Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. -John 8:31-36 KJV
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. -2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV
These days, we’ve been hearing an awful lot about “freedom” and “liberty.” Quite a bit of the talk seems to be centered around the controversy surrounding public health officials’ admonitions to wear face masks in public spaces to help ward off the spread of COVID-19. Mixed messaging is leaving many people confused and unsure. To wear a mask, or not to wear a mask; that seems to be the question for some.
From what I can gather, many of the folks who object to wearing masks in public spaces do so because they believe their personal rights are being infringed upon. “We’re Americans! We’re free!” they exclaim.
Sound familiar? Reminds me of the words spoken by Jewish leaders bitterly opposing Jesus’ words concerning freedom. They refused to ask God to open their hearts and minds in order to understand the Lord’s words, and concentrated their energies on rejecting Him and refusing to listen to what He had to say. As a result, they missed the “big picture” of the reality of spiritual freedom because they were too busy focusing on their own fleshly views regarding freedom.
Today’s members of the “I refuse to wear a mask” crowd is no different. By selfishly declining to focus on the “big picture” importance of the public health and safety of all members of the community, those pushing for their “right” to not wear a mask place others—particularly those most at-risk of COVID-19—in greater danger of contracting the disease.
When we examine Jesus’ words, we’re able to comprehend His life-changing statutes of genuine freedom. Seeking to live your life your own way, on your own terms and apart from God doesn’t bring freedom. Quite the contrary! A selfish, self-centered lifestyle ignoring the salvation Christ offers leads to bondage to sin—and ultimately, spiritual death.
On the other hand, when we commit our lives to Christ and trust Him to define our divinely given purpose, we experience true freedom. Why? Because when we come into obedience and alignment with God’s word, we can rest assured we’re living in the Lord’s perfect will for our lives. The words He speaks to us are Spirit, and they are life (John 6:63). His words are the true statutes of liberty!