Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)
When I began my worship leading days I heard the above passage of scripture interpreted in the following way: Wherever and whenever the Spirit of God is manifest we have freedom to express our worship in whatever manner we choose. We are free to worship! And we are free to use whatever spiritual gifts are available to us.
Of course this interpretation totally misses the context of the verse. Paul is speaking of the removing of the veil by which one is blinded who continues in the old covenant. When a person comes to Christ the veil is taken away and there is freedom to behold the glory of the Lord and be transformed by it (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
Why do we need freedom? When God looked through the tunnels of time he saw a human race incapable of choosing between good and evil. He saw a human race bound by the chains of sin and enslaved by a nature that was totally bent toward evil with no capacity (freedom) to make a righteous choice (1 Corinthians 2:14; Titus 3:3); who were by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). God didn’t see men with free will he saw slaves, for whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved (2 Peter 2:19). And the intentions of man’s heart were and are evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21) leaving man incapable of choosing to be free in and of himself. Man neither could not nor cannot by his own free will choose to set himself free (Romans 8:7).
In lieu of man’s plight, God sent his son, Jesus, who made these declarations about himself: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19 ESV) I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV) Furthermore, Jesus told the Jews who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32 ESV)
Jesus claimed to be the truth, John declared him to be the Word (John 1:1, 14), so to know the truth is to know Jesus and to abide in his word is to abide in him. To know him and abide in him is true freedom because it is for freedom that Christ sets free all who believe in him (Galatians 5:1). And if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36). For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2 ESV)
Has the Son of God set you free? Are you experiencing true freedom?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Peter 1:3