How can a Christian believe in freedom

freedom

Christians believe that only God gives true freedom.

On the one hand, people have the freedom to make their own decisions for which they are responsible (Gen 3). On the other hand, human life is limited, for example by illness and death. People also reach their limits in other areas of their lives. For example, their knowledge of the world increases, but is still never complete. Many people also fail because of their own desires for peace and justice. The question remains whether people are really complete and free in all things.

Christians believe that only God gives true freedom. Through the love of God, people are freed from their self-centeredness, from their hatred of others, from the fear that life might finally be over at some point. Paul puts it this way: God frees man from “sin and death” (Gal 5: 1; Rom 8: 18–39; Rom 8: 1–11). Because Christians know that God loves them, they become free to love other people and do good. Luther also emphasized this in his doctrine of justification.

There are many stories in the Bible in which God delivers people from suffering and distress. In the Old Testament, for example, in the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The people of Israel can flee from slavery in Egypt. God opens the Red Sea so that they can escape their persecutors (Ex 14.19–31). You end up in the desert and lose old safeguards (the "meat pots of Egypt"). In the desert they receive commandments and laws that make it clear: Freedom always includes an obligation to one's neighbor. According to the Christian view, freedom is always freedom for others. How people describe the feeling of freedom can be found in many psalms, for example in Ps 31: 9.

Jesus especially approached people who were poor, sick or excluded from society. With his actions he wanted to show that God's love can overcome borders between people. For Paul this meant: There are no social differences within the Christian community (Gal 3:28). People become free to shape their community in mutual love and respect for one another.

Further content and links

  • ask

    Isn't one actually unfree if one believes in God?

    Answer: Christians answer this question with a resolute “no”. They say: God first opens up the possibilities for a fulfilled life to man. Luther once used the image of the crooked man: Without God, man is crooked in himself (incurvatus in se ipsum). Only God frees him from self-centeredness through his unconditional love for people. This love knows no boundaries, it even overcomes death (Rom. 8: 38-39). Fear and suffering do not stop, but the certainty is there: one day God will dry all tears (Rev 21: 4). The power of this hope is already liberating. It enables people to face all situations in life openly and without fear. For example, the phrase “do not be afraid” runs through the entire Bible (including Ex 15.1; Isa 43.1; Jer 30.10; Lk 2.10–11; Acts 18.9; Rev 1.17) .

  • discussion

    In today's society, individualization is often seen as freedom. When people can develop themselves and their personality, they are free. For Christians, too, the free development of people is the basis for being able to live the faith freely.

    Christians also emphasize something else: people need relationships. They need a relationship with God and one another, otherwise they will die inside. That is why the double commandment of love, which Jesus Christ taught, is so important for Christians: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind". This is the highest and first commandment. But the other is the same: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' ”(Mt 22: 37-39) Their faith gives Christians the standard that people should look out for and care for one another. This means that nobody is allowed to develop in such a way that they harm others - or that they completely lose sight of their neighbor.

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