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 often about freedom; freedom from sin, proclaiming freedom to captives, perfect freedom expressed in the law, and even future freedom for creation itself. When a recurring topic such as this one is expressed, it must be important.
This topic of freedom is at the very center of 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.
Many discipleship ministries such as Set Free, Teen Challenge, and Faith Houses provide men and women the opportunity to be set free from the sin that has entrapped them for years. Sharing the love of God with those looking for healing and restoration in Jesus and then watching God work mightily in people’s lives is a great joy many share.
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. For 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.
Freedom has had many connotations but none greater than the freedom from sin and death. Mankind has been entrapped by sin since Adam and Eve fell. The deception of Satan was the promise to obtain greater knowledge which today many think will be their salvation but this deception has led to a form of control over people by ensnaring them in pride.
Psalm 118:5 “In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free.”
All have experienced the entrapment of breaking God’s laws and for those who know where to seek help there remains an abundance of mercy.
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,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.“
Once a person recognizes where help arises, the Lord is quick to forgive, quick to come to our rescue, and faithful in love.
2 Samuel 22:20 “He brought me out into the open; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
You see, no matter how disgusting our sin makes us, the value God sees in us extends beyond our circumstances.
So tell me, what is it that freedom represents?
Is freedom the ability to just do what you want, when you want to?
Is freedom living without any restrictions or not 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 because police enforce these laws.
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. Most treat treat people with dignity and respect while they place their lives on the line each day. I really respect these men and women for serving their communities as they do.
Many reject any notion of believing in God because they don’t want to be subjected to God’s laws.
Regardless of whether someone believes in laws or not, doesn’t change the fact they are subjected to them.
For those who don’t want to be subjected to laws and rules, the desire to live without restraint only leads to more chains by which the enemy gains control of them.
The Perfect Law
What is it about freedom that makes it such a blessing in God’s universe?
Freedom from laws don’t seem to be God’s priority, actually it’s 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.”
Psalm 19 reminds us that God’s law is perfect converting the soul and later in Psalm 119:44 and that it will endure 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.”
If God’s law is good then it isn’t the law that constrains us, it’s breaking the law.
This is one of the paradoxes of spiritual truth. What looks like control and subjection actually provides freedom and hope. What the world claims is freedom actually is a form of satanic control. God’s laws provide a framework for happiness, joy, and living according to how He created us. The law is an expression of God Himself and this world was made according to those laws.
Proverbs 5:22 “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.”
Jesus didn’t make overthrowing tyrannical kings and laws His priority, God said that He is the one who establishes rulers. As God rules over His creation, so do men and women represent types of god’s when they rule over society.
Psalm 82:6 I have said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’
The Mormon church took this too far and made this doctrine into a heretical form of polytheism. Good judges enforce laws that reflect godly laws. Many of the laws we have today had their foundation in the Bible.
Luke 20:25 “He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
This is why we obey the law of the land, this hierarchy of authority first originated with God and extends into everyday life.
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 work of God, 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 relationships. 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.
Since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden because of sin, Paul reminded us that now all of creation is “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 serves as only a dim reflection of what God intended it to be.
Freedom in God’s eyes is freedom from the curse of sin which is the subjection of the law.
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 God’s grace, there remains a hope and a future.
There are chains and heaviness that weigh down those who are burdened by sin—Freedom has been offered.
The offering for freedom seems simple, God’s course seems clear, now it’s up to us to decide which path we want to take.