Saturday, February 12, 2005

freedom part one: a foundation

This is the first in a two-part post about freedom.

As Americans, when we hear the term freedom, all kinds of patriotic images flood our mind. We consider the flag being raised, military marches, and maybe even old war-time posters from days already over. That's what we think of in freedom: democracy--not just any democracy, but OUR democracy (nevermind the fact that the U.S. is not a democracy, but a Republic).

I want us to move beyond such patriotic imagery, though, when thinking about freedom. Let's move to a spiritual way of thinking in freedom. The Christian is free in so many ways. We are free from the penalty of sin. We are free from the eternal effects of sin. We are free to choose our way in God's sovereignty. Friends, we are free.

This freedom is not cheap, though. Christ paid a terrible and beautiful price for each of us who hold Him as Lord and Savior. The God of creation, the second Person of the Trinity, came to earth as a baby, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died upon a cross on Calvary. The price was paid with that perfect, righteous sacrifice, but Jesus did not stop there. He assured us of victory by raising from the grave, eternally defeating death and sin! If the Son has set you free, then you are free indeed.

We are free. Now what? This is a question we ask ourselves every time we fall. We are doing great, running full steam, when we lose concentration just for a moment and WHAM! We smack the ground so hard, we're barely conscious. When we awaken, we are so guilt stricken over our sin that we rechain ourselves into our old, sinful shackles and await deliverance. Friends, deliverance has come to us through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross has freed us for eternity. Those shackles that have entangled us aren't even locked. All we need to do is walk away.

We are free. Plain and simple, that is what we are. We are free from sin and from our slavery to it. This is something we may need to remind ourselves of on a daily basis. It's extremely easy to beat ourselves down because of sin or just because of life. There are times where we do not feel free, but that does not negate reality! It's then that we need to remind ourselves that we are free, indeed. We need to trust in the faithful grace of our Savior and Bridegroom. We need to trust that the freedom He has imparted to us will last and is true freedom.

That is the basis of our freedom and why we can live in it. The freedom is not based on a constitution. It is not guaranteed by military superiority. Our freedom is based upon the perfect work of God through Jesus and is guaranteed by His blood and His resurrection. That is why we can get up in the morning and face another day of possible hearteache, pain, and toil. We can because our freedom, our status in the Kingdom is not based upon this world or anything we've done. It's totally based upon God and his love and grace toward sinful man.

This grace and love that has purchased our freedom will allow us, in the midst of heartache, pain and toil to have love, peace and joy. While the negatives and hurt are real, so are the positives and healing that flow from Christ. We are free. We do not have to be in bondage to this world nor its ruler. We are citizens of a heavenly Kingdom and commune with it's King every moment we are alive forevermore. We truly are free. So if the Son has set you free, then you are free indeed (John 8:36)!

until Christ is formed in us...


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