- William T. Howe Ph.D.
May 8, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
II Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Liberty means “Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.” (Websters American dictionary of the English Language, 1828) Concerning “religious liberty” Websters records this: “…is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.”
An unconditional promise of God’s Word is that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. While many things could be written about this topic, most of them are beyond the purpose of this short devotion. Which is not to prove what this liberty is, or how it is manifested, or frankly any such detail about it. It is to state clearly and without confusion this one truth. …Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Upon hearing of liberty one warning must be given. That warning is found in Galatians 5:13. There the Bible states clearly: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. One of the aspects of liberty most overlooked is the negative use of it. If we accept that we are free to do good, we are also free to do wrong. Therein God’s Word warns about the improper use of liberty. How do we know if our free will actions are good or otherwise? Notice the last few words of Galatians 5:13 …but by love serve one another. If one’s liberty stifles another person’s liberty, it is being misused. Paul stated in the first letter to the church at Corinth: But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (I Corinthians 8:9)
So, while this thing called liberty is a personal thing, it is also a corporate thing. The individual has liberty but must be careful to employ that liberty to love and serve one another, and in such a manner as to not become a stumbling block to those weak in the faith. This does not diminish liberty, it focuses it.
What a concept for today! It’s an edge, a Bible Edge that too few know and probably even fewer adopt and use. But it is there, in black and white; sprinkled throughout the pages of God’s Holy Word. What a promise! …where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Like a mighty expressway, wherein there is liberty to drive to any destination, at any time of day or night, in any car or truck of one’s desire. But that liberty has boundaries or laws for its use. If these are transgressed to extremes a person may lose the liberty to use the expressway, or any other road for that matter. So too is this religious liberty given to God’s children via the Holy Spirit.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.