Slavery Or Freedom

This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Grace

   After 430 years of slavery, the Israelites were finally free from Egypt and the horrible treatment of slave masters. God chose Moses (Exodus 2-3) to be His messenger to Pharoah. It took Pharoah ten lessons (Exodus 7-11) before he finally let God’s people go. They packed up everything they could carry, and even looted the people of Egypt, and set out for the Promised Land of Canaan. Following the Red Sea event, where Pharoah met his final defeat (Exodus 13-14), they are now free, but there is more to freedom…  
   After the song, dance and celebration came the hardship and responsibility, something they were not prepared for.  The wilderness was not easy and Israel continually griped and complained to Moses and Aaron about conditions… (Exodus 15:22-23; 16:3). They even wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt! 
   Slavery at least (the Government) provided them with food and water, and they didn’t have to even think for themselves… they were told what to do. Sure they were beaten if they failed at their jobs… but now the hardship of freedom and responsibilities of freedom, made them long for slavery once again.
   There are two ways to look at this thing called FREEDOM. Freedom is good and bad because it means you have to think and make decisions based on the knowledge of right and wrong. It depends on how bad you want to be free.  
   Some Christians still want a lot of rules and regulations… they have hard a time with the grey areas where decisions and choices must be made. Paul’s greatest battle was with Jewish teachers and Christians who were trying to either enforce or go back to the slavery of the Law (Galatians 4:8-11). The problem was that they were trying to be saved by PERFORMANCE OF LAW KEEPING not by FAITH IN CHRIST.
   The result of going back to law keeping… it takes the joy of the Christian away (Galatians 4:15) and you “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4), since LAW/WORKS and GRACE/FAITH are incompatible. It really is a case where FREEDOM IN CHRIST is at stake.  
   Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Religion which enslaves, and demands performance is a religion of frustration and guilt. You can motivate by both LAW and GRACE, but only one of these brings JOY.
   Yes, freedom in Christ means responsibility to study and think for yourself, and yes there is the possibility of making mistakes… but that is what grace is for. Grace means “unmerited favor”, it means having some “elbow room.” “Elbow room” to grow, make mistakes and get up and try again… not try to BE SAVED, but BECAUSE YOU ARE SAVED. Christians cannot grow under law… but they can grow under grace.
   There is a big difference between ‘going to church’, giving, praying, singing, studying because you HAVE TO and because you WANT TO. Slavery verses freedom…. I’ll take freedom in Christ every time.

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