By Elder James Groce
Editor Apostolic Standard
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance….As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” I Peter 2:13-16
I Peter 2:16 uses two contrasting terms: “free” and “servants.” The two are opposing terms. The word “free” means: not bound by impositions, restrictions or regulations. Contradictorily the word “servant” means: one that obeys the rules, regulations and restrictions of a master.
Therefore it is obvious that one must know what he is “free: from and to whom he is to “serve.” These two go hand in hand (which is something this generation has failed to discover). Never has there been
such a devilish freedom overtaken the rank and file of Oneness Pentecostals as it has today. They wrestle the scripture to their own destruction. They preach “free from restrictions and regulations” and
twist the scripture to mean deliverance from holiness, godliness and purity. The word “saved,” which literally means: to rescue from danger, harm, etc. has no meaning at all to them because it is obvious that they are “saved” from nothing.
Listen to God as He questions a generation much akin to our own in Jer. 7:8-11, “Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn
incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?”
And God sent His servants, the prophets, to speak to them saying, “But thou shalt say unto them, this is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord thy God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.” “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.” (Jer. 7:28, 8:5).
Hear the prevailing voice of this morally sick generation as they exclaim; “We are delivered to do as we please. We are free to wear jewelry. We are liberated that our women may cut their hair. We are at
liberty to partake of all worldly amusements. We have been given freedom for our ladies to wear men’s apparel. Praise Jesus, He has set us free!”
If ever there existed a need for a clear note and a certain sound from our pulpits it is today. We need once again to hear what we are “saved” from. We need instruction in the Biblical truths of the terms “free” and “servant.” Real liberty, you will discover, is the right to do what the Bible permits.
Walt Whitman in 1881 wrote, “The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.”
And once again we quote the final authority of all things, the Bible, that declares to all generations in I Peter 2:16: “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”