Donald Trump spoke at Liberty University recently where quoted 2 Corinthians 3:17, saying where the Spirit of the Lord resides, liberty shows up. He has gotten his fair share of ridicule for his shameless pandering to the evangelical post, but in the case of Second Epistle to the Corinthians I have to agree e with The Donald, where the spirit of the Lord resides, liberty arises, though probably a different .liberty than what he imagines.
I had an Old Testament professor whose pet peeve was people blessing their food before eating it. He would make the point that giving thanks differs from blessing, as blessing was asking God to grant life. God blessed us by breathing into us life. If you bless your cheeseburger, one was asking God to turn it back to a cow. His pet peeve has to do with the Spirit of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord is the Holy Spirit, the breath of God which fills our nostrils to give us life. What does the Spirit mean if we follow the biblical understanding of the Lord as love?
Jesus fleshed out the Spirit of the Lord in his greatest commandments of loving God and loving others. If we let love flow through from God to others then we find true liberty. I know this in my personal life as when I fell in love with my wife, I felt a deep sense of liberty. When I love my son, my family, my countrymen, my fellow human beings, I am set free. Unfortunately, liberty has been reduced to the domain of the political. When people today bring up liberty they usually mean less about how it occurs in the Bible of liberation from our own destructive ways and more about the enlightenment of freedom from government telling us what to do. This, I suspect, is what Donald Trump meant by his comments at at Liberty University. But, if we look at how love free us from bitterness, from negativity and our self-destruction, the truth of love sets us free and into a larger liberty Jesus taught, which holds truth. Only when we love as Jesus loves us can the Spirit of the Lord set us free and The Donald is correct.. When two or more gather in the name of the Lord and where the Lord is, love lives.