13 October 2010

In Christ: Freedom

Freedom is a powerful word that stirs many words and emotions…

When the walls came down in Germany 1989, the world watched and celebrated because people were being set free. Films like "The Great Escape" and "The Shawshank Redemption" are bestsellers because they stir the human belief to fight for freedom.

People were never created to be in prison, slavery or in any kind of bondage. Even if it is our fault or the result of our decisions, to live in any type of bondage is the greatest of all evils.

This is why Christ came to set us free...

However, many people today are living in bondage to fear, pain, addictions, debt and sin. This is far from God’s best and not where we should be living. God is an expert in setting people free from any bondage or slavery. Through Christ we are all set free and our calling is to set others free.

Definitions of freedom:

  • The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without restraints
  • Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, bondage or self; deliverance
  • The right to unrestricted use; full access; given complete freedom
  • The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship; the freedom of the city.

2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Enemies to Freedom

Because we are born again, we now desire to live holy just as Christ's example to us is holy, we desire now what he desires, we will what He wills. The battle that exists is between our new nature in Christ and our old nature that is in our flesh. This is why obedience and trust are essential for the Christian walk for they are the two things that enable us to overcome our old nature. Trust and obedience are a giving into the spirit of Christ that now lives inside of us, who is the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 3:12 - And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children… This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Isaiah 61:1-2 - The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me, to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favour.

Take Nothing of the Old into the New

We must pass from one dimension to another, taking nothing of the old into the new. Take a hold of the word of God and speak it over your life. Let it transform your mind and heart. In Christ there is now

• No shame - Isaiah 45:17

• No condemnation, guilt - Romans 8:1

• No sin or death - Romans 6:14

• No devil - Colossians 1:13

• We have passed from death to life - Romans 5:17

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Freedom – Not to be Abused

With this freedom it is expected that we do not abuse it in any way. Our conduct should be based on our reality. We are now dead to sin and alive to Christ (Rom 6:11). Christ died to set us free from sin, not to remain in it and do whatever we want. We are to live unselfishly as children of God and live lives worthy of the calling.

The enemy has two faces – 1) religion and 2) lawlessness. Religion is any type of legalism that enslaves us to a self-effort approach to gaining God’s favour. Lawlessness is all sin and disobedience that separates us from God. Both are deceiving and are a place of harsh slavery and bondage.

Liberty is our license to walk with God freely, our right and pass to access the presence of God. It is not liberty to sin or to indulge in selfish desires but to live in a life of godliness and righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18 - But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

The liberty of being right with God is the greatest liberty of all. When our heart possesses assurance with God, our heart is free to live with God forever. We are free to serve the Lord without compulsion. We serve Him because we want to do it.

This is the opposite of serving the Lord in a straight-jacket of legalism. We do right because it is right, not to obey a set of laws and rules.

The basis for all freedoms is grace. Grace is the provision God makes for us on the basis of His Son’s person and work. Jesus provided a way that we might have eternal salvation, power to live the Christian life and be in the presence of God eternally.

God provided these things totally by Himself. We did nothing to get them or earn them. We can not add anything to get them or do anything to take away from them.

John 8:31-32 - To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.

Wherever you are, whatever state your in, of either bondage, confusion or liberation, know that it is God’s will that you are free in Christ, in EVERY area of your life. Physical freedom, emotional freedom, psychological freedom, financial freedom…

Make God number 1 in your life today. I guarantee you, His gift of Freedom is worth it…