In the history of American politics there have been two main theories of the concept of freedom: liberal freedom and republican freedom. Liberal freedom, as stated by Michael Sandel in his book Public Philosophy, is "our capacity to choose our ends for ourselves." It is found in choice and the abundance thereof. Republican freedom, which gets its name from the Greeks and not from the Elephants, is "a politics that cultivates in citizens the qualities of character that self-government requires."
Sandel argues for the latter,
For despite its appeal, the liberal vision of freedom lacks the civic resources to sustain self-government. The public philosophy by which we live cannot secure the liberty it promises, because it cannot inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that liberty requires.
He continues by defining liberal freedom's voluntarist concept: the attempt to secure freedom without attending to the character of citizens by detaching moral considerations from political ones. In essence, the idea that we will rely on people freely choosing to develop character, rather than giving them incentive to do so. However, Sandel argues,
Even as we think and act as freely choosing, independent selves, we confront a world governed by impersonal structures of power that defy our understanding and control. The voluntarist conception of freedom leaves us ill equipped to contend with this condition. Liberated though we may be from the burden of identities we have not chosen, entitled though we may be to the range of rights assured by the welfare state, we find ourselves overwhelmed as we turn to face the world on our resources.
Now, why is this relevant? Because as Christians we have a parallel distinction between the concepts of free will and freedom. Free will is our ability to make the decisions we want, but freedom is our capacity to thrive. Jesus alludes to this when he says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
He promises us,
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Here freedom is contingent upon two forces: knowledge and belief. You must know in your mind what is true and believe in your heart that it really is. You must not only understand the truth but also act upon it.
The biblical concept of freedom is not that we do what we please, but that we follow His will for us. The former binds us to our desires, the latter sets us free in Christ. Abiding in His word and being his disciples means a limiting of choices and possibilities. We lose freedoms, but we gain freedom.
This is because of God's design for us. We would never put water in the gasoline tanks of our car because the car was not made to take water. It would be a triumph of choice if we did, but it would defeat purpose. The bird flies not because he defies the laws of physics, but because of his uniquely perfect obedience to them. The first airplane lifted off not because we rewrote the book on aerodynamics, but because we finally understood what it meant to fly.