Love and freedom are inextricably connected.
That’s the way God designed it, and the implications are many:
Because He loved us, we are free
“The truth will set you free.” But what is the truth? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The truth is revealed by the loving character and actions of our Lord. That’s how He gives us freedom.
“Why do the innocent suffer? Because of love. God designed love to be based on our free will. He didn’t want to be loved out of fear, or out of compliance. He wanted to be loved out of gratitude. But love has a price tag. If love is free, then a lover is free to be unloving. Otherwise love is forced. Because we are free to be unloving, many of us have been run over…” –Pg. 71. Safe People by Cloud and Townsend
His love gives us the freedom to truly love others
1 John 4:19 says it concisely: “we love because he first loved us.” The love we have to give, in and of ourselves, is corrupted by our sinful nature. Our natural love is flawed, distorted, and ultimately selfish. But the love of God, instilled in us and flowing through us by the Spirit –that’s perfect. Based in Christ, we are free to truly love others as He intends, in His timing, as His children.
The love of God frees us to be who He made us to be
Sin, as exemplified by Satan’s temptation tactics, tells us that who we are isn’t enough and that we can change who we are in order to be like God. We’re enslaved by the sinful conviction that we must take the place of God in our lives. When we ground our hearts in the love of Christ, we find that, by the grace of God, we are free to be who we are. His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
For God, love meant sacrifice
In the person of Christ, God “Himself bore our sins” (1 Peter 2:24). The Lord who created everything and lives forever died for you and me before rising again. He, in His loving freedom, “gave Himself up.” He laid down His life and presented Himself as the perfect sacrifice. And He did that because of His great love for us. When we love others likewise, we also sacrifice at our own expense.
The Love of God frees us to surrender our lives to him
When Christ died and rose again, we were redeemed. Each of us was “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 7:23). When we love the Lord, we are free to surrender our will and our freedom to Him so that we may gratefully serve Him as an expression and a natural result of that love.
Emulating His love requires that we allow others their freedom
God, in His perfect love, doesn’t force people to obey Him, know Him, or love him. He makes the offer, chooses us, and pursues us. As we love others with the love of Christ we are never to be forceful or manipulative. Instead, we are to be earnest, gracious, patient, kind, honest, and compassionate by respecting others’ freedom in love.
We are Free to Love and Be LovedThe love of God frees us from fear and from the reign of sin. Click To Tweet
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
The intersection of freedom and love serve as a homebase for believers. The two meet at the foot of the cross, and that’s where we’re to start from.
One of our many freedoms is that we can restart anytime in anything, knowing God’s love for us is never lessened.
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