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Free to serve?
July 19, 2010
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church of Kingston

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32

We all value our political and physical freedom, but we realize that the freedom which we have received through the merits of Jesus is superior to all other freedoms. It is a freedom which is guaranteed, and there will never have to be another battle to win this freedom.

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13

It is possible for a person to live in the freedom of the political nature, but to be a slave to sin. It is also possible for one to live under an oppressive type of government, but as a free child of God in the grace of our Lord Jesus through faith.

Therefore, in order to maintain this spiritual freedom, it is important to remember that in our spiritual relationship with Jesus, we must continue to abide in His word, which gives unto us both assurance of salvation as well as direction for our daily living.

God has given us precepts and principles to live by. Precepts would be those teachings which He has recorded in His Word, those moral teachings which He commands us to honor and which are according to His will. Principles are given to us in His Word so that we learn his ways and would be guided in holy living by the enlightenment, direction and power of the Holy Spirit.

But knowledge of scripture alone will not empower us to exercise our spiritual liberty rightly, as knowledge must be linked with love. “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” 1 Corinthians 8:1b

The knowledge of God and the love of God are as twins. If we separate truth (our life as Christians) from relationship (salvation through Christ), we may become prideful and lacking in love; or if we separate relationship from truth, we may live self-directed lives, not God-directed lives.

“As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16

“For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion unto the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:16

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

Are we free to serve Him through serving one another by love?