16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.
Peter faced a dilemma in articulating the central belief of the Christian faith.
On the one hand, the Gospel is the preaching of the full and final release from personal responsibility to present oneself worthy before God.
On the other hand, the Gospel is the preaching of the full and final release from sin and slavery to the world and it's patterns.
If you preach the Gospel in its full glory and power, some will attempt to take advantage of grace and live a life dishonoring to their own bodies and the Lord they claim to seek for salvation.
If you preach the Gospel in its full glory and power, some will assume more tasks and to-do's and assume these are what makes them right or keeps them right with God.
Everyone is a slave.
We are either yoked to sin or to Jesus. It is as simple and as difficult as that.
If you are a Christian, you are proclaiming that you are no longer a slave to sin, but a slave to Jesus.
This is why Peter says, "as God's slaves, live as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil."
You can't be free from sin and not be a slave to Jesus.
Put another way, you are either free from Jesus or free from sin.
To be free from sin is salvation.
To be free from Jesus is judgment.