1 Peter 2:16
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
New Living Translation
For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover or pretext for evil, but [use it and live] as bond-servants of God.
Contemporary English Version
You are free, but still you are God’s servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong.
Good News Translation
Live as free people; do not, however, use your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God’s slaves.
Apostle Peter has assured the church that by accepting Jesus Christ they are now free. Anyone in Jesus is free. All believers in Jesus are free people. One of the benefits of being a Christian is that it sets you free!
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Believers are free from traditions that bound people in slavery. A woman whose husband has died is bound by tradition to that family. She is bound and has to withstand abuse by relatives and whoever else takes advantage of her widowhood. If that same woman is a Christian, she is not bound to that family or anyone else after her husband dies. She is free to get remarried. Christ has set her free from the thoughtless enslaving traditions. There is freedom in Christ!
Some traditions require that a select member of the family inherits practices like witchcraft from an aging family member. Those who are in Christ do not need to inherit that evil practice of consulting and working with demons. Traditional prophets who bestow leadership and use other spiritual powers cannot pass it down to their converted children unless those children are fake believers. Those children are free from such obligations!
Christ gives immense powers to those who believe in Him. Power over evil forces and evil attacks. Jesus promises, Luke 10:19, that no believer will be harmed by anything. Therefore, believers don’t live in fear of satan, demons, etc. While the rest of the unconverted world and fake Christians are trembling about Illuminati, devil worship and bad eyes from witches, Christians move on undisturbed. Undisturbed because Jesus has set them free from fear of any harm. There is freedom in Jesus!
Apostle Peter’s concern is that freedom can be abused. Since we are free to marry without symbols of marriage like marriage anklets, necklaces and finger rings, someone may use that freedom to engage in adultery. Peter tells the church not to abuse freedom.
We are free from traditional ways of morality that completely separated and regulated women dressing and interaction of men and women. But, we should not use that freedom to dress carelessly and interact with members of the opposite sex in a questionable manner. We are free but don’t abuse that freedom!
We were forced into prayer and religious rituals in other faiths that we belonged to in the past. But now, we are trusted to plan and implement our own prayers, Bible study, etc. We are even trusted to attend worship without pressure. How are we using that freedom? Do not abuse the freedom you found in Jesus!
If it wasn’t for Jesus, you would be visiting shrines half naked deep in the night to seek divine favors. Now you can’t pause to pray in your cosy room? Aren’t you abusing your freedom?
Giving taxes is a must. Giving sacrifices to traditional ancestors and gods is a must. No liberty no delay. In Jesus the onus is on you to plan your giving of tithe and offerings. Do not abuse your freedom.
May God help me to live in freedom but never to abuse it, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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