"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, July 9, 2010

FREEDOM INDEED!

John 8:36 " So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

Last week I was asked, "What are you doing for the 4th of July?" I was so wrapped-up with packing and last minute details I nearly forgot it's purpose. It is often after a holiday when I have time to really reflect on it's meaning and purpose. Sometimes I am guilty of being consumed with preparations beforehand that I become distracted and forget what I am preparing for. Was I really getting ready to celebrate the independence and freedom our country has from Great Britain or was I just happy to have an extra day off with my family? The wars our country has encountered and the blood of our soldiers have paid to protect our American freedom. Priceless. Precious. Often taken for granted.

While our American freedom is highly valuable, it is only logical as a Christian to pause and consider the freedom we have in Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ paid for our spiritual freedom. Christ broke the chains of bondage and slavery to the Law and offers us his gift of grace and freedom from sin. What does this mean for us? How is this truth significant to our lives? To summarize Martin Luther, freedom is not the right to do what you want but rather the power to do what you ought. An article written by Rick Ezell titled Let Freedom Ring says, "Christian freedom is freedom from sin, not freedom to sin." God freed us from sin, but it is our choice to live according to the principles of His Word.

Our verse for today from John 8:36 tells us, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Later John 14:6 says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Then in John 8:32, Jesus tells his disciples, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Ezell says later in his article, "God's method for freedom is truth. When we believe the devil's lies and obey them, we experience bondage. God's purpose for us is freedom and God's method for freedom is truth."

Freedom is the chance for us to become what God intended for His glory. While we operate under grace, our spiritual freedom is not a license to do whatever we want when we want. Spiritual freedom should bring us to a place of greater maturity because we recognize our responsibility as Christians. Sometimes my boys will ask me, "Why can't we do that? What's wrong with it?" I have learned to say to them, "What is right with it?" or "How is it good?" I think Christians ask the same things in their own minds, "What's wrong with that?" "Why can't I do that?" We try to inwardly justify behavior we know is not right. It's like the teenager who wonders how far they can go and still be okay? It reveals a heart wanting to get away with something as long as it fits in the right box of "okays". We are asking for heartache when we tamper with sin.

The standard for righteousness and holy living must come from Truth. Right and holy living, meaning, our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and our words should line up with the Word. The next time we want to ask, "What is wrong with this?", we should ask ourselves, "Will this draw me closer to God? Will this glorify Him? Is this God's best for my life?

As Christians, do we truly celebrate the freedom Christ has given us? Our spiritual freedom is not free. It's been purchased with Christ's blood. Priceless. Precious. Often taken for granted.



Heart Work:
How can I abuse my freedom in Christ? How can my life reflect a right understanding of spiritual freedom? Am I living according to the principles of His Word?


Heart Examination:
What does my spiritual freedom mean to me? Do I correctly understand what Christ has done for me through His sacrifice on the cross? Is my heart eager to please God or myself? Am I seeking ways to justify my ungodly behavior?


Heart Changing Word:

1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."

Galatians 5:13 "Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."

Galatians 5:1 "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."

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






Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.