Friday: Further Thought – Freedom In Christ

Further Thought: “Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the nonperformance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun.

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Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn.

“The labor of love springs from the work of faith. Bible religion means constant work. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of [H]is good pleasure.’ We are to be zealous of good works; be careful to maintain good works. And the true Witness says, ‘I know thy works.’

“While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves ensure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity (MS 16, 1890).” — Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1111.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As a class, go over your answers to the last question from Thursday’s study. Which option did most people find easier, and why? What important truths does your answer suggest to you about what it means to fulfill the law?
  2. Paul says that faith “works” through love. What does he mean?
  3. Examine the idea of seeking to use your freedom in Christ to indulge in sin. Why is that so easy to do? When, however, people think that way, what trap are they falling into? (See 1 John 3:8.)

Summary: Freedom is one of Paul’s favorite words for defining the gospel. It includes both what Christ has done for us in freeing us from bondage to the world and also how we are called to live the Christian life. We need to be careful, however, that our liberty does not fall prey either to legalism or licentiousness. Christ did not set us free so that we could serve ourselves, but so that we might give our lives in ministry to our neighbors.



Friday: Further Thought – Freedom In Christ — 7 Comments

  1. There is something that subconsciously bothers me as down the years we continue to have to grapple with the issues of legalism vs liberalism vs liberty... I can't help but wonder if the correct/incorrect understanding of these concepts are not actually the issue, but whether a correct/incorrect view or vision of Our Heavenly Father is the real underlying problem? Is this why more than 50 times throughout Scripture God's people are admonished to "Seek Me... seek My Face..."? I have come to believe that the Evil one has made it his job to demonize the character of God so that we cannot grasp His perfect character, His Amazing Grace and Love for us. That Love that, when we behold it, changes us into the same image.
    "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
    freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory,
    are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which
    comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Cor 3:16-18

    • Dear Anne, I guess it happens because this may be natural of us, human beings... We find it necessary to measure ourselves, to check if our actions are right before the rules we accept! And yes, at the end, there is nothing we can really do to be saved but wait in Jesus' Mercy! That's why walking with Him should be enough to fullfill our mission here! If we had total conciousness about God's work in our own lives we wouldn't need Him to change us, right?

      • Happy sabbath, JC. Yes, our human nature does not easily see its true need, does it. But I agree with EGWhite when she says, "The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature... SC 64

      • J.C. What do I do with this, 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV2011)
        5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
        6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
        2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV)
        5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

  2. I do believe that we must not make works peculiar. "Paul says that faith "works" through love." Wouldn't it be better if we said: Paul says that faith works through love. To make a long explination short we can use the word works without the word works always implying salvation by works. Another example: The Holy Spirit will work in us if we put aside self and make room for Him in our hearts.
    The rest of the story: When Paul says that faith works throuh love, he means that it works for him. It works for me.
    Good day.

  3. I almost missed the meat of my little sermon. "Faith which unites us to Christ will stir us to activity. What is that activity? Love thy neighbor as thyself. Mark 12:31.
    "...for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law."
    ROMANS 13:8.


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