“Freedom in Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:19)

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Today, I would like to talk about freedom in Christ. In order to understand freedom in Christ, we need to take a look at the concept of freedom. In particular, we have to deal with “freedom from what?”

The most free being in this universe is Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. He is God. Because Jesus is God, He freely thinks, freely speaks, and freely acts within the mysterious unity of the Trinity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus truly knows freedom, joyfully enjoys it, and loudly proclaims it.

Jesus is free. Nobody can stop him from doing what He pleases. Slaves cannot save slaves. Only free people can save slaves. That’s why He has set us free from the bondage of slavery.

1, Before being liberated by the precious blood shed on the cross, we were slaves of sin. We were liberated from sin.
2, Before being born again of the Spirit and receiving new life by the Spirit, we were slaves of death. We were liberated from death.
3, Before becoming the children of God, we were slaves of Satan. We were liberated from Satan.
4, Before becoming the citizens of Heaven, we were going to Hell. We were liberated from Hell.

We were liberated from what? Freedom from what? Sin, death, Satan and Hell. Brothers and sisters, you are set free from sin. Brothers and sisters, you are set free from death. Brothers and sisters, you are set free from Satan. Brothers and sisters, you are set free from Hell.

As we all know, “freedom is not free.” “There is no free lunch.” In order to live a free life, one must pay a price. Back in the time of Jesus, slaves could buy their freedom if they had enough money. By paying the price, they could become free individuals.

Modern people are developing science and technology to gain more freedom and enjoy it. Believing that they can achieve more freedom by becoming rich, they work hard day and night. However, sadly, genuine freedom cannot be attained through our efforts, strength, or abilities. Even if we are liberated from labor through the development of science and technology, genuine freedom cannot be acquired.

Genuine freedom is not something that can be purchased with money. Becoming a true free person is not achieved by machines or AI replacing labor and leaving us with nothing to do. If being rich could make one a true free person, then all the rich people in the world would be free individuals. Bill Gates and George Soros would also be free individuals. However, they are not truly free.

Then how can we truly obtain genuine freedom? When we read the Old Testament, we can notice that a payment known as the “blood of the righteous” is needed in order to be liberated from the slavery of sin. In fact, we receive genuine freedom as a gift through the blood of the righteous.

But, the problem is the fact that there is no righteous person in this world.There is no one who can keep all 613 laws of the Old Testament, act justly, and maintain right, pure, and perfect relationships with God, other people, and the created world, without ever committing sin.

Fortunately, Jesus, the Son of God came to this earth as a human. Jesus was born without sin, lived as a righteous person until the age of 33, and then willingly went to the cross to save us from sin, death, Satan, hell, and most importantly, from the wrath of God. Amazingly, each one of us has become a free person through the blood of Jesus, So, we must never again become slaves to sin and slaves to Satan. So, we must never again become slaves of money and slaves of human beings. Jesus bought us with His precious blood. We were bought at a price.

Brothers and sisters, where can we find people who understand freedom better than us Christians? We are well aware that the truth has set us free(John 8:32).

Brothers and sisters, where can you find people who can think and act freely like us Christians? We know very well that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). We Christians are people who have completely abandoned a slave mentality. As Christians, we enjoy the privilege of being free, but we also fulfill responsibilities and obligations. Where can you find people who enjoy more freedom than us Christians? Where can you find people as cool, confident, and charismatic as free people like Christians.

However, we Christians, even though we are free, choose to limit our freedom and voluntarily become slaves of Jesus. We have decided to live as servants of Jesus.

Martin Luther defined a Christian as follows: “A Christian is a free lord over all and subject to none. A Christian is a dutiful servant in all things and subject to everyone.”

The apostle Paul was also a Christian… Therefore, he was both a free man and a servant of Christ. The apostle Paul lived as a servant to both believers and unbelievers.

In today’s passage, Apostle Paul is saying that “he is free and belongs to no one.”

The apostle Paul knew what genuine freedom in Christ was. He also experienced and enjoyed freedom. He treated everyone he met as a human being. In other words, he treated the other person as a free person like himself. He did not make or treat people as his spiritual slaves, intellectual slaves, psychological slaves, and economic slaves.

Although most people who lived at that time were lower than him in all aspects(spiritually, mentally, academically, and so on), Paul did not ignore or belittle them. Rather than treating the other person as a servant, taking advantage of them, or using them as a means to achieve one’s own goals, Paul served them. In fact, he made himself a slave to everyone.

With the spiritual authority of an apostle, and with his spiritual and intellectual powers, Paul did not try to make people his disciples or his servants. Rather, Paul wanted everyone to be free in Christ just as he was free.

Paul was exceptional in every way, in particular, spiritually and intellectually. And he was a free man. Nevertheless, Paul chose to become a servant to everyone by himself. Why? Why did he make such a stupid choice? It was to save as many people as possible. The apostle Paul realized that it was more valuable to use his freedom to lead people to Jesus than to selfishly use it.

Just as Jesus, the God, emptied himself into a human being, the form of a servant, wanted to save all humanity, Paul wanted to be a servant to everyone and save as many people as possible.

Brothers and sisters! You have been freed from the slavery of sin, death and Satan. You are free men. But use your freedom for the kingdom of God. May you be a servant of Jesus voluntarily. May you be a servant to everyone voluntarily, just like the apostle Paul. Why? In order to save as many people as possible.

Brothers and sisters! You are free men in Christ. I hope you enjoy your freedom to the fullest in the Lord. But I also pray that you serve your neighbors in order to save as many people as possible, like the apostle Paul.

Let us pray.

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