Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 21 Really Free???
We talk a lot about freedom, but what does freedom really look like? When you’re young you think that freedom is the ability to “do what you want”, and you just can’t wait to be an adult and “do what you want”, not to “take orders” from anyone. BUT, when you reach adulthood you find that you still have people telling you “what to do”—people who have control over your future, your income, and your life-circumstances. So what is freedom? Freedom is not simply the absence of restraint, but the opportunity to be involved in your own life choices without constricting restraints—because Jesus has set people free—free to serve Him in love and devotion, “not by constraint, but willingly” out of a grateful heart. (See 1 Peter 5:2).
Liberty: Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control….
Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence
Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
Freedom: The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
exemption from external control, interference, or regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
Everyone wants to be free but freedom isn’t free, there is a price to pay for every freedom, and the ultimate freedom is only found in Jesus. For every person is bound by their own sin, selfish desires and greed (hard things to say, but we are all plagued by the truth of sin to one degree or another—‘for all have sinned’–but Jesus came to die that we could be freed from the penalty and power of sin! Free indeed!
“Jesus answered them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whosoever committeth sin
is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant
abideth not in the house for ever:
but the Son
36 If the Son therefore
shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
Many people in our world are searching for freedom in the wrong places, without realizing that instead of freedom they are sinking deeper and deeper into the bondage of sin. Enslaved in bondage to the lusts of the flesh—whatever that may look like: drugs, alcohol, sex, money, power, position, control—any thing that we think will bring pleasure, or anything that we use to try to fulfill our lives—to fill that ‘God shaped empty spot’ in every soul. But until we recognize our sin as sin, we’ll never find the freedom that every person desires.
“For all have sinned,
and come short
of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely
by his grace
through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:23-24
All are sinners for whom Jesus died, and until we recognize our sin and come to HIM for “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, we will never be truly free! Sin has a price—and God has made provision for our sin to be paid for through the blood of His “Only begotten Son”.
“For the wages of sin
but the gift of God
is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
What amazing Good News! Jesus has paid the ‘death penalty’ for your sin and mine, if we will but come to HIM in repentance and faith. It’s all about Jesus, and real freedom can only be found in HIM, where we can be “free indeed”! We can never overcome sin on our own but IN Jesus there is true freedom, victory and ultimate, perfect purpose for our lives.
“There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free
from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do,
in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
Jesus delivers from the condemnation of sin by His own blood shed at Calvary, providing a freedom that goes beyond clutching and grabbing for things around us, replacing it with God’s power, purpose and provision for life, living and dying! His righteousness imparted to us, that the world might know the Father that we love and serve by the power of His Holy Spirit seen at work in us each day!
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received
the spirit of bondage again
but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit,
that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:14-16
God’s children by being ‘born again’ of His Spirit—a work that only God can do, because “ye must be born again”!!!
“Jesus answered and said unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him,
How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born
and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh
and that which is born of the Spirit
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again.” John 3:3-7
Born of God—set free from sin—delivered from the penalty of sin, and it’s power over our flesh in this world, and some day soon we’ll be delivered from the very presence of sin when we are in the presence of God eternally.
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them
that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.” John 1:12-14
Born “of God” to be delivered from sin and know the salvation, deliverance and love of a personal Savior who walks with us by giving His Spirit to dwell within and empower us to live holy lives reflecting his “grace and truth”! God ever at work to make us more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Likewise the Spirit also
helpeth our infirmities:
for we know not
what we should pray for
as we ought:
but the Spirit itself
maketh intercession for us
with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh intercession
for the saints
according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things
work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image
of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called:
and whom he called,
them he also justified:
and whom he justified,
them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us,
who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son,
but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not
also freely give us
all things?” Romans 8:26-32
Knowing Jesus is freedom—freedom from sin, death and hell.
“And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses
2 Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course
of this world,
according to the prince of the power
of the air,
the spirit that now worketh
in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also
we all had our conversation
in times past
in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh
and of the mind;
and were by nature
the children of wrath,
even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love
wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead
hath quickened us together
(by grace ye are saved;)”. Ephesians 2:1-5
Until we see our sin, we are doomed to stay in it, deceived and believing that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” will fulfill our lives and make us free—the American dream, they call it–but only Jesus can truly set you free. And when He sets us free it is for our good and God’s glory, as well as an eternity with Him in His heavenly glory!
So what is your definition of ‘freedom’? Do you know the joy and liberty that Jesus gives? If you don’t, you can, and He will make Himself real in your life and bring the true freedom of salvation, and make you stand righteous before God.
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge
of God’s elect?
It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ that died,
that is risen again,
who is even at the right hand
who also maketh intercession
35 Who shall separate us
from the love of Christ?
36 As it is written,
For thy sake we are killed all the day long;
we are accounted as sheep
for the slaughter.
in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded,
that neither death,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
39 Nor height,
nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us
from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus
our Lord.” Romans 8:33-39
Freedom to be HIS and do HIS work, touching others as we walk with HIM, and helping affect change for the glory of GOD, by the love of Jesus that we possess!!!
I invite you to join me in giving ourselves to live each day to God’s glory, by living out holy freedom, using grace as God intends, and not as a license to sin. Using our freedom in Christ Jesus that God’s hand may ever have free reign to work in, around and through us. We can make a difference, as we live out the love of Jesus Christ before a lost and dying world—revealing real freedom to a world bound by sin; real freedom that the world so desperately needs to see and know today through the blood of Jesus!
Amen and Amen.