In general, there are two freedoms: one is the freedom to do what we want; the other is the freedom to do what we should. If we expect to be blessed by freedom, we must go all out to live right by it. We cannot enjoy its privileges unless we accept its responsibilities. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Corinthians 8:9)."
God's will is for us to live honorably and without blame so that those who do not believe will have no legitimate basis for accusation. Christians are constantly bombarded by the ignorance of foolish men (vs. 15). Sometimes this happens in the classroom, the science lab, or even from the pulpit. The best way to counter these erroneous teachings, according to Peter, is to live a holy life.
As free men and women in America, we do not live in fear. But that does not mean we are free to sin. We must never use our freedom as an excuse for sinful behavior. We can never advance the cause of Christ while doing evil as we parade around in our super-spiritual garments (a.k.a. hypocrasy).
It's not too late to find freedom. We find adn experience true freedom when we find God. We lose our freedom when we reject God. The real freedom we are looking for is not freedom from something, it is freedom for a higher and better purpose.