“A Christian is a free lord of all and subject to no one. A Christian is a ministering servant of all and subject to everyone.”
In 1520, Martin Luther wrote a tract entitled “On the Freedom of the Christian.” This was partly in response to being issued a papal bull (a formal document written under the authority of the Pope) to stop and desist his writings and preaching.
In this tract he wrote this somewhat contradictory statement. But what may seem contradictory can be explained in the person of Jesus Christ. Though He was free from sin and death, He bound Himself to the law of condemnation as a servant to others so that they too might be free from sin and death. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
Paul took on this attitude also. From 1 Corinthians 9:19, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” Paul, like us, achieved true freedom in Christ, (freedom from death, freedom from judgement, freedom from condemnation) and used that freedom to be a servant to others so that they might be brought from the slavery of sin to the freedom found through faith.
We too are called to cherish our freedom under Christ yet follow the call to serve those who find themselves under the yoke of slavery because of sin. Scripture makes it clear, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:4-8).
Through faith in Christ, you too have been made truly free, because true freedom can only be found in Christ. His sacrifice paved the way to heaven, free from the hazards that come from sinful slavery. That freedom is yours to claim. Now what will you do with it?
In your prayers today, thank God for both the freedom He has given you through His Son and for the chance to serve Him by telling others how they may find true freedom as well. Then use the freedom you have been given to make a kingdom difference by serving those who yearn for something greater than the world can give.
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for making us free. Though the devil tries to enslave us with the shiny things of the world, help us to resist his efforts so that we might prepare ourselves for greater things in eternity. Amen.