Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jesus-The Great Liberator Part 3-What is the Freedom Christ Gives Us?

(Part One is here)
(Part Two is here)

What is this Freedom Christ gives us? The obvious answer is not always the correct answer, but in this case it is. This can be seen in John 8:34. Jesus says,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin."

We are freed from slavery to sin.

When Adam and Eve first sinned, (Genesis 3:1-7), they became slaves of sin, and that has been the state of every human being since. We sin and show we are slaves of sin.

Jesus says there’s a way out of being a slave of sin. If He sets us free we are free indeed. “Indeed” here means “For real”
We are set free for real.

Let’s look at this in more detail-
1-Believers are freed from the burden of the Law. We are not free to disregard it or scoff at it, but freed from fulfilling it as a condition of salvation, and freed to obey it as well.

Before Christ frees us-we don’t want to obey, except if there’s something in it for us. That may be money, fame, recognition, help for our family, or maybe just the “good” feeling we get from helping out—ultimately it is self centered. We do not act out of the proper motives such as love for Christ and gratitude to Him for setting us free. If we are serving God as He would have us there may be times when it hurts to obey, and we can’t see any benefit-outside of our trust in His mercy, love, and promises.

In Romans 6 Paul calls those who are Christians to stop acting as slaves of sin and to start acting as slaves of righteousness. Being set free by Christ enables that.

2-Believers are free from condemnation of sin.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1.
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:13-14.

These passages show us Jesus can set us free; because He has paid the price-He took the penalty upon Himself.

3-Believers are free from the dominion of sin.
"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corintians 5:21

This points to sanctification-or being set apart by God to serve Him and be made more Christ like.

4-Believers are free from the sting of death-Death can separate us from this world, but it cannot hurt us once it’s done. We grieve the loss of loved ones but we will see other believers again—in God’s presence- Death is not in charge-God is.
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Here Paul is referring to Hosea 13:14, and answering it in Christ.

This is the freedom Christ gives believers.

In Part Four I will wrap it up with why this freedom is so wonderful.
(I am especially indebted to the Puritan John Flavel's work Method of Grace in this series.)


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