2 Peter 2; Jeremiah 43-44; Psalm 140
Freedom. What a beautiful concept. In theory, if we all had complete freedom the world would be a better place. We could do whatever we want. There would be no consequences for our actions. Everyone would get along and not bother other people. In political science we begin learning from day 1 that my freedom to swing my arm ends where your nose begins. And soon we realize that freedom must be tempered by our relationships with other people.
Peter dealt with people who were offering “freedom.” “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” Those words ring so true today. People sneer at the idea of limits and talk about living in “freedom” when really that freedom is nothing more than the ability to live how they want without thinking of others. They would make others captive to their own desires so that they can enjoy their “freedom” which is nothing more than indulging their own depravity. So many of the “freedoms” these people trumpet leave a battlefield of broken and scarred lives; and they don’t realize that they themselves have become victims. In truth, they don’t understand freedom – they indulge in licentiousness and depravity to their own detriment and their own captivity. Like drug addicts they celebrate the joy of their depravity not realizing that they have become addicted to the activities that lead to their own destruction.
A Biblical understanding of freedom involves recognizing who we are in God’s Kingdom. It means that we recognize our past sin and place ourselves in God’s hands. It means salvation because of the death of Jesus Christ and a commitment to living in God’s way. Many outside the church, and perhaps inside the church don’t consider this freedom yet they are chained to the master they have chosen. Who has mastered you? Peter would say, and I agree, that we need to let God be our master. If we listen to the voice of our master then, we are truly free.