Galatians 5:1 “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
The Bible talks a lot about freedom and when you see a recurring topic such as this one, it must be important.
This topic of freedom is at the very center of American patriotism and culture. Patrick Henry in 1775 proclaimed “give me liberty or give me death” at St. John’s church prior to the revolutionary war. Freedom was a rally cry for slaves during the American Civil War and continues today for all oppressed by tyranny across the world.
Set Free ministries is a Christian men’s and women’s program I’ve been serving at for the past 5 years. My time I spend there each week is one of my favorite joys in life. Sharing the love of God with those looking for healing and restoration in Jesus and then watching God work mightily in their lives blesses me each time I see God work miracles in their lives.
Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
This concept of freedom is one that God has promised from ages past until now.
Psalm 118:5 “In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free.”
Psalm 31:7-8 “I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
8And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.
2 Samuel 22:20 “He brought me out into the open; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
So tell me, what is it that freedom represents?
Is freedom being able to just do what you want, when you want to?
Is freedom living without any restrictions or being subjected to any rules or even the tyranny of a corrupt king?
These questions are how many define freedom, particularly those who are law breakers. Law breakers don’t like laws because they don’t like the consequences of breaking those laws. We see many in our society abusing our local police, holding up signs that want them removed and declaring all police as bad.
Now, I don’t think police are bad, there is always a few bad eggs but in general most are very kind, honest and hard working family men or women. They treat every human being with dignity and respect while they place their lives on the line each day. I really respect these men for serving their communities as they do.
So what is it about freedom that makes it such a blessing in God’s universe?
Freedom from laws doesn’t seem to be God’s priority, actually just the opposite, in Hebrews 10:16 it says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”
David, in Psalm 19 said that God’s law was perfect converting the soul and later in Psalm 119:44 that he would keep it forever. “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.”
So if isn’t laws that God is setting us free from, if Jesus didn’t make overthrowing tyrannical kings in Luke 20:25 His priority and God said that He is the one who establishes rulers, then what are we bound by?
Proverbs 5:22 “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.”
When God gives us His laws, they are actually an expression of His love for us. What many perceive as restrictive, God gives as a gift to allow us freedom.
When Paul the apostle witnessed Simon the sorcerer trying to mimic the gifts of the Spirit, he chastised him in Acts 8:23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Sin causes spiritual blindness, it corrupts good intentions, it brings shame upon people and ruins families. When sin is prevalent and unrestrained, it is the source of all forms of evil. Sin is a violation of God’s laws and condemns for all eternity those who die in their trespasses. Every ugly, disrespectful, inhuman action in society is a reflection of sin in all of mankind.
Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden because of sin. Paul reflected on the fact that all of creation was “subjected to futility”, because of sin. In other words, creation was rendered useless, or pointless because of sin. Creation was a clear revelation of God’s glory and majesty, now it is corrupted and is only a dim reflection of what God intended it to be.
So freedom, in God’s eyes is freedom from the curse of sin.
Jesus gave His life to free the world from the scourge of sin. Those who choose to partake of this freedom, realize the joy and release from the constraints of this path of hopelessness.
The call goes out to all…John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
There is no longer condemnation to those who receive this grace, there remains a hope and a future as well.
There are chains and heaviness that weigh those down who are burdened by sin. Freedom has been offered. The plan seems simple, the course seems clear, now it’s up to you to decide which path you want to take.