There is no other word in the English language like that of "freedom." It demands emotion each time it is spoken; be it tears, a smile, or an affirmative glance. Humanity instinctively loves freedom.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:31-36).
FREEDOM! There is no word in the English language describes more why the United States exists and what our country stands for than this one two-syllable word. Since 1776 when we declared our Independence we have been a free nation. The brave men and women who sacrificed to bring this country into existence and have fought since to keep it free should never be forgotten.
From our school days we were taught “The Four Freedoms” found in the Constitution – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Though it would be beneficial to review each of these, we must call attention to another freedom, the freedom of the soul which Jesus Christ offers! This freedom is so basic to our other beliefs, yet it is the most important freedom ever to echo through the halls of time. This freedom is glorious and unmatched be any other.
Jesus is the Great Liberator! He came to set us free; “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). And “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). To catch a glimpse of this glorious freedom, we will view it from three aspects: the Content of this Freedom, the Character of this Freedom and the Conditions of this Freedom.
First, the Content of this Freedom.
What is this freedom that Christ offers? Let’s look at positives and negatives. What? Yes, there are positives and negatives we must consider.
What this freedom is not:
It Is Not Freedom From Suffering.
The troubles of life do not cease to prey upon us when we receive Jesus Christ as
our Savior! Even Christ, the One who knew no sin, was not without pain and distress.
To illustrate, everyone has heard or seen ads about “painless dentistry.” While this method of dentistry is less painful than the traditional methods, let me assure you, from my experience, that “painless dentistry” doesn’t exist! We may also be sure that no such thing as “painless Christianity” exists. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation (John 16:33). Satan has marketed a brand of Christianity that teaches serving Christ will cost you nothing — but this isn’t compliant with Scripture.
This Is Not Freedom From Temptation.
The freedom which Christ gives does not exempt us from temptation. “He was in all
points temped like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). It is only when we surrender to the temptation of wrongdoing that we begin to lose our freedom.
It is Not Freedom To Live As We Please.
We are not saved by keeping the Ten Commandments. we are not free to break the
Commandments either! We are not under law -- neither are we outlaws! Liberty is not
a license to live outside the will of God.
One of the major delusions of our day is the teaching that we are free only when we throw off all restraints and do as we please. This is the gospel of postmoderns, of humanists, and hedonists! This “theology” came from Satan and is not found in the New Testament. We are free from sin, not free to sin. The early church were willing to give their lives for their faith and many of them did so. Lax living and little to no convictions among believers pleases Satan, not God. God calls for a separated people.
The content of this freedom, when negatively considered, isn’t freedom from
suffering, nor freedom from temptation, neither is it freedom from sin.
So, What is this Freedom?
What then is the content of the freedom which is offered by the Lord Jesus? It is:
Freedom From The Past Curse. The past curse was caused by Adam and Eve’s sin.
Romans 5:12 explains it: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” And Romans 3:23 adds, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” There is a word in the New Testament that makes freedom possible. It is the word "redemption." It means "to be set free by the payment of a price.” Ephesians 1:7 tells us what that price was: “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
This means that the recipient of God’s offer of salvation has had the price of redemption paid by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and has had their sin-debt cancelled! He has been set free from sin’s slavery and is no longer alienated from God and has the freedom that Jesus promised when He said, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I love the song:
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.”
The freedom that the Lord Jesus offers not only is freedom from sin’s past curse,
but it is also:
Freedom From Future Condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom.8:1).
"Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom.5:9).
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free" (Gal.5:1).
Thank God for freedom’s content, for in it we learn of our freedom from any future condemnation! Further, we must consider:
the Character of this Freedom.
The Character of this freedom is seen in these two statements. Our freedom is predicated
upon divine Precept and His divine Person.
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Again Jesus added, “Sanctify them through Thy Word, Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).
How did the human race get into the bondage and slavery of sin to begin with? Simply put, by believing Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden! He said, “Eat of this tree and you will be wise like God – you will not die” (Gen.3:1-4). Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan, “the Father of lies” (John 8:44), instead of "the Father of truth" ( Titus 1:2).
Which one are you believing?
“If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
It is truth that sets us free – truth in a Book and truth in a Body! God’s Word is truth
God’s Son is Truth – “I am the truth” (John 14:6).
The Precepts of scripture and the Person of God’s Son are inseparable! Truth in a
Book, truth in a Person is the basis of our freedom. Today we are told by those who consider themselves more wise than God, that there is no absolute truth. That was Satan’s original lie to Adam and Eve.
The Character of our Freedom is based upon absolute truth. The Precepts and Person of God are our guarantees!
Consider the Condition of this Freedom.
This freedom is conditioned upon two actions that sinners must take. There must be:
An Acknowledgment That We Need Liberating.
You remember the man that Jesus told us about, who stood on the street corner and
said, “God be merciful to me a sinner?" We must agree with God that we are sinners
who need liberating. That is called “repentance." Jesus said, “Except you repent you
shall perish” (Luke 13:3).
On the way to Damascus God appeared to Saul of Tarsus and after he acknowledges the One Who is confronting him, Saul says, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Saul calling Him “Lord” and “Falling to the ground” (Acts 9:4) was acknowledgement of his sinfulness in the presence of the Sinless One.
The second action that the repentant sinner takes is, an Acceptance Of The Liberator.
John 1:12 tells us “As many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on Him Name."
Saul accepted Christ's terms of surrender and received the Lord as his Liberator/Savior. Later he would write to the Galatian Christians, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
The Great Liberator is what Simon Bolivar was called. When he was born in 1783, all of Spanish-speaking South America and Central America was ruled by Spain and had been for almost 300 years. By the time Bolivar died in 1830, all the Spanish-speaking nations of this region had won their independence. The man who was most responsible for the liberation of these countries was Bolivar. That's why he is known as "The Liberator." The Liberator led a revolution that freed Peru from Spanish control. Part of Peru was separated from the rest of Peru and made an independent nation in 1825. It took its name from The Liberator and became Bolivia.
Liberation from political tyrany is to be desired for all peoples. However politically free the peoples of earth may be, all need to be liberated from the bondage of sin.
There is only One who can be called The Great Liberator in that sense and that is Jesus Christ who said, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Those who have been liberated by Him are called “Christians” who take their name from The Great Liberator from sin’s penalty, power and eventually from sin’s presence.
I wonder dear friend, have you been set free?
Have you been liberated? Or are you yet a sinner slave?
It is no wonder that he Gospel is called “Good News!” It is the message of freedom.
The liberated Paul wrote,
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"
(I Cor. 15:1-4).
That is the message of the Good News of freedom for sin’s prisoners, liberty for those in sin's bondage, and release for the sin oppressed.
There is a story told of a liberated slave who went to see President Lincoln and assured him that he would not accept his freedom as a gift, that he wanted to pay for it. He threw a silver dollar on the President’s desk. The kind Mr. Lincoln tried to show the man that he could not pay for his liberty – it had already been paid for and was a gift.
When the freed man insisted, the president took him to the window and showed him the row of soldiers’ graves across the river in Arlington. Then President Lincoln said to him, “your freedom has already been paid for by those who have died for you.” The slave stood there and wept with President Lincoln, finally realizing the weight of Mr. Lincoln's words.
Friend, the same truth applies here. We are have been liberated by Jesus Christ, for He has died for us. We have glorious freedom. We have unmatched freedom. Do you have it? You can; consider Jesus today!