Liberty or Freedom?

2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

1 Peter 2:15-16, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men — as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.”

The Saturday night before Easter Sunday I couldn’t sleep; nothing new really so I laid there and talked to the Lord like I have a tendency to do. I was thanking Him for so many, many blessings I have experienced by His hand in my life and also letting Him know again how sorry I was at all the wasted time when I had sinned or slipped in my journey. Then I started to pray for my brothers and sisters in the Lord especially during this time we are going through together.

I thought of all those all over the world who are being told by their governments to stay indoors out of fear of a flu virus. Some countries even threatening to shoot those who disobey the stay at home orders. I reflected on the different state governments here in the United States that are stretching the envelope of an authoritative government undermining the Constitution even further than they have tried before and I started to think of some brothers and sisters who expressed concerns over the possibility of martial law and maybe losing their freedoms to move about freely.

Then of course I started to think of Peter and of Paul specifically. Paul wrote many of the letters to the different Churches while either in prison or in shackles. Peter was arrested more than once for preaching the truth of the Gospel after being told not too. Yet, the glory of God was still manifested and the Gospel spread. I thought of that area between what the Bible guarantees us as liberty and what man strives for concerning freedom. For a long while now, you can ask anyone what the difference is and most likely they will tell you there is no difference. BUT – when you use the Bible as your foundation, even though some modern translations interchange the words, you see there is a BIG difference!

I found this on the internet trying to describe the difference. It was an interesting read, but here is just the opening summary:

Liberty can be described as a right to do whatever pleases. Freedom is often described in context to any type of constraints; it means not constrained by any external obligation or pressure. Liberty deals with the state of being free to do something, whereas freedom is the state of being free from something. However, today they both are also used interchangeably many times.[1]

However, the Bible tells us in the Scripture I provided above, that “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” And, as the Bible is often able to do, it gives us clear statements like that but also gives us spiritual examples, thus, Paul and even Peter in prison. During those times they had lost their freedom to move about and do what they wanted to do, but their liberty, that attribute given to man who has the Spirit of God abiding within, could not be restrained or hindered. With true liberty, there is no fear of man’s punishment or repercussions based on what you do as directed by the Lord.

Man can silence another man by taking his life and thus THINKING he has removed his liberty, but all they did was end a life still abiding IN liberty. Where God’s Spirit abides, liberty ALWAYS is present and another cannot take what God has freely instilled in someone.

I was thinking about what Jesus told His disciples and how it truly does relate to this very principle: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:24-28.

If we truly ARE Jesus Christ’s disciples, then we CAN expect that sometime within our lifetimes, we will be mocked and ridiculed at the very least, and maybe even lose some of our freedom’s based upon the political climate we are living in. In some countries, people do not have anything close to what we enjoy as freedom’s here in America. Don’t think for an instant, and especially with SOME of the leadership we have today that we will be able to maintain all the freedom’s we have come to enjoy. As I stated, state governments are stretching the envelope even now to see how far they can use this flu to force their power-hungry egos upon the American people.

You see, any government eventually gets too big for the people who put its leaders into positions of authority. History has proven this time and time again, but the BIBLE, the ultimate authority on our TRUE rights IN Christ Jesus, lets us see that even though they might be able to TRY and shut us up, they CANNOT, nor ever will be able to change the way we think as long as we continue to abide IN and trust the Holy Spirit within us.

Whenever the enemy tries to quench the Gospel and the Word of God, whether that enemy is the world or the devil, himself, God Almighty Who is STILL Sovereign and sitting on the Heavenly Throne, turns it back on that enemy and uses those situations so that He, God Almighty, may be Glorified! That is true liberty in action! We see it throughout the Scriptures, Old and New Testament alike!

One of my favorite Scriptures, the one that I have taken more or less as my personal banner is found in the Gospel of John and it reads, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24.

God Almighty, our Heavenly Father DESIRES people, His children to worship Him as they ought too, in Spirit and in Truth! Why is this so important? Think about it if you haven’t already. God Almighty, the Creator of ALL, IS Spirit. He is NOT constrained in any way, shape or form to anything that would hinder Him in His Character. He is All-powerful, nothing contains or can contain that power, He is All-knowing, there is no limit to His knowledge and we cannot even begin to comprehend that fact. His is All-present, meaning there is no place, no time that He cannot be. He is Eternal, for there is no beginning (no time constraints) to the past and there is no ending (again no time constraints) to the future. He is Immutable, meaning His Character, His Attributes, His Nature, All that makes Him truly, God Almighty never changes nor ever will change. He will ALWAYS be, all that I just stated above! THAT is why “where His Spirit is, there is liberty!” That is why we will ALWAYS have the ability to WORSHIP Him and there is nothing that can take that away from us. Absolutely NOTHING!

Think about this; as carnal natural creatures, we have already lost some of our freedoms. We ARE constrained. For one thing, we ARE tied to this flesh and our spirits have to fight with that fact daily. If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, dwelling within us, we could not win that fight. But Jesus Christ, has already secured that victory for us! Thus, we have the liberty to have renewed minds and thoughts that are higher than the carnal nature that wants to conquer us. Without the Holy Spirit, our minds and spirits would not be able to rise above the natural and carnal. Again, God’s Spirit, gives us that liberty. Mankind can imprison the flesh, the body, but he cannot even begin to enslave the spiritual man that has been reborn and renewed in Christ Jesus!

This is why the Apostles, Paul and Peter tell us not to use that liberty in the spirit for an occasion to sin. “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14.

Now think about this Scripture Paul gave us. We have been made free, given total liberty to do the impossible; to fulfill the WHOLE law, by loving those around us! We could not accomplish this before Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit giving us the power to accomplish this! Jesus stated that He came to fulfill the Law of which He did on the Cross and at His Resurrection. He sent us His Spirit as promised by the Father to indwell each of us who have accepted that gift and thus the Spirit that fulfilled the Law is indwelling us with power to put that into practice just as Jesus Christ did; by loving those around us. Not JUST the lovable, but the unlovable as well! Again, THAT is liberty! That can NEVER be taken away from us!

My whole point, my whole motive for sharing this, is to encourage and to lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ and to say that no matter HOW circumstances look or even turn out, we have something that cannot be taken away from us, true, spiritual liberty. Not the freedom that man can give or take away, but something that carnal man can never even comprehend. There is no reason to be fear or apprehensive. In Christ Jesus we will ALWAYS be free! In His Spirit we will ALWAYS have liberty, ALWAYS!

Because our liberty is given to us by the very Spirit of God Almighty, we CAN worship Him as He desires us too, without constraint from the flesh OR the natural, in Spirit AND in Truth!! Hallelujah!!

[1] Difference Between | Descriptive Analysis and Comparisons:

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 49+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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