John 8:36 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” TLV
Christian Freedom can be identified as: “A Life Controlled by Truth and Motivated by Love.” It is the result of a growing and developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, who is Truth, with the Word of God, and with the Holy Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of Truth. This is a most wonderful position to be in. It is a life of tremendous liberty and carries the absence of guilt and condemnation. It is a perfect relationship enabling us to have continued growth and development.
Even though this wonderful freedom is available in Jesus, there is also false freedom that must be avoided. This false freedom exists, and, unfortunately, some believers are entrapped by its delusion and deception. This false freedom does not come from heaven but from the pits of hell. Those who practice this illusional freedom are not free but are in bondage of the worst kind. They live a life that is dominated and controlled by lies and motivated by covetousness and lust. This is the exact opposite of the freedom that Jesus brings.
Before we can delve into the needed examination of this subject, we need to be reminded of some truths that are foundational for understanding True and False Freedom. God’s Purpose for Man is Freedom! God’s Method for Freedom is Truth! God’s Revelation of Truth is Jesus Christ! We have addressed these in the past and will again in the near future.
It is or should be the objective and goal of every believer to live in this Freedom which is afforded through a personal relationship with Jesus. It is experiencing the Freedom to be all God would have us be. It is the Freedom to live without condemnation and guilt over past sins and shortcomings. It is Freedom from man-made traditions which have no foundation in the Word of God. It is the Freedom to accept our responsibility in this world and demonstrate and manifest Christlikeness in our every day activities.
The False Freedom of which I speak is detailed in 2 Peter 2. In verses 1-3 we read, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. 3 In their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”
It is beneficial that we consider the words of verses 17-22, “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. The gloom of utter darkness has been reserved for them. 18 For by mouthing grandiosities that amount to nothing, they entice in sensual fleshly passions those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption—for a person is a slave to whatever has overcome him. 20 For if—after escaping the world’s pollutions through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah—they again become entangled in these things and are overcome, the end for them has become worse than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after learning about it, to turn back from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22 What has happened to them confirms the truth of the proverb, “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A scrubbed pig heads right back into the mud.”
I desire to guard against being negative in my exhortation. I want to prevent a fatalistic attitude outlook from arising. But I need to note some specifics. Obviously, the picture painted thus far in the words of 2 Peter 2 is not a pretty one. Yet, it contains things vital to be considered and some specific warnings to be observed.
FALSE TEACHERS TARGET IMMATURE CHRISTIANS.
In verse 18 – “For by mouthing grandiosities that amount to nothing, they entice in sensual fleshly passions those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.” The KJV states it as, “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”
The primary target of False Teachers is New Believers. They seek to lead them into false freedom that becomes bondage and a means of control. There are some specific reasons why this false freedom is dangerous for the believer.
We will deal with that in the next devotional.
God bless you as you pursue the Freedom that is in Christ Jesus and come to know and obey the truth and thereby enjoy God’s True Freedom!