american-freedom

As citizens of the United States we have been thoroughly and effectively indoctrinated that every human being has been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” These rights include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence).  These are our legal rights.

The challenge for responsible citizens of this great country is to not abuse our personal liberties. Laws are written and enforced toward this end; however, the only enduring check on this unprecedented grant of freedom is the personal integrity, character, and responsibility of each citizen. Our freedom creates a moral obligation.

As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we have also been granted unprecedented freedom in Christ. Here again we must be careful to never abuse our freedom. What surprises most who carefully examine the New Covenant is that God does not appeal to law to hold us in check; instead He appeals to love and moral obligation.

In this free country you are able to enjoy life pretty much as you please. The only thing that your government demands of you is that you not break its laws or injure your neighbor—live and let live. Your freedom in the Kingdom of God, on the other hand, was designed to provoke a specific response from you. God did what He did for you in order to create deep within you a desire to “glorify God in your body.” Morally speaking, we do not belong to ourselves. Since He bought our freedom with a very high price we are indebted to Him, are we not?

As American citizens we argue the abortion issue in terms of “the right to choose” versus “the right to life.” I wonder how the texture of this debate might change within the Kingdom if we couched it in more appropriate terms. The issue is not about the right of any human being to do anything. The issue is about the sovereignty of God Almighty and about His right to determine what should and should not happen in the world that He created. How much more is God entitled to call the shots now that He has fully revealed His true character by dying on a cross?

He has always had the legal right to rule because He is the Creator. He now has the moral right to rule because He is the Suffering Redeemer. Therefore, as the church of Christ we willingly submit to Him as our Lord and King—because of who He is as well as because of what He has done for us.

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