Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)
‘Freedom’ means you have the ability to make a different choice. When Henry Ford rolled his new cars out and said, “You can have any color you want, as long as it is black,” that was not freedom.
Peter’s first readers were oppressed by the state, so you would expect them to be engaged in perpetual conflict. They were exploited at work, so you would expect them to be filled with hatred. They were facing great difficulties at home, so you would expect them to walk out.
But freedom means that you have the ability to make a different choice. Freedom means that you do not have to be caught up in unending conflict, hate your employer, or leave your spouse.
The truth is that without Jesus we do not have nearly as much freedom as we think we do. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” But “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).
Sin is a power. It is like a strong current, carrying us downstream. As long as we are going in the direction of the current, we are not free. Only those who have the ability to swim against the tide are free. Only those who have the power to rise above the natural inclination of the flesh and act in a way that is different are truly free. And Jesus says, “That is precisely what I give to you. When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”
Where have you seen this new ability in yourself, as a Christian, to make a different choice?