Summary: God in Christ Jesus has set us free from bondage, but many time we do not realize that and put ourselves under various burdens of this world. This sermon is intended to encourage all believers that we are all set free by the Son of God and we need not put
Introduction- Freedom or Liberty has been considered as the basic human right from the ages. This issue is very much discussed in the present scenario of our country. Looking at the events at this point of the history, we see that the freedom of people has been put under control. Unlike that God has given us the freedom to enjoy his goodness in this creation. Our God is a God of Freedom and liberty. From the very beginning this aspect of God in relation to humanity has been established.
God gave the freedom to Adam and Eve to work according to their freewill and make their own choices. So the freedom is a God-given gift to the humanity to enjoy the goodness of God. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3: 17)
The fact of freedom is also very much evident in the redemption of the people of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Good looked at their situation and heard their cry and libertaed them by doing miraculous works. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. (Exo. 2: 24).
Jesus at the beginning of his ministry when he read from the book of Isaiah in Luke 4 clearly revealed that one of the purposes of his coming to this world is the liberation of those who are in bondage. Christ's will for us is that we enjoy freedom.
The issue of freedom or liberation is very much relevent to India also as the majority of people of India are divided into caste system. The people who belong to the lower casts do not enjoy religious and social freedom in India.
But this doesn’t mean that God has given the freedom of doing whatever we want. Corinthians misunderstood the message of Paul and thought that they are free to do anything. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Cor 6:12)
The letter to the Galatians written by Paul, effectively describes for us what it means to be free in Christ and what our basic rights are, as Christians! The purpose of Christ coming to this world was to liberate us from the slavery, the slavery of sin and the slavery of Satan who loves to keep people in bondage. When we look at Christ and pay attention to what he has done for us, we can see that God in Jesus Christ has liberated us in all the areas of our life and gives an invitation to those who are under burden (Mat 11:28).
Freedom in Christ
As mentioned above Christ has given us freedom in all the areas of our live, but we will highlight just three areas here where we can experience the power of God’s freedom in our lives.
1. Freedom from the traditions of the world: We are human beings and caught up in the ways this world leads us. Sometimes we know certain things are wrong or are not according to the precepts of God’s Word, but we keep doing that in order to please the world. In Galatians 2:15, Pauls says that we who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but in faith in Jesus Christ. So we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by observing the law, because by observing the law, no one will be justified. In the days of Jesus and Paul the religious authorities had interpreted the law in such a way that instead of becoming the Word of God, it had become the traditions of man. We also know that the Letter to the Galatians was written to warn the believers to not come under the bondage of man-made traditions. Paul clearly asks them about the source of their freedom. How did they get this freedom in Holy Spirit, through law or through faith in Jesus? (Gal 3:1-4) The Galatians were in fact after being delivered from their own traditions through faith in Christ putting on themselves a different bondage of Jewish traditions.
Jesus himself was against the traditions of his time. He healed the sick on Sabbath, he ate with sinners, he talked with women publically and he had close contact with Samaritans. The clear message of Jesus’ teachings and of the apostles is that the man-made traditions put people under bondage, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cori 3:6).
2. Freedom from the bondage of sin: The ultimate aim of Jesus’ ministry was that we may be liberated from the burden of sin. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He came to give his life as a ransom. What is ransom? Ransom is an amount of money or a thing which is the cost of someone’s freedom. Jesus gave himself as a ransom so that we may be free from the burden, bondage and guilt of sin. Paul had taught this thing very clearly when he shared the Gospel in Galatia. And when they were slipping away from that true gospel, Pauls says in Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The purpose of Christ in bringing us in the plan of salvation is that he wants us to be free from the bondage of sin, and that was the only reason that he chose the agony, pain and death of cross so that we may be saved.