Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. (1 Peter 2:16)
It’s the great paradox of Christian freedom that those who are most free, choose to live as obedient slaves of God. Understanding this is critical to a rich and expanding faith.
We are truly free. We have been released from spiritual ignorance and darkness. All our sins forgiven. All debts to God cancelled. Our future in Christ’s kingdom assured. We have received the Holy Spirt as a sign and seal of that freedom.
And yet, Peter urges, we are to live as God slaves. Our obedience to God is not compelled but chosen. Having been set free, we choose to follow as fully as we can the one who set us free.”
What does that mean? The words in our verse between “free” and “slaves” explain. We are never to misuse this freedom as an excuse for doing evil. The positive implication is that we are to use our freedom responsibly to do good.
Responsible use of freedom is one of the most profound principles of Christian living, indeed of all life. We are free, uncompelled, to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength. We are free to love others as ourselves. Jesus said, “I have come to set the captives free.” He meant just that.
Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ often said, “I am a slave by choice of Jesus Christ.” Free to choose. Free indeed. Free!