2 Corinthians 3:17 - True Freedom.
2Co3:17: True Freedom.
2 Cor 3:17 (KJV) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Cor 3:17 (NIV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Freedom appears to those who experience God's Spirit in their
lives. Those who experience the presence of the Spirit also are being
transformed into the likeness of the full presence of God within them.... To
turn to Christ and the way of faith is to have the Spirit. To know
Christ is to know the Spirit. To have Christ is to have the Spirit.
Salvation and the gift of the Spirit are inseparable expressions of grace.
By His gifts of life and freedom, the Spirit transforms Christians
into the kind of person Jesus was. We share the glorious life of
Jesus, who never was enslaved by the law but served God freely and in
love. That glory of Christ increases in Christians as we progress in
the experience of freedom and life which is given by Christ and by
the Spirit. Being freed from the law could suggest lack of concern
about moral character. This is the opposite of the truth. Paul felt
morality could not come by the law, but only as a gift of the Spirit....
Saved persons are being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Our
transformation will become complete at the resurrection. [Disciple SB]
In and of itself the ministration of the "letter" engraved on
tables of stone has no power whatever to convert sinners and to give
liberty. It is the Son who alone can make men "free indeed" (John 8:36).
The liberty of the Spirit is that of a new life which can always be
allowed free and natural expression for the simple reason that when a
man is born again his supreme desire is that the will of God be made
effective in him. God's law written upon the heart (see on 2 Cor. 3:3)
frees him from all forms of external compulsion. He chooses to do
right, not because the "letter" of the law forbids him to do wrong, but
because the "spirit" of the law, engraved in his heart, leads him to
choose the right. The indwelling Spirit so controls his will and
affections that he desires what is right, and is free to follow the truth
as it is in Jesus. He consents that the law is good, and delights
"in the law of God after the inward man" (Rom. 7:22; cf. Ps. 1:2).
Land of the Free
I sat in the dining area, paperwork spread out before me, as our
three young children marched in circles around me and through the
living room. Our son, David, had a tape of patriotic songs they were
attempting to learn.
As they marched, I laughed with them-until they came to the part
of our national anthem that says "the land of the free and the home
of the brave." My eyes began to water as I tried to explain "the
land of the free" to the children. We had been studying other
countries, and I thought of all those who have never known a "land of the
free." I thought of those who have known freedoms and have lost them,
and my mind hung on thoughts of the freedoms that seem to be
slipping away around the world.
How can we justify the freedoms not extended, the pain caused
when freedoms are stripped away? Surely God never meant for us to be
subjected to the selfish whims of other people! He never meant for us to
be bigoted, fighting, murdering, warring, imprisoned by sinful
habits. I turned back to the children and their innocent march as they
whirled around the room, shouting those words. My thoughts wandered,
searching for an answer before resting on "God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed
away. . . . Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:4, 5, NKJV).
Here was my answer. A smile crept onto my face and the lines of
sorrow softened. There is a "land of the free" available to everyone!
No matter what kinds of slavery or imprisonment we have endured
here on earth, God offers eternity in freedom. I admitted to God
right then my slavery to things of this world, my sorrow over freedoms
lost to humans everywhere, and thanked Him for an invitation to
heaven, land of the truly free. I stood and joined the children's happy
march, placing my confidence in God's land of the free, remembering
that as long as I had God's Spirit within me, I would always be free.
--Dava Benton White http://www.adventist.org/devotionals/