Freedom

<<liberty, independence>>

Freedom is the release from some restraining power and living without this former bondage or restriction.

Adam and Eve were given the choice to obey God or rebel. They chose to disobey and all mankind involuntarily came under Satan’s control and thus his slaves, for “A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (Jn 8:34; Rom 5:12,19, 6:16).  This shows the importance of forethought and thinking through the issues to make wise decisions as it is impossible to reverse the consequences of unwise choices even though the sin can be repented of and forgiven.

When we become a Christian, we are legally set free from Satan’s bondage to the old life by the blood of Christ and become “slaves[servants] of righteousness”, beginning a process to gain ongoing victory over habits and the areas where Satan had his strongholds in our lives (Rom 6:18,22, 7:6; 2 Cor 10:5). “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free...So if the Son sets you free you will truly be free” (Jn 8:32,36). This is freedom from the restraints and powers that oppose God, and hinder a relationship with Him. Freedom from sin’s captivity only comes from God. Real freedom is in the spiritual realm not the physical, as a prisoner in jail in right relationship with God is much freer than a ‘free man’ bound by sin.

Am I actively pursuing freedom, working with Jesus to bring release from the powers that hold me captive to sin?  As we progressively enter into the freedom we must do our part to remain free – continue to walk and grow in the truth (Deut 8:6; Jn 8:31,32; 2 Pet 3:18); put to death the old life and put on Christ (Rom 7:6, 8:13; Gal 3:27, 5:24; Col 3:5-10); live in the Spirit (Gal 5:16,25); ensure the

What steps am I taking to                   come into freedom?

negative past is replaced with positive attitudes and activities (Lk 11:24-26; Rom 12:2; Eph 4:28); Christ provided freedom, and we are not to revert to bondage again (Gal 3:13, 5:1; 2 Pet 2:20-22); exercise self-control and vigilance, by keeping away from areas that have been temptation weak spots (1 Pet 5:8).

Be careful that what God has allowed you to enjoy doesn’t become an idol or controlling habit in your life by living responsibly. We are free from the demands of sin, not so we can do wrong or to serve ourselves but to live for God as we should, doing His will at all times and serving one another in love (Gal 5:13; 1 Pet 2:16).

We can only experience freedom from bondage to evil forces and powers through yielding to the control of, or voluntary bondage to, our creator (Rom 6:16-22; 2 Pet 2:19). Satan’s aim for us is defeat, destruction and death but Christ’s is for us to be liberated, having a passionate relationship with Him, experiencing real life now, then continuing throughout eternity (Jn 10:10). Full freedom is in Christ who came to overthrow the Prince of this world (Satan) and destroyed his work (Jn 12:31, 16:11; Heb 2:14; 1 Jn 3:8). The Lord sets the prisoner free (Ps 146:7). This requires us reckoning ourselves being dead to the old way of life and walking in the newness of life that Christ provides, as symbolised through water baptism (Rom 6:4). “The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and death…for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (Rom 8:2; 2 Cor 3:17). Outworking the truth brings freedom.

God anointed Jesus to preach deliverance from whatever held people in captivity, and this responsibility and authority has now been delegated to us His followers (Mt 4:24, 28:19,20; Mk 16:15-18; Lk 4:18,19, 8:26-39; Jn 5:3-9; Jas 5:14,15). We are urged to serve God through good works to advance His Kingdom and bring release to others held in bondage to whatever is not of God (Eph 2:10; 1 Pet 2:12). The motive is gratitude for the blessing freely bestowed on us.

God’s commands (such as the Ten Commandments recorded in Ex 20:3-17) are for humanity’s good, to avoid evil and harm, keeping us safe inside the boundaries to receive His best. The psalmist said because he obeyed God’s laws he would walk in freedom (Ps 119:44,45). There is a liberation within the boundaries of His ideals, and the beneficial man-made laws.

The liberty we have in Christ does not abolish our responsibility to be considerate to the needs and conscience of others, sanction us to indulge in sin or be a cause of stumbling to them (Rom 14:13;
1 Cor 8:9-13, 10:23-33; Gal 2:4).  Whatever we do should help not hinder others in the faith as well as ministering Christ’s love to the lost (Mt 18:6, 25:24-46). It is not a freedom to do as we want, rather

Sin must not be your master                       – Romans 6:14

the freedom to do right; a release from sin and self to live for Him, ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit to those held in bondage. Christian freedom is restricted by Christ’s law of love for God and others (Mk 12:30,31; Jn 13:34; 1 Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2). This involves the principle of voluntary and liberal self-sacrifice for the good of others; the motivation is God’s glory. Christ sets us free from sin and self, to serve Him and humanity; we are to be doers as well as hearers of what is right (Mt 7:23-27; 1 Cor 9:1-23, 10:31; Jas 1:25, 2:11).

Whatever is of the flesh and sin ultimately brings bondage and death, what is of God leads to life and release.

David prayed, “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name” (Ps 142:7). A liberated person is no longer imprisoned. As Jesus died to provide release from all the bondage to evil, it is an insult to His sacrifice if we don’t increasingly walk into freedom. Speak freedom by the blood of Christ into your situation. The devil doesn’t want us know what has been purchased for us at Calvary (his defeat), much less live in the victory over all his negative schemes.

See also: binding and loosing, bondage, boundaries, deliverance, forgiveness, free will, healing, legalism, liberty, rehabilitation, release, slave, wholeness.


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