1 Peter 2:16 New Living Translation
“For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.”
This sounds like a peculiar verse, in that Christians don’t necessarily see themselves as slaves to anyone after they have been saved. What the Apostle Peter is speaking is that we are not so much slaves in the truest sense of the word, but we have switched masters. Once we were under the control of Satan, whether we realized it or not, now we are under the control of Christ. Once we were under the bondage of sin, now we are free from the weight of that sin. Once we were under Old Testament Law, now we are free men in Christ. This freedom doesn’t allow us to live as we choose, but rather allows us the freedom to serve God.
We are called to live holy and righteous lives and our freedom allows us to do just that. Our focal point has changed. It’s no longer us and the betterment of our lives, it is now seeking the betterment of others as we rest in the knowledge that the Lord will take good care of us as he meets all our needs. If we do as we choose we abuse our liberty and displease the Lord. Christ didn’t die on the cross so we could simply be free of past sins, he died to cleanse us from those sins and give us the great opportunity to serve the One who purchased our freedom.
The word ‘slave’ implies that we are forced in some way to serve God once we have become saved from sin. This isn’t true. We don’t have to serve the Lord. It is not our obligation to do so; however, what has been done for us should compel us to want to serve him. A compulsion is an irresistible impulse to act, in this case on God’s behalf. So use your freedom as an incentive to be God’s hand extended and any other godly act you feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to perform. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!Resources: The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Bible; The Reformation Study Bible and The Asbury Bible Commentary.