Freedom Through Christ
Good day ladies, I hope you’re having a wonderful summer thus far. With Independence day coming up this weekend I thought I’d talk about freedom, especially for those of us in Christ. Grab your favorite beverage, get comfy, and let’s dive in.
DEFINITION OF FREEDOM?
When we say yes to Jesus he liberates, or frees us from the slavery of sin and death. The power of darkness and hell itself no longer has a hold on us. Let’s look at what the world, or unbelievers describe freedom as.
FREEDOM THROUGH THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE
If you were to ask people who don’t come from a christian or religious background what freedom is you might get quite a few answers. Yet as we see in Hollywood, magazines, etc we will notice freedom usually from the world’s perspective can be boiled down to three things; Riches/Fame, Status/Title and who you know, and Self-Righteousness.
In the 30-something years I’ve been on this earth one of the things I’ve noticed is a lot of people like to associate freedom and satisfaction through the lens of riches and fame. They think if you have a certain amount of money or the most likes and follows then you can be free and live an awesome life. I totally get that we need money to do things and it’s nice to have a platform where you can share the gospel with others, but that should never equal joy, what breeds freedom, and gives us lasting satisfaction. From what I’ve heard, the more money and the bigger platform you have the harder it is because there is more temptation to focus inward instead of the other way around. If we don’t have a proper view on finances and where our true identity lies, we will eventually crash and burn and it will be a very lonely life, even if we try to hide our loneliness behind a facade of trying to please others.
Another way some people define freedom is through their title, status in a society or in who they know. What do I mean? One might think because they are a doctor they can get away with saying something based on scientific theory instead of facts. There might be some truth to what they say, but unless they factor in all the evidence to back up what they are saying they are just making an educated guess. They think because they have the title of being a doctor means they have the freedom to say whatever they want as long as it “sounds” smart. Now obviously this isn’t always the case I am just using this as an example. Another example is politicians, government officials, and those in Hollywood. Some of them think that because they are well-known, have a title, and made it to their positions because of who their father, mother, etc are that means they have the freedom to tell people how to live. I disagree with this. We are all entitled to our opinion but that doesn’t mean we are allowed to push that opinion on others. Which leads me to our final point, self-righteousness.
Now this one was a bit tricky for me cause I wasn’t really sure what to call it. Let me give you an example of what I mean. The world, especially in this day-and-age, has been on a kick of a non-judgemental, political correctness. Yes, as believers we are not to judge others based on their identity or who God has created them to be. Most importantly we are not to judge people because they “sin differently” than we do. God ultimately judges our hearts and is the one who will deal with people regarding the way they live, that is not our job. Our job is to love people, even those who seem unlovable, and to point them to Jesus. And we are supposed to call out other followers when they’ve strayed from the gospel and are leading others astray, yet all throughout scripture we are told to do so in a loving manner. A lot of people tend to say if someone is free that means they can be and do what they “feel” is right in their own eyes. True freedom for these people means choice, which is a two – sided coin in my opinion. Yes, true freedom means you can choose to be an upstanding citizen, make choices that will better your life such as schooling and a career where you are content and fulfilling your purpose. However, the flip side of that is someone can choose to kill an unborn baby because it is “inconvenient” for them – I’m not judging I’m just saying someone in that position has more than one option and the consequences of such a decision can drastically change your life. Also, you have a choice to be whatever gender you want or even what rules and truths apply to you. What do I mean? Well, take the Watergate instance for example. In 1971 a huge case ensued with President Nixon and what is known as Watergate. Because of his title as President of the United States he deemed certain activities that happened over in Vietnam were classified material and the American people didn’t need to know what was really going on. Now there is so much to discuss regarding this, but basically what I’m getting at is when illegal activity is present within our government we as the American people have a right to know. What used to be a government run by the people has now become one run by corrupt politicians who seek to manipulate and control the people. As the ACLU states in Freedom Of The Press, “The freedom of the press, protected by the First Amendment, is critical to a democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. A free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoing. It is also a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a vehicle for ordinary citizens to express themselves and gain exposure to a wide range of information and opinions.” At the top of the this article they used a quote from Hugo Black in the case of New York Times vs. United States (1971) which says, “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” Oh how we have digressed from this. So what am I saying? Basically, we have become a nation that believes truth is like an art piece, where beauty – or truth in this case – is in the eye of the beholder. So as believers where does our freedom lie? What makes us free and how do we live free? Let’s dive into the Word of God for more.
WHAT THE WORD SAYS ON FREEDOM
As stated above Freedom is, “Boldness of conception or execution” and the way I interpret that is, as we begin following Jesus, he give us boldness because of who we are – children of God – and the power to share that boldness with others. We are called to execute His plan of salvation with the world, and the freedom we are given isn’t the same as the world tries to offer. According to John 8:32 in the NIV we see that truth sets us free; but what truth? Jesus, who He is and the sacrifice He made for every human being. In Galatians 5:1 (MSG) we see that God has removed the harness of slavery. In other words, before we accept the gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection we were bound in sin and eternal death like someone who is bound in a harness. I don’t know if you have seen many harness’ in your day but I used to work with them when I spent time at Disney World and when you are strapped into a harness it has to be tight in order to hold you up or in the performers case keep them from falling due to the harness helping them to “fly”. It makes me think of those who are bound tight to the sin that cripples them from living the life they were meant to live. The Bible also talks about how we are liberated and saved from the very clutches of sin and darkness according to Col. 1:13 (NIV). We no longer have a place of residency in the pit of despair and hopelessness. Jesus, because of his sacrifice on the cross, has created a home for us in heaven and the very presence of God Almighty. We no longer have to live in fear and defeat. We do not live there anymore, and when Satan tries to remind you of the stupid things you’ve said and done you can say, “Nope sorry, I no longer live at that residence, you got the wrong person!”
Freedom in Christ doesn’t give us a license to sin:
If you’ve been a follower of Jesus long enough, you’ve probably heard this a time or two. In Galatians 5:13, both the NIV and CEV, says we live free through the boundaries of love. Basically we don’t live to please ourselves and do whatever “feels” good in the moment, but instead we live to bless others and share God’s love with those He has put in our circle of influence. In the Message version we see that freedom isn’t subject to the law but it is a servant of love. According to Hebrews 10:9 in the New Living Translation, Jesus came to fulfill the first covenant which says, “Offer sacrifices, obey a strict set of rules, and you will live”, so we can freely walk in the second which calls us to a relationship with Him.
God’s Will in the earth:
God’s Will is to have a close relationship with us and to share the good news with others. (1 Thess. 4:3-12) Freedom in Christ leads to a satisfied life, one where we know who we are and our purpose on this earth. When you have an amazing parent, guardian, or even a mentor you want to please them and do things that make them happy because you love them. This is the same with God our heavenly father. Not only are we satisfied and feel fulfilled, we want to imitate how Jesus lived on this earth, through loving unconditionally and sharing the gospel – the message of hope to the world. I know this has been a lot and some of it was pretty intense, but stick with me for a minute longer. Jesus said in John 10:10 that he desires for us to have life – eternal -, and to have it to the full – with Joy – till it overflows – meaning it should spill out onto others and cause them to embrace the gospel and the Will of God for their lives as well.
Freedom in Christ means Heaven on Earth
So basically we saw how freedom doesn’t mean we have a bunch of money in our bank accounts, expensive cars, homes, etc. We are not free because we have a special title that let’s us do whatever we want or because people don’t judge the way we live and what truth we embrace for ourselves. Freedom doesn’t even mean after we say yes to Jesus we get to live however we want because cause God forgave us and now we can live by our desires until we get to heaven. True freedom in Christ means we walk in obedience to God, embrace His call on our lives and staying in His Will – sharing the gospel with others, loving people well, and teaching others how to walk out the call of God on their own lives. This is a day to day process, and yes we will mess up and miss the mark a time or two. Yet we should be striving to live and stay free through diving into God’s Word everyday, seeking Him through prayer and worship, getting around fellow believers and getting involved with a local church, and finding ways to share the gospel with whatever platform He has given you – even if it is being a teaching assistant at a public school! God has been teaching me so much on this subject and I hope it has been a blessing for all of you.
What does freedom in Christ mean to you and how are you sharing the gospel? I look forward to reading your comments, and as always please share this with other ladies who might be blessed by our community.
Remember sweet sister, you are highly favored and dearly loved, now go and shine your light!