Summary: We have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, real freedom is found in Jesus Christ.
COMPREHENDING BASIC FREEDOM
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed,”
When a person is freed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ he/she is free indeed and is no longer a servant of sin. “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Freedom is one of the most priceless possessions that God has put with in the reach of man. But man, because he is a fallen creature, is not naturally free. He must be made free by the power of God’s grace. And knowing God’s redemptive grace is the key to man’s true freedom.
But what is freedom? If this simple question were asked of any number of people in our Western World where we are accustomed to freedom, we would perhaps be amazing to hear the many different answers given. When we thank of freedom, we name speech, press, religion, and the right to worship and the list would go on. To some it would be the privilege of doing as they want, a free hand to gratify ones desires, fulfill ambitions, or carve out one’s own destiny.
But we have freedom of worship, freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and to come and go as we please. But this is not really freedom, true freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ. Only as we face His cross can we be freed from the slavery of sin, the penalty of sin and the power of sin.
In the cross of Christ alone lies true freedom. Little wonder the Apostle cried, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Jesus is the great provider of freedom. “IF THE SON THEREFORE SHALL MAKE YOU FREE, YOU SHALL BE FREE INDEED.” “If you continue in my word then are you my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In Christ we have freedom from the penalty of sin. It is an awful thing to be under the condemnation of sin, hounded by fear of things that we have done, fear of death, tormented by the horrors of hell. The bible teaches us that if we believe on him there is now no condemnation because the penalty of sin has been removed. “His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”
The blood of Jesus provides freedom from the power of sin. Sin not only involves a penalty, it possesses a subtle and terrible power. And the removal of the penalty does not in itself destroy the power. As born again believers, we find the old nature is still with us and is the source of all kinds of evil. So we must bring the body under the subjection to the Spirit of God that dwell in us. So sin does not have dominion because we are made free from the law of sin and death.
Jesus provides freedom from the presence of sin. Freedom from the penalty and the power of sin are reserved for this life. But freedom from the presence of sin is reserved for the life to come. As long as we are in this world, we will have to deal with the presence of sin. When Jesus returns, we shall be gloriously changed to be like Him, and the sin problem will be a thing of the past.
Paul, the great apostle of freedom; greater than Wilberforce, greater than Abraham Lincoln, greater than all the apostles of human freedom was the apostle Paul. He understood what it meant to be completely free, and was given to interpret more fully the deep meaning of Christ’s provisions for human freedom purchased on the Cross.
The message that Paul preached was Christ. His testimony was, “For I determined not to know anything among you save the Jesus Christ and he crucified.” Paul had a vision of the Christ and understood the meaning of freedom, because of the cross.
Paul’s emphasis was Co-crucifixion, he preached with burning seal the great doctrine of justification by faith. His message was I died in Christ. Dying to the things of this world, and made alive by the Spirit of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
He was also a partaker in the co-resurrection. The power of Christ’s resurrection rested upon his ministry. He was set free himself, so he could preach freedom to others with power and effectiveness. “Buried with Him by baptism into death,” to walk in newness of life.
Freedom should be the goal of every believer. Paul never lost sight of the goal. Christ had made him free from his miserable self-righteousness, freed him from his pharisaical pride, from his empty religiosity, free him from human ambition and the fear of man.