Developing a Biblical Worldview – Personal Freedom

Currently, many self-identified Christians are publicly voicing their objections to Covid vaccinations and government mandates designed to protect community wellbeing. I do not identify with the worldview expressed by these objections. I prefer to live from a biblical worldview which is pro-science and pro-government. In a previous blog, I detailed my pro-science biblical worldview. In this writing, I will address the issue of freedom.

https://garymccreithblog.com/2021/09/29/developing-a-biblical-worldview-worldview-footings-the-case-for-vaccines/

Not exactly guffaw producing but deserving a smirk is my observation of the link between objections to government mandates and Eve’s original sin. Eve was the first human being on record who defied a mandate from a legitimate governing authority.

True freedom is rooted in the graces of God. God’s graces enable a quality of life characterized by rest. Sabbath rest as a quality of life is God’s desire for humanity. Sabbath rest is a vital component of the abundant life available in Jesus Christ. One of the manifestations of Sabbath rest is a condition known as flow. Flow is a topic for another occasion. A summary must suffice for now.

Below are three keys for living in the flow!

1. Achieve control over the contents of your consciousness.

This text is a helpful resource for understanding the concept of flow:

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.

Mihaly writes, “So how can we reach this elusive goal that cannot be attained by a direct route? My studies of the past quarter-century have convinced me that there is a way. It is a circuitous path that begins with achieving control over the contents of our consciousness.”

“Because optimal experience depends on the ability to control what happens in consciousness moment by moment, each person has to achieve it on the basis of his own individual efforts and creativity.”

(pp. 5, 2, emphasis mine)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)

2. Practice living IN the graces of God.

A1BCAE41-5202-4296-936B-3B2811080309God’s graces enable a lifestyle of rest. Heavenly graces are liquid. These graces flow and contribute to our sense of flow. A personal relationship with the Spirit enables flow. It is notable that of the nine emblems of the Spirit presented in Scripture: (dove, wind, water, wine, oil, fire, seal, fruit, sword), five connote the concept of flow (dove, wind, water, wine, oil)

The other images are also related to the concept of Sabbath rest.

1F29A880-FB1F-41A4-AB62-692DBA14020C_4_5005_cThe emblem seal signifies resting in a secure relationship.

“who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:22)

D17E539C-9A27-473D-A2CE-A321B55CA188_1_105_c Fire emblematically symbolizes both external and internal Sabbath rest realities.

Externally“A fire goes before Him, And burns up His enemies round about.” (Psalm 97:3).                    Internally“Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”               (Isaiah 9:7)

The sword, the weapon of God’s armor, represents the Word of God. God’s Word is a powerful and effective offensive weapon.

“. . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (Ephesians 6:17)

C7E47ADA-8B48-44F2-BB37-4FCFC7ACA7AF_1_105_c

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Trees do not strive to produce their fruit. The fruit grows and ripens by simply abiding in the branch.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this, My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”          (John 15:4–11)

AE9C3E6F-3148-467A-8FC3-01FE5B886E0A

The third key for living in the flow is:

3. Extending the graces to others.

4D15CADF-DB48-494F-BFEE-EBD585C85DBC_4_5005_c“So all bore witness to Him and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”      (Luke 4:22)

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.” (Matthew 15:18)

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

When I think of freedom, I tend to think about spiritual, mental, and emotional context first and then the physical context.

E05D8755-1779-48D0-BAC4-64CE6248EF1BFreedom is a grace of God, a heavenly endowment that frees the human spirit and soul to thrive. The grace of freedom allows the other graces of God to flow freely even amid contrary circumstances.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2–3)

True freedom is one of God’s graces.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”                       (2 Corinthians 3:17)

“And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage)” (Galatians 2:4)

God’s purposes for imparting His graces:

1. For Jesus’ Disciples to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”           (2 Corinthians 3:18)

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, restore, invigorate, stabilize, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

2. For the Body of Christ to become Christlike.

“But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift . . . for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:7,12-13)

God’s Graces come with instructions.

“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all, the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13–14)

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:16–17)

God’s Graces empowers service to others, especially to the “least-of-these.”

5458EB08-81FD-4647-ACA9-77AFFB8DC9BD_4_5005_cDisciples of Jesus Christ are releasers of God’s graces. When the grace of freedom is released, that grace can liberate those held in bondage by life circumstances!

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” (Matthew 25:40)

“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all, the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13–14)

“But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty” (1 Corinthians 12:20–23)

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3–4)

“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:25–27)

God’s Graces promote Kingdom growth.

God’s Graces are never restricted by external circumstances, especially by political systems. Historically, the Kingdom of Jesus triumphed in every political system. Even in the most restrictive political system or environment, God’s graces triumph!

IMG_6934“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this, you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1–7)

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:13–17)

 


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