So many ask, is the freedom of following God, really freedom? Many think of the scriptures as a list of "do's and don'ts" and they don't really see how this is freedom.
But they aren't really "restrictions" - back during the OT, yes they were law, solid, must follow - not freedom. But through Christ's death on the cross we were saved from the law (along with our sin) and following Christ's covenant is freedom. The covenant is there to guide you down the right path so you will be free...
Our pastor used two really great examples this past Sunday that I wanted to share... One was financial freedom. He grew up hearing about paying his tithe, saving a portion of his money, and then living off the rest... he chose to abide by this - yes there were times it didn't feel like freedom because his friends had more money than him because they weren't giving 10% to the church, or 10% to savings, etc, plus they weren't just living off 100%, then were living off 110, 120 or even 150% with the use of credit cards.... But once he got older, he realized how blessed he'd been by trusting in God. He may not be rolling in the dough, but he has a pretty good life, and is also not in debt (how many of us know debt? Is that freedom???) This one hit home because I've recently devised a plan to get 100% out of debt, pay our tithe, and to live within our means... (this Sunday's sermon was confirmation for me that God is behind it, yet again!) But when we weren't paying our tithe, we were saving some, but we were also in debt up to our eyeballs... struggling to pay off credit cards every month in addition to the mortgage and car payments. In 2 years (maybe less because God is working) we'll be debt free and even with paying our tithe we'll have more money left at the end of the month than we've ever had in our entire lives.
The next example really tugged on my heart. He talked about following the covenant of Christ about not having promiscuous sex before marriage. About how there are some of us (guilty party here) who have had sex with more than one partner before marriage, because it was fun, felt good - felt like freedom! But once you get past that stage of life, have settled down and are married with a family, and you look back - does it really look like freedom? It sure doesn't to me... it looks like mistakes and regret... and it feels like chains tugging on and tying down my heart instead of letting it love freely without the haunting of the past relationships that just ended up hurting. How much more free I would feel if I would have waited for the right person, the one I would marry. So my conclusion is that yes, God's freedom through Christ, is freedom. He will free you from your chains because through faith in him you are forgiven for your past transgressions.
Anyways, I just wanted to share what I've learned this weekend - because I've just started reading in Romans and other NT passages about the freedom we have through Christ - and I also wondered, is this really freedom? But God answered my question this Sunday! God is good.. ALL THE TIME!