Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Freedom In Christ

Chuckle: "Warning notice at a seminary swimming pool: "First-year students are only allowed to walk on the shallow end."
Quote: "Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.” --Jean-Paul Sartre
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1 NIV). When we think of freedom, I hope we think of our relationship with Christ? However, many times we think of freedom as being released from some restriction which has prevented us from exercising our own free will. But, in the Biblical sense, freedom has a totally different meaning. Think about this illustration:
"Many people think that freedom is the license to do whatever a person wants, but true freedom is the ability to do what is right. It takes obedience in order to have true freedom. I can sit at a piano and be at liberty to play any keys that I want, but I don't have the freedom, because I can't play anything but noise. I have no freedom to play Bach, or even 'Chopsticks.' Why? Because it takes years of practice and obedience to lesson plans to be truly free at the piano. Then, and only then, does one have the freedom to play any piece of music. The same is true of freedom in living. To be truly free, we must have the power and ability to be obedient."Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green
As a Christian, You have been set free from sin, and have become slaves of righteousness"  (Romans 6:18). Christ sets us free to enjoy the boundless gift of God's favor, but this freedom comes only with an obedient faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul contends that we will always be slaves (servants) of something -- either to sin or to righteousness. Before coming to Christ, we are slaves to sin. Afterwards, we should become slaves/servants of our Lord. After we’ve been changed by the Holy Spirit, we no longer see freedom as doing our own thing but the will of the Father. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come"  (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a child of the King, our whole concept of freedom changes.
In Scripture, we find two contrasting words to help us understand the biblical meaning of being free -- Grace and Law. We have been set free from the Old Testament Law and now live in the freedom of God's grace. We’re not free to break God's laws, but our freedom and salvation are not earned by our obedience to laws. They are gifts of God's grace. As Christians, we were saved from the penalty of sin when we accepted Christ as Savior; we are being saved from the power of sin over our lives; and we will be saved from the presence of sin when Jesus comes again. Our freedom is a call to be free from sin, and is the opposite of freedom to sin. 
Finally, I'm reminded of the song, "Freedom isn't Free!" Of course, it refers to our personal freedoms that have been bought with the blood of our armed forces. But, our freedoms from sin are likewise not free. They cost our Lord everything when he gave his life for our freedom on the Cross. He shed his blood that we can be free! Free! Freeee! Freeeeeee!! We should be thankful and lift our praise "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood . ." (Revelation 1:5). Are you rejoicing in your freedoms as a believer? Are you free from the burdens of guilt, fear, worry, and anxiety? Do you have the sense of freedom God wants for you? Do you have a burning desire to use this God-given freedom to serve your Lord?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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