Heather Thomas Van Deren
Principles in Christian Liberty
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
A born-again Christian (John Chptr. 3) has something that no other human has: real freedom; liberty; a true reason to live. In the Bible, John 8:36 says, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” But since this world is full of so many different personality types, and each one of us definitely has our own opinion, how are we to live out that freedom, as Christians? That’s easy, because there are already principles of Christian liberty laid out for us in God’s Holy Word. It would behoove all of us to take some time & read the 14th chapter of Romans.
It has always been a pet peeve of mine; a dislike, you might say – to see Christians adamantly arguing with one another about the “dos & don’ts” of the bible. Or even about “what is going to happen in the last days”. Sure, we are to be studied up on those things so we can live out the life God has called us to live, & to also be able to know (by the signs) the anticipation of Jesus’ 2nd coming, but are those things something to get upset about, disrupt relationships (possibly forever on this earth) & “go down fighting” over? No! Personally, I avoid the practice like the plaque. I know that I am set on this earth to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ – and that is to talk about salvation to a lost world. So if I find myself in a discussion about topics in the bible that are not of a “salvation nature”, I refuse to take the bait. We’re not in a war to see who’s right; we’re in a war to fight Satan’s attempts to take as many souls to hell with him as he can. We are to be Jesus’ hands & feet. We are to exercise the “greatest of these”, which is Love. (1 Cor. 13:13)
Each of us are not on the same level of biblical learning at the same time. So how can we all have the same understanding of God’s Word simultaneously? This is the job of the Holy Spirit, not you or me. Here is a sample of some of the things Paul writes about in Romans Chapter 14, about your freedom in Christ, & how to interact with other brothers or sisters in the Lord: Vs. 1 “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to dispute over doubtful things.” – It’s a waste of time to argue with someone over things that you really don’t know for sure. Why? It just causes division in the body of Christ… Vs. 4 “Who are you to judge another’s servant?” – We make too many things our business, which are really not our business at all… Vs. 5 “Some people think that a certain day is more important than other days, while others think that all days are the same. We each should firmly make up our own minds.” (GNT) – Well THAT’S pretty self-explanatory… And this is just a few verses of Paul's writings. Go ahead, read the whole chapter. I don’t know about you, but his words are definitely a self-check for me.
So the next time you find yourself in a heated debate with another Christian about something you firmly believe about God’s Word, & you see the conversation is NOT going in a good direction, ask yourself: Is this discussion edifying the body of Christ? Re-evaluate your principles of Christian liberty. Always choose love. Always.
Because that’s what Jesus would do.
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