The Gift of Freedom—Karl Barth

Human freedom is the joy whereby man appropriates for himself God’s election. God has elected Himself in His Son to be the God, Lord, Shepherd, Saviour, and Redeemer of mankind. Through His own election He willed man to be His creature, His partner, and His son. He, the God of the community of men, and we, the community of men, His People!


Freedom is the joy whereby man acknowledges and confesses this divine election by willing, deciding, and determining Himself to be the echo and mirror of the divine act.
Each individual is called to this commitment in the midst of the community of men, not as the first disciple but as a follower in the visible and invisible footsteps of many; not as the only one but together with many known and unknown fellow Christians. He may be accompanied by the comforting help of several or by at least a few. He may be a rather sad member of the rear guard or he may be way ahead of the crowd where he is temporarily alone. He lives for himself, but not only for himself. He is constantly in living relationship to others, as a member of the people of God who appropriates from himself God’s election and is responsible for the brothers. Each individual is called by his own name as a member of the people of God. Each one is responsible for his relationship with God and his fellow men. He is free because he chooses, decides, and determines himself to be this person. His freedom is the joy of that obedience which is given to him.

Karl Barth; The Humanity of God; Westminster John Knox Press; 1960, page 79

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