Saturday, March 31, 2007

Whither Freedom?

Re-reading a very good book, Truth & Power: The Place of Scripture in the Christian Life by J. I. Packer. Here's an excerpt from the first chapter:

  • ...Christian freedom...has to do with surrendering personal independence as one ceases to fight God. ...The freedom for which we were created is only enjoyed under the authority of God in Christ, and the only way we come under that authority and stay under it is by submitting in faith and obedience to what is in the Bible. The path to true personal freedom under God is acknowledgement of the authority of the Bible and its Christ. The gospel finds us rebels, guilty, lost and hopeless, and leads us for salvation to the feet of Christ, who teaches us to live by Scripture, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Is that a counter-cultural set of statements or what? Freedom, as God has designed it to be experienced and lived out by His human creatures, is in exactly the opposite direction that our natural desires lead us. True freedom as individuals is found not in a complete throwing off of personal accountability and external authority, but rather in turning to Christ in the submission of repentance and experiencing regeneration that results in freedom from the bondage to sin and self. And where do we find this transforming and freedom-giving truth? In the theopneustos (God-breathed) words of Scripture.

As James refers to Scripture, it is the "perfect law of liberty". Didn't Jesus Christ Himself say that if we abide in His word, we are truly His followers, and then we shall know the truth and that truth will make us free?

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