Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:16
Here, at first gloss, is a paradoxical imperative. Live free, but live as servants. How can that be?
One of the more glorious aspects of the message of the Gospel is that it breaks the chains of sin that bind us and sets us free to serve God. In Christ, I am still a servant but have a different Master. Rather than serving sin and the flesh, I am set free to serve Christ. Freed from bare rule following, I become a most willing slave to righteousness.
Jesus frees me to cast off the filthy rags of performancism and then clothes me with the perfect cloak of His own righteousness. I dare not use this cloak as a cover-up for evil. It is far too excellent a garment for such contemptible use as that. (Shall I continue in sin that grace may abound? May it never be!)
There is no freedom apart from Christ. Write that truth on my heart, Lord! To be a slave to sin is to be free from righteousness. To be a slave to righteousness is to be free from sin. Because of Christ, and of no merit of my own, I am that willing slave to righteousness and find all the more joy in it.
May gazing at the beauty of Christ’s perfect and complete work on my behalf move me to cheerfully lay aside my own rights and puny pleasures in exchange for the freedom of willing servitude and a heart that delights in completely surrendering to Him. Let the Gospel rule in my heart and mind so that I may clearly see and by faith accept that it is finished, there is nothing more I can do to either gain or maintain my right standing and from that vantage point know real liberty.
May the will of God constrain me, and may the will of God set me free.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel