Monday, April 9, 2012

Those Now Raised Are Free

Many manner of things would, and indeed do, enslave us within this life; those things we are bonded to besides a dependence on God, alone. Yet, a great paradox is wrapped up in much of this, because we are so apt to confuse freedom for slavery. Because of guilt, or some warped sense of shame, and perhaps a little lack of self-control, we view as slavery those things we are free to do.
The apostle Paul went to great lengths, in his letter to the Galatians, to expound freedom; a freedom in grace beyond the yoke of slavery we so easily fall back into:
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
~Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)
The day after Resurrection Sunday is the precipice upon which we may freshly understand: those, each of us, now raised are free.
Enjoying The Open Life
The open life, that copious abundance ever before us, the one with bounteous blessing, presents itself today, afresh, for our fundamental enjoyment. This is not a world entrapped of sin; that limited, negative world. This is a world full of hope and purpose and meaning and potential. The open life is the world of virtue and this world is bigger, strangely enough, than the world of vice.
It’s not our natural inclination to see this way, however. We need different lenses.
The problem we face, which is the problem we’ve always faced, is we see so much of what we cannot do—what, by law or conscience, we’re not allowed to do. But, just as equally, there is vision of the copious abundance of the things we can do; things we can rightly enjoy.
Take the Vista. Imagine overlooking a great misty lake, a sunset, or a quiet starry night. Such a view is free. It’s a metaphor for the open life. And the open life has God’s blessing resting upon it.
The skill of the open life is our decree of focus. Our opportunity is to focus on freedom, not slavery. Our focus is the opportunity to enjoy, not loath. Our opportunity is what we focus on—that bringing death or that bringing life. God loves us so much he gives us the choice. With our logical minds we superintend the choice. We choose for freedom over slavery.
When we’re raised in Christ, redeemed from death to sin, freed from the yoke of slavery, we’re saved forever more. There’s no need to look back. Instead we enjoy this copiously abundant open life. We enjoy it with God’s blessing.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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