Most of you that read this are citizens of the United States – a country referred to as the land of the free. Sure, we have rules and regulations that we are expected to follow – but, we still have more freedoms than most other countries in the world. However, I believe that we tend to take most of our freedoms for granted and underestimate their value to our lives, until we see them eroding and being taken away.
Today in our world we see many people striving to express their “freedom” by rejecting rules, regulations, social standards and spiritual standards. Basically, most (if not all) rules, regulations and social standards were derived from the spiritual standards laid out for us in the Bible to keep us healthy and safe. People start demanding “rights” simply because they believe as a free person they should be able to do anything they want to do – regardless of what those rules, regulations, social and spiritual standards say. So, the results of freedom-seeking, that rejects what has been put in place to protect us, can end in disaster.
Then you have people that are so concerned about their feelings and are so sensitive about their personal beliefs, that if someone steps outside the bounds of what they consider to be “politically correct” then they are offended. They are free to believe what they want to believe, but you are not entitled to act on or speak what you believe. Families end up splintered, friendships ruined, people end up in courts suing or being sued at the drop of a hat – over perceived rights and/or freedoms.
When we start to act on “rights” and “freedoms” regardless of what our actions will do or who they will affect, then the likelihood of those acts becoming blatant sin increases. John 8:34 (NLT) says this: Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.’” Obviously, if you are a slave to anyone or anything – you are not free. We would be so much better off if we would determine that we want to live our lives in true freedom. How can we do that? Psalm 119:45 (ERV) tells us – “So I will live in freedom, because I do my best to know your instructions.” If we will study the Word of God and take the words to heart and do our best to live by the truth of those words, then we will have the instructions we need to live in freedom and to avoid the penalties of those sins.
“So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone. What do You mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?’ Jesus answered, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin. Now the slave does not remain in a household forever; the son [of the master] does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you plan to kill Me, because My word has no place [to grow] in you [and it makes no change in your heart]. I tell the things that I have seen at My Father’s side [in His very presence]; so you also do the things that you heard from your father.’ They answered, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you are [truly] Abraham’s children, then do the works of Abraham and follow his example. But as it is, you want to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This is not the way Abraham acted. You are doing the works of your [own] father.’ They said to Him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one [spiritual] Father: God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father [but He is not], you would love and recognize Me, for I came from God [out of His very presence] and have arrived here. For I have not even come on My own initiative [as self-appointed], but He [is the One who] sent Me. Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [and continue in your unbelief]. Which one of you [has proof and] convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? Whoever is of God and belongs to Him hears [the truth of] God’s words; for this reason you do not hear them: because you are not of God and you are not in fellowship with Him.’” John 8:31-47 (AMP)
“We need to realize the gravity of the problem – the sin that plagues us – and beg for freedom. It comes from outside of ourselves, not from within. It comes from Jesus.” “We’re comfortable saying we’re free in Christ – in theory – without experiencing freedom from sin – in practice. We like the status of being free while settling into the ease of our slavery…When the Son sets us free, He expects us to be free. Completely free.” Jesus did not give “us the ability to set ourselves free. No, it’s the Son who sets us free.” *
We have the ability to seek out the One that is the freedom giver and that is what we should do on a daily basis. Ask God to help you take every thought captive so that no thought becomes a word or an action that is sinful. That has become a matter of daily prayer for me and I have felt my attitude and actions changing toward situations and people. I would challenge you to do the same and seek that life-giving freedom that truly sets us free!
Written by Karran Martin – December 16, 2022
* Quotes from Chris Tiegreen
[All bold emphasis is mine]