Saturday, March 25, 2023

Finding Freedom in Jesus


 Christ has come to set us free! 

Galatians 5:1 (CSB)
For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Freedom is what we all desire, and it is, at least for Americans, a right for all people. We want to see people live in freedom rather than in oppression. 

God, too, desires that we be free! God’s desire for our freedom is seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The news that Jesus brings freedom to our lives is Good News.

We desire freedom, and God desires that we be free. So what is the problem?

The problem is our definition of freedom and God’s definition of freedom aren’t the same. 

Too often, we see freedom as the ability to decide how we want to live. 

To be free from the expectations of authorities, families, and other social restraints. 

To have the financial freedom to go and do what we want to do. 

For us freedom is defined by having complete control of our lives.

According to the Bible, God’s definition is different. In fact, the writers of the New Testament, who experienced the freedom Jesus gives, described themselves in an interesting way. 

In Romans, the Apostle Paul writes, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…" (Romans 1:1, CSB).

James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote, "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." (James 1:1, CSB). 

And the Apostle Peter wrote, "Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:1; CSB).

In each of these cases, we would understand the type of servant Paul, James, and Peter called  themselves to be a slave.

It is obvious that these men did not equate autonomous control of their lives to the freedom found in Jesus. They believed they were free, but that freedom led them to surrender to the authority of  King Jesus. 

In our thinking, being under the authority of someone else is not freedom. But these men, who said they were slaves of King Jesus, lived with a greater freedom than what we can understand.

Now I have this question to ask you: Is your life better or more complicated since you have been in control of making the choices on how to live? 

In this country and in this period of time, we have had great freedom to choose the direction of our lives. 

We have the freedom to choose our careers, the freedom to choose our spouses, the freedom to choose friends and other relationships, the freedom to do what we want with the money we make, and the freedom to believe what seems true to us.

Even with all this freedom, many of us feel trapped and enslaved. 

We feel trapped in a job that we hate. We feel trapped in a marriage that we no longer want. We feel enslaved by the expectations and whims of our friends. We feel enslaved to the massive amount of debt that we have accumulated. We feel trapped and enslaved by the empty promises of humanistic philosophies. 

When we are free to decide how we want to live, we often end up being trapped and enslaved by the choices we made.

Thankfully Jesus brings freedom to us trapped in prisons made up of our own decisions. 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 free to live in the spontaneity of love for God and people. 

Jesus’s freedom allows us to be free to use our money to help people in need, to be free to use our blessings to be a blessing to our neighbors, to be free to hope in the midst of hopelessness, and to be free to give our lives away to God and His Kingdom.

Are you living a free life  or are you enslaved to your addictions? 

Are you living free life or are you enslaved to the expectations of other people? 

The only way to truly experience freedom is to give your life to Jesus. He guides us out of the chains of bad choices and the enslavement to addictions and into his Kingdom of freedom.

The path towards freedom that Jesus offers is the path of surrendering your life to him. Freedom is found in stepping off the throne of your life and making Jesus King in your place.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Prophetic Revelation and the Gospel

  1 Peter 1:10-12 (CSB) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and careful...