In our hearts many of us long for freedom. This isn’t about political freedom. Rather it is about getting out from underneath the oppression of addiction, the unrealistic expectation, and the shame/guilt that plague our lives. We want to have the freedom to become the people God created us to be.
The Gospel( which is the good news of God’s Kingdom breaking into this world) proclaims a message of freedom. God has a great desire to see His creation free! In Jesus this desire of God was made real. Because of Jesus we can be free!
In the upside down nature of God’s Kingdom we discover that true freedom is not found through being able to do whatever we want to do. According to Scripture true freedom begins with our choice to become slaves to God.
In Romans the apostle Paul wrote; Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus…(Romans 1:1, NASB). We would understand a bond-servant to be a slave. James, the half-brother of Jesus, also wrote; James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…(James 1:1, NASB). The apostle Peter wrote; Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ…(2 Peter 1:1; NASB).
For these three men freedom was not about following their dreams and having absolute control of their lives. Rather, for them freedom meant surrendering their lives to God. They believed that true freedom could only be found in following Jesus.
Why is freedom found in Jesus? Freedom is found in Jesus because he has freed us from those things that oppress us like sin, addiction, expectations, and guilt. Jesus opens up a new way to live life, a way that brings healing, purpose, hope, and forgiveness.
Freedom is found in Jesus because he alone knows the way to life. While many of our choices lead us into places that rob us of freedom, Jesus leads us to places where are able to experience life at its best, free to love, serve, and forgive people.
Often when we make choices apart from God’s guidance we choose careers, friends and other relationships, possessions, and even spouses that rob us of life and freedom. We end up feeling trapped and imprisoned by the choices we freely made.
This is why freedom, as it is often defined by the world, is nothing but a mirage. It makes all these wonderful promises about giving you the life of your dreams, but after awhile you realize that it was all a lie. Instead of life and freedom you discover oppression and addiction. It doesn’t take too long before you realize that you can’t break out of those chains.
In spite of the political freedom Americans claim to possess, the reality is that we live in a nation of slaves. The United States is filled with people who are living lives that are filled with oppression and abuse. People who have chosen to ignore God and have become enslaved to the idols of wealth, power, prestige, and knowledge. People who have chosen to pursue their careers and have sacrificed their families have now become trapped by loneliness and guilt. People who have chosen to live in the moment and have now have become wrapped in the chains of addiction that they cannot break. When we are free to decide how we want to live we end up being trapped and enslaved in a thousand different ways.
That is why Jesus brings freedom. He offers a life free from the curse and condemnation of the Law. He offers a life free from the addictions of sin. He offers a life that is free to live spontaneously loving God and people. Jesus frees us to use our money to bless other people. He frees us to hope in the midst of hopelessness. Jesus gives us the freedom to give our lives to God.
Are you living a free life or are you enslaved to your addictions and the whims of other people? The only way to truly experience freedom is to give your life to Jesus. Are you willing to put your life under the authority of Jesus so you can experience everlasting freedom?
Questions to consider:
- What is surprising about Jesus’ way of freedom?
- How are you being oppressed or enslaved what now?
- How can we experience Jesus has to offer?