Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God. 1 Peter 2:16 NABRE
The First Letter of Peter written to communities in what is modern day Turkey is intended to teach them how to be members of God’s Kingdom, relate to others with their new identity of Christian and be ready to undergo persecution for the Kingdom. They have a new identity in Christ and they should reflect this new identity first. In the section which includes the quoted verse Peter teaches members of Christ family how they should live as citizens, members of a household who are slaves and wives to husbands. We see that through Christ we have freedom, no matter who is in authority over us; government, bosses and leaders of a household. Paul spoke similarly in Galatians 5:13 “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather serve one another through love.” We should use our freedom not to do whatever we wish, but rather to give our life to God. To become slaves for God and do God’s will always and in everything. This means do good for others, following civil authority, listen to those in charge and trusting in God completely. Many who heard Peter’s words were actually slaves to human masters, so they would be challenged by his suggestion to take their freedom and become slaves.
Using our freedom to help others, in a way becoming a slave to others interest and needs, is the message Peter challenges us to follow. We have freedom and can do as we wish, therefore doing God’s will makes our sacrifice and giving so much more loving. Choosing to help because we are disciples demonstrates our faith and our love for God.
How do you use your freedom? In what ways can you become more slavish in your following of God? Are you comfortable being a slave?We have freedom and can do as we wish, therefore doing God’s will makes our sacrifice and giving so much more loving. Choosing to help because we are disciples demonstrates our faith and our love for God. Click To Tweet
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