Set Free to Stay Free

When the Bible talks about our being set free it uses the word “made.”  We are set free but there was effort involved in securing the freedom.  We are a people made free.  We enjoy days like July 4th because of the efforts and sacrifices that took place and continue to take place.  We have been made free, not by ourselves, but by someone else.

Our best liberty was given by Jesus through his coming to this world and overcoming it on our behalf.  Through his suffering and death and resurrection he bought freedom for the heart and soul that was hopelessly lost on the way to hell.  We couldn’t untangle ourselves from the bondage of sin.

Jesus was born in the flesh but his own people renounced him choosing to have him crucified. While they condemned him, they condemned the only king who could help them.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  13. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Liberty and freedom mean the same thing.  Freedom is the release of a person from something which has him or her bound.  We enjoy many freedoms other countries do not.  Some of them are eroding day by day.  We have civil freedoms that come and go; the freedom that Jesus gives continues if we treat it right.  Liberty is the continuing state of a person possessing and enjoying freedom handed to him by bloody hands who gave it.  Only one person gave freedom to the heart and soul—Jesus Christ himself through the blood of the cross.  God gave his Son.  The Son gave his life.  That’s why he’s the Living Bread.  I’m thankful that he loves us that much.

John 8:31-32 says if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  Look at the precious state of liberty. It’s a continuing state of possessing as we know Jesus.  Verse 1 says be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Sin has many ways of tying us down.  We knew we couldn’t break free in ourselves.  We have to trust the Savior and keep our faith in him.   If we don’t, we’ll sin and be entangled again.  Christ made us free.  We didn’t sacrifice anything.  We were bound in shackles of sin.  We were under condemnation with the fear of hell.  There were no freedoms in sin.  The devil’s promises of such were really bondage with the chains of hell around us.  Jesus broke the chains that linked us to hell and made us free through his power, his blood, and his sacrifice.  His scars are from his efforts to free us.  His wounds are the testimony to his labor to execute our salvation.

We are made free with the rights and privileges of children of God. We don’t have to give in to the flesh and sin now that we’re saved.  We can call on the Lord.  Before Jesus we had no choice.  Meeting Jesus we were forgiven and given a bond of love, grace, and mercy.  We have a privilege to enjoy.   We can give in, but we don’t have to do it.  When we sin after salvation it is because we want to do it.  The Bible says if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  It’s a wonder Jesus puts up with us. We are free; the Lord intends for us to stay free.  Choose the right thing. Don’t give place to the devil.  We have victory and can have it if we continue in faith in Jesus Christ.

We make mistakes.  We get careless.  We lose our sense of gratitude.  The Christian life becomes habit.  We get in a rut in our prayer life and Bible study. It loses meaning.  Before we know it, instead of doing as God pleases, we start to misuse the freedom to do what we want.  Church loses its appeal.  The Bible becomes unimportant.  Whose to blame?  We can’t blame the devil. We can’t blame others.  We must accept our own blame.  As Americans we are responsible for the liberties our forefathers have us. We’ve been irresponsible and pushed freedom beyond the limits it was meant to be.  We have a responsibility to this country.  When we become lazy with our freedom we end up like Samson who didn’t realize it was gone until it was too late.

Verse 13 says use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  We’re not set free to live any way we want.  When a Christian sins it is worse.  Knowing better we do it anyway.  II Chronicles 7:14 states If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Do God’s people have wicked ways?  That’s what it says. We need Jesus every day because there is a devil in our face.  Can we live a Christian life in a world saturated by sin?  Yes!  Jesus will clear the path for us causing us to walk in victory. Pay attention to the responsibility you have.  Don’t use your liberty to sin.  Through your faith it works.

We prove ourselves by how we treat each other and the Word.  Let’s not mess up our liberty.  The devil can’t mess it up.  The powers of evil can’t mess it up.  Only you and I can mess up the freedom we have.  God made us free to stay free.  It’s up to us.  Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.  Do right by what you have.  Do right by God.

As we close out this Independence Day weekend, take the challenge.  Consider how you care for the freedom you have in God.

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