Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. Romans 13:8a

A very positive trend in our culture today is getting out of debt. Many people are working towards being debt free. Financially, that path will give us a freedom that God intended for us to experience. [see below for the opposite idea]

But there is one debt that we can never repay - the debt of love. Not all debt comes because we have borrowed from someone. Indebtedness can come from the generosity of one person to another. If someone saved your life, you would feel in debt to him.

I owe the debt of love to one another - not because of what any one person did for me, but because of what God has done for me. He poured out His love to me when I became His child.
  • This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 
  • But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 
I owe love to my spouse, not because of what he has done for me. Marriage isn’t about making sure everything is even. I owe love to my spouse because of the magnitude of love that God has poured into my life. I give that love to my spouse out of the overflow of God’s love for me.

We will never pay off this debt of love, but we can have great joy as we make payments.

In order to be free in the fullest sense you have to have opportunity, ability, and desire to do what will make you happy in a thousand years. …. The freedom of opportunity to do what we can, the freedom of ability to do what we desire, and the freedom of desire to do what will bring us unending joy... Therefore, true Christians are the freest people in the world.  John Piper

We can become enslaved many different ways.
  • Money - The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7b
  • Sin - Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. John 8:34
  • Righteousness - You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:18
  • God - But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:22
To be free sounds more appealing than to be a slave. When we are set free by Christ, our slavery to sin is exchanged for slavery to righteousness.

The result of slavery to sin is death - spiritual and emotional. The results of slavery to righteousness are holiness and eternal life. 

To serve God, to love God, to enjoy God, is the sweetest freedom in the world. Thomas Watson


The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls, or martial laws, or secret police. Over time, and across the Earth, freedom will find a way. George W. Bush

God gave us the freedom of choice from the beginning. He told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden,” with one exception. Adam and Eve chose to abuse their freedom, indulge their own desires, and eat from the excluded tree.

God still gives us the freedom to choose. We can choose Him or we can choose sin. Whichever one we choose, we become a slave to those choices.

People seek political freedom, financial freedom, personal freedom, and ….

Christ wants to set us free from sin!

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22-23)

How does my freedom affect my relationships - especially marriage?

To be free from sin does not mean that we are free to sin. That idea is a misunderstanding of grace.

Grace means that I now have the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I allow Him to live through me. My family and others around me see Christ.

I don’t do whatever I want to indulge my own pleasures and desires. I minister to those around me, putting their needs before mine.

For Christ’s love compels us. (2 Corinthians 5:14)

Faith gives liberty [freedom]; love limits it exercise. John Stott


How free am I if I am not free from the bondage of sin?
We live in a free country, but that doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want.

Many people are in bondage to what others think, other peoples’ opinions of them. While others are in bondage to financial debt. Some are in bondage to the enemy of our souls. Christ’s desire is to set us free from that bondage.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

I am the way and the truth and the life.  (John14:6)

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1a)