The Paradox of Freedom
Freedom is a buzzword that everyone claims—Republican, Democrat, independent, Green, claiming to offer less resonates with Americans and millions of others quite like 'freedom,' " writes theologian Roger Olson in his Christianity Today article. "A television commercial announces that buying a certain automobile or flying with a certain airline will make you 'free.' People celebrate their country's independence day with songs of 'freedom' on their lips and ringing in their ears. Politicians, businesspeople, advertisers, salesmen, military leaders and recruiters—all know how to use 'freedom' to attract attention and draw interest."
But what is real freedom, the kind that Christ brings? Olson isn't sure we know, for all our confident talk. "Is it having choices?" Olson asks. "Is it lack of coercion and constraint? Is it being able to do whatever you want? In what sense does Christ set us free, and how is that different from what Madison Avenue and Hollywood promise?" This study points us to answers in God's Word.
Table of Contents
SCRIPTURE: Mark 8:31–37; John 8:31–38; Romans 7:15–25; 1 Corinthians 9:19–23; Philippians 2:12–18
• Identify the Current Issue
• Discover the Eternal Principles
—Teaching point one: There is no freedom without truth.
—Teaching point two: Saving our freedom means giving up our freedom.
—Teaching point three: Outreach involves setting aside our rights for the advance of the gospel.
—Teaching point four: Freedom requires God's grace.
—Teaching point five: Freedom requires our God-empowered effort.
• Apply Your Findings
• Additional Resources
ARTICLES FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY
• "The Bonds of Freedom," by Roger Olson, 2012
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