Freedom… Much is made of this idea, and especially recently. Legally it is the state of being at liberty rather than confined to restraints. Personally (both physically and mentally) it speaks of liberty as opposed to bondage and slavery. Socially it can have to do with the freedom from any external controls to speak one’s mind or freedom from external control in one’s actions. Politically it speaks of civil liberties that are opposed to despot dictators or governments. Yet, today, an all-encompassing popular definition for freedom could be that “we are free to do whatever we want or see fit.” But if that were true, wouldn’t our freedom infringe at some point on another’s? The United States, arguably the freest country in the world, is a country of laws designed to protect freedom (originally). If a country of laws, then how is it free according to the popular definition? And if freedom is to be “lawless,” how is it really freedom?
When we speak of freedom without a context it always, in reality, concerns our own sake. Like anything else the idea of freedom can be manipulated and perverted. The proper context for freedom is not found in the idea of lawless, but “without law.” Against freedom there is no just law which can ever find it guilty or limited. This context, though rarely mentioned, is the original intent for the idea of freedom. Freedom, first and foremost, is a benefit of grace (for without grace, generally speaking, there is no such thing as freedom). The source of freedom and, therefore, the idea of freedom is from the mind of God; the benefactor of grace.
Biblically, the idea of freedom is to be without religious regulations or restrictions of the Law; it is to be without the Law of Sin and Death; it is without the present Law of Corruption. Never do we find freedom as a license to serve our own selfish desires. In fact, manipulating and perverting freedom to be an excuse to do “whatever we want or see fit” is to again be accused by the Law; it is to again become subject to the Law of Sin and Death; it is the self-expression of the Law of Corruption. Do not confuse rebellion with freedom.
Logically, if freedom is the ability to do “whatever I want or see fit,” then the necessary conclusion is the eventual robbery of another’s freedom. Lawlessness is not a respecter of others and, therefore, is not in fact the state of being free; but, in all actuality, is only slavery to the desires and passions of the self; while attempting to force said freedom of the one onto all others. However, if freedom is the state of being without law, then it is bound by no necessary law (there are no just laws withstanding freedom); it respects all others, and is limitless in its scope and intentions for others. Freedom is not free. It entails sacrifice and suffering.