At Issue Index   In Touch Index  July Index   Previous   Next

IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 24


And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free .... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free Indeed. John 8:32-36.

Some years ago a student at a university challenged me concerning my faith. He said, "I would not shackle my mind as you do. I am free. You are bound. You cannot do what you want to do. I can do anything that my heart desires."

What is freedom? First, there is freedom as opposed to necessity to think a certain way. We are all free to think either one way or another. We are not bound to think alike. The Christian faith does not deny us this freedom of thought. It asserts it. Man is indeed free to choose what he will believe.

Second, men speak of freedom as opposed to authority. Christianity comes with an offer of freedom, yet with a claim of authority. In life both freedom and authority come together. Everywhere in life we submit to authority. No man begins from scratch to start over again in the sphere of medicine, science, mechanics, or any other profession. The more free we are in our judgments and decisions, the more readily we submit to authority. God comes with authority: "Thus saith the Lord." He submits to our judgment and free thought His reasons why we should believe and build our lives on the truth He gives to us.

Third, men also speak of freedom as opposed to responsibility. This is where the shoe pinches, where the opposition and enmity of men arise. God offers us freedom. He is sovereign. But man is responsible. Freedom is possible only through harmony between God and ourselves.

In the natural world, does freedom from natural law allow freedom from responsibility? Let any man think that water does not drown, that fire does not burn, that sin does not bring disease and death. These laws that govern life will not change by a hair's breadth. We disobey them at our peril.

A man is not free who cannot stop sinning. Transgression of God's law in the name of freedom will not work because it is not true. We cannot say, "I will be free but not through Christ." We cannot free ourselves, else the Son would never have come to free us. We can be free only by the truth as it is in Jesus.

At Issue Index   In Touch Index  July Index   Previous   Next