(In honor of Reformation Day this month, Wisdom Wednesday will be looking into Martin Luther’s brief yet powerful work Concerning Christian Liberty)
A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone. -Martin Luther
The more I have been processing what sets Christianity apart from other world religions, the more I have become convinced that love differentiates it from the other great world religions.
Now please hear me out though, and hear what I am not saying.
I am neither saying that other religions lack an element of love in their message, nor am I saying other adherents do not love. What I am trying to say is that Christianity has sacrificial love at its core.
Luther is arguing in his work Concerning Christian Liberty that freedom is rooted in the sacrificial love of Christ. I highlighted this aspect in my Bonheoffer series previously, but for our purposes here, for those who follow Jesus, they are called to also follow Jesus by serving others.
Notice in the quote above how service flows out of identity. By being in Christ, they are most “free of all people”; yet out of this freedom they are called to serve others. Paul would phrase it that Christ knew his place, that all authority was given to him, and out of this position (which is huge!) he chose to empty himself (see Philippians 2:1-11).
I will never tire of saying this, but if you are in Christ, you are free. But if you are free, then the next step is to serve others.
Honestly, I don’t like hearing this, but Christians are called to be a different community, we are blessed to be a blessing. We are free from sin and death, oh please grasp that point.
If you are in Christ, you are free. You are free like the tree transplanted in good soil, free to flourish and produce beauty and fruit. Similarly, Christians are also planted in good soil and are free to flourish. They are free to bear fruit and bless others because they are free.
Follow Jesus and be free. Be free and serve all.