Drinking Deeply

Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 10:14 PM

Defining "free"

Ok, so the post I've been sort of planning for a week or two. I'm not going to go through every single verse I'm presenting here, but if someone requests I can. They should be read in context, but the context doesn't change their universal truths.

A couple biblical definitions of the word "free."

1) Freewill offerings - offerings that were not obligatory in the OT Law. This does not include tithing or sin offerings. In this case freewill offerings are given free from the moral obligations of the law.
Exodus 35

All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD.
2) free from sin (or free from righteousness)- A release from bondage. No longer considered a slave, but free. A slave was bound to his master. As we were slaves to sin, we were bound to sin, and sin reigned in our bodies.
John 8

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"

34Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave[b] to sin. 35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

Prior to our conversion, we were indeed free. We were free from righteousness and a slave to sin. Our minds were set on the flesh and we were unable to please God.
Romans 6

20When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Romans 8

7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 14

23But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Hebrews 11

6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Finally, there is the "free-will" that is spoken of by Arminians and Calvinists.

Eh, I'm tired. I'll cover that tomorrow.

Vincent Cheung - Freewill Offerings

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Blogger Jennifer Huang said...

I thought I posted. In any case, please do make good on your explanation of free-will. I was looking forward to that.

I also had a second question for you. I know that recently you've been very excited about the fact that God speaks through knowledge and truth and ideas to reform our mind. What of the fact that the Word is made incarnate, the sacraments in which the physical (bread, wine, baptismal water) seem to posseses a sanctifying power in and of themselves? What is the place of the physical in our faith?  


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