
So in the context of the world, freedom means independence. But, this is where the problem lies, because freedom is not the same as independence in the presence of God. In the dictionary of God, freedom is defined as being “free from sin”, (Romans 6:18, 22). What this means is that when a person becomes a Christian, he is free from sin, but dependent upon God. This is why Paul said that you are “now being made free from sin, and [you] become servants to God”, (Romans 6:22). In other words, being free means that we become servants of God. Peter put this in a better way when he said, “as free, but as servants of God”, (1 Peter 2:16).
The free dictionary defines servant as “one who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another”, (www.thefreedictionary.com).
What does Peter’s statement mean then? It means that though we are free, we are not independent. We recognize God as the supreme ruler who we have to make an account to on the Day of Judgement. Paul in writing to the Galatians said “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”, (Galatians 5:1). In other words, the Bible is telling us that we should no longer live under sin; sin in the context of God and not in the context of man. Being free means that we should detest what God detests and abhor what God abhors. Being free means that what is abominable to God must be abominable to us.
But the question then is “how does one become free in God”? Well, this answer is simple and straightforward. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”, (John 8:32). Did you just see that? That’s the hidden treasure most people miss. Another person might ask, “What then is the truth”? Well, I am very happy that Jesus did not speak in parables and proverbs all the time. The most important things were spoken in plain words by Him. And the answer to this question is also straightforward. The Bible said, “If the Son [Jesus] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”, (John 8:36). In simple terms, Jesus is the truth and He is the only person who can make us free.
Brethren, I write this article with heaviness of heart. As the Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, (Hosea 4:6); I am saddened that a lot of Christians are living in ignorance today. The word “tolerance” is now being perpetuated by the Devil and it is being embraced by everyone. I’d like to point out that whiles everyone has the right to live, God does not tolerate sin. As such, being his children we cannot tolerate sin and keep living in ignorance.
Finally, brethren, we are set free to serve God and not the world. We are not independent, but dependent on God all the times. Let this truth be ingrained in our hearts and let us not be deceived into tolerating despicable and abominable things such as homosexuality in the name of “tolerance” because God does not tolerate sin. As such we should also not tolerate sin, rather we should live to His Glory in everything; for WE ARE FREE BUT NOT INDEPENDENT!
May the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit with you. Amen!