faithhub.net
Paul Talks About a Deeper, Defining Kind of Freedom
“Although I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win over as many as possible” (1 Cor. 9:19). With this passage we encounter, not the philosophical understanding of freedom, that is, a freedom from restraint of any kind, but the more profound and, yes, paradoxical, theological understanding of freedom. He is talking about the freedom that comes with the decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Let’s explore this. We, more often than not, think of freedom in the former sense, that is, freedom from any kind of restraints, physical, social, or legal. To be free is one of the most primal drives of the human being. It is a fact that we most commonly think of freedom in political, social, or economic terms. Yet, history is full of stories of oppression and the need to be free. The struggle for freedom can be seen throughout history, from the Exodus story of the Jews, to the present, in every corner of the world. History is also replete with crimes against humanity, like all forms of oppression, genocide, slavery, and unjust wars. And, in every case, those who did those things felt themselves “free” to do so because they had the political, economic, or military might to do so. In other words, humanity has abused the divine gift of freedom more often than it has used it in its proper sense. But Paul is talking about a deeper, more humanly defining kind of freedom in this passage. He is talking about the very image of God that each one of us were made in. This is where we encounter the paradox of our divinely created humanity. We have been made perfectly free. We are free to choose between right and wrong…