Monday, October 31, 2016

ONLINE Bible Study: How to be a Woman of Freedom - Day 1

Hello there!  I have begun a new series called "Becoming a Woman of Freedom" where we will explore how to be a thinking Christian in the world we live in today.    I plan on walking through several aspects of what it means to be free such as freedom from your past, from pleasing others, from fear and moving into living with peace, joy and a sense of your purpose in the world.  

Here is the podcast for Day 1:

And the following is a transcript of sorts for you to work through and discuss further with your group:

There’s a woman I know who loves God, does her best to live life doing the right things, being there for people in their time of need, trying to find her place in the midst of it.  BUT she feels stuck.  Trapped. Encumbered.  What can she do?  Is there a way out for her that is less destructive than running away and never looking back?  Every once in a while when she gets real quiet, she hears these words:
It is for freedom that you were set free…

What is that supposed to mean?  Does she get in her car and drive away?  Hit the reset button?  Isolate?  What do you do when there is nowhere to turn?  When the words to explain what’s going on feel rebellious?  When the decisions you want to make will make ‘good’ people feel very uncomfortable? 

What I am NOT talking about:

There is this verse in the Bible that might come to mind when hearing the word Encumbered:

Hebrews 12:1 -

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

The easy answer to this woman’s ‘problem’ is that she must be harboring some secret “sin” in her life.

What is sin?

The New World Dictionary defines sin as ‘the breaking of religious law or moral principle through a willful act’ or “any offense, misdemeanor or fault.”

The woman has examined this as a possible culprit for her problems and, while obviously there are ways in which we all miss the mark of our best selves everyday,  this does not explain the underlying ‘hum’  of hopelessness and dissatisfaction.  

Shall we begin by understanding the TYPE of freedom this woman is aching for?

 Psalm 119:45 (Old Testament of the Bible):

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments

The word “Freedom” here translates from the Hebrew Language (the original language of the Old Testament) as ‘at liberty’

The actual word in Hebrew is Rachab  and means (from the Strongs Concordance):

roomy, in any (or every) direction, literally or figuratively:—broad, large, at liberty, proud, wide.

There is a similar sense of freedom found in the New Testament. 

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT):

For the Lord is the Spirit and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.   

The actual word in the Greek (Biblical Greek is the language of the New Testament) for freedom is  eleutheria and translates as “liberty” and means (from the Strongs Concordance):

To do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation

So… can we do WHATEVER we like?

What this freedom does NOT mean:

Same word ‘freedom’ which translates as ‘liberty’ is found in to other New Testament verses that give us a gauge for how to exercise our freedom:

Galatians 5:13:

 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 

1 Peter 2:16:

For you are free…. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 

So if this woman has reached a place in her life, where she is not attempting to break up her family or inflict damage in her community… And If she has searched her heart and found that to the best of her ability, she is living the way she is supposed to live.  What is her next step?

No comments: