Freedom & Healing in Christ

1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:1,13-14 ESV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom . (2 Cor 3:17 ESV)

In this passage [2 Cor 3:17] Paul's concern is with the relationship and contrast between the old and new covenants, not with the ontology of trinitarianism. There is no warrant for supposing that at this point he is interrupting his theme.  Already in verse 6 - "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth live" -  he has set "the spirit" in contrast to "the letter". Now here, in verse 17, he says that "the Lord is the spirit"; that is, Christ is the source of light and life: to turn to Him is to have the veil of misunderstanding removed and to pass from death to life.  Apart from Christ, Moses the law-giver is a minister of condemnation; but in Christ, the sole Law-Keeper, the letter sprints to life. This interpretation is confirmed by what the Apostle has previously written to the Corinthian Church, in 1 Cor. 15:45, where he uses identical terms:
1 Cor. 15:45: "the last Adam (=Christ) became a life-giving spirit".
2 Cor. 3:6,17: "the spirit giveth life. . . . Now the Lord (=Christ) is the spirit".
The second part of the verse - "and where ths spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" - is a proper consequence of the first.  It is also what Paul had proved by his own experience of conversion and life in Christ. The Jews were in bondage to the letter which kills, but Christians have entered into the liberty of Christ - the dynamic liberty of the spirit as opposed to the mere letter. And it is important that the man who has been made free in Christ should not return into and kind of unevangelical bondage. Hence the apostolic reminder to the Romans that the spirit they had received was the spirit of adoption, not of bondage again to fear (Rom. 8:15), and the admonition to the Galatians: "For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1).  Throughout this passage, then, we would write the work "spirit" with a small and not a capital initial letter. Although, however, there is in our judgment no direct reference to the Holy Spirit here, yet there can be no doubt that the operation of the Holy Spirit is implicit in Paul's argument, especially in view of his plain teaching elsewhere that it is the Holy Spirit's office to apply the work of Christ to the believing heart.

Philip E. Hughes. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962), 115-116


The "Freedom" tab is meant to be read in the order shown in the right side bar (or bottom of the page for mobile devices) because each page builds on the information from previous pages. Each page should be read and hopefully understood before proceeding to the next page. Most of the pages have a side bar menu on the right side of the page (or bottom of the page for mobile devices), like the one on this page with the title "More Freedom Pages...", and "Next/Previous" page names at the bottom of the page just above the footer. Some pages have a "More..." button just above the "Next/Previous" navigation links that will take you to a more in depth discussion of the current subject.

First Stop...

Stop Sinning