In the “land of the free,” we often confuse the true nature of freedom. For many of us, freedom has become synonymous with personal independence — the ability to make our own decisions and choose our own path in life, to do whatever we want, whenever we want. It’s what I call “outside freedom.”
But this is not the freedom that Jesus promised us. When Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah, He said that He had come to Earth to “proclaim freedom” (Luke 4:18). And on another occasion, He said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Jesus was not setting us free to do whatever we wanted; He was freeing us to do what we ought to do. He was liberating us to walk in relationship with God and to be the kind of people He created us to be. This spiritual freedom is what I call “inside freedom” — the ability to obey God and choose His will for our lives.
And this is the freedom that sin had long denied us.
Jesus shocked the Pharisees, the spiritual leaders of His day, when He stated, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Jesus was asserting that we are all under the power and control of a natural tendency to sin; we can’t get away from it by ourselves.
Sin brings a penalty that, by ourselves, we can’t escape either. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
How do we find freedom from the penalty and power of sin? That comes through accepting Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross as the payment for our sin. As we submit to Christ, sin loses its power — Christ’s power takes over. As we choose to trust and follow Him, our sinful habits, thoughts and attitudes lose their control. Guilt disappears, and peace of mind dominates. Right habits become the norm. That’s freedom — true freedom!
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