Freedom, we live in the United States as Free People. Some may not agree with that statement as much as others, but we are still free to make choices. There are limits to those choices, who has not heard this one, “You cannot yell fire in a theater”. Yes, we are free to choose but that freedom seems to end when it may endanger the life of another. Without getting ourselves too deep into this discussion, let us hold the thought that we are free within the confines of the law.
So, what does it mean to accept and act upon the Freedom that we have as Americans? Merriam-Webster tells us that Freedom is – the quality or state of being free: such as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. In simple Steve Joiner terms that means we have the right to make unforced choices and actions. Now, there may be consequences for those actions and choices, but we were free to make them.
In the Bible we see a similar definition and yet a slightly different outcome. According to the Strong’s Expository, we have the Greek word eleútheros (an adjective) – properly, free (liberated), unbound (unshackled); (figuratively) free to realize one’s destiny in Christ. Again, I will give you the Steve Joiner translation, we were born bound, shackled, and needed to be released or liberated and there is only one place to find this freedom, Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 3: 17 ESV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Due to Adam in the Garden, we are born apart from Christ. We want freedom from the wrong that is in our life, so we come up with our own plan of escape. We think we can find freedom by living a life of compassion, living right, or many other options that are available to us. Of course, these plans are all limited to our ability. It comes down to this simple truth that we do not have the ability to pay for our freedom. The issue is spiritual not physical, whose words are you connected too? There is freedom in the Spirit of the Lord.
John 8:31-32 ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“The truth will set you free!” I am sure that regardless of your religious background you have heard this phrase before. Reading further in the Gospel of John, chapter 14, Jesus proclaims that He is “The Way, The Truth, and The Light”! Here Jesus gives us an absolute truth statement, this causes many to struggle. Jesus is stating that He is the ONLY way, that there is no other plan! That He is the LIGHT that shines in the darkness leading us out of our shackles and into freedom! And, once we abide in and follow this TRUTH, we will be free!
Choice is the foundation of Freedom. God set before Adam and Eve a choice, “Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in that day you will surely die.” Choices can bring you life or they can bring you death. We make choices every day, so am I telling you that every choice we make leads to life or death. Yes, our choices either draw us closer to God or away from God.
Luke 4: 16-20 ESV
And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.”
Jesus officially begins His ministry, a ministry that will bring about Spiritual Freedom in our lives. That is what Humans have longed for since that day in the Garden, a relationship with God. But instead we are willing to stuff anything into that Cross shaped hole, except the Cross.
Death equals emptiness, void of any love or connection. For us to be free, a battle had to take place to gain freedom. Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, lived among us. He was captured and hung on a tree, having done nothing deserving of that death. The battle started and three days later, Jesus overcame the void and emptiness of death. Jesus reconnected with His Father and sits beside Him today making it possible for us to have access to that same relationship. His death on the cross paid for our freedom. Once we have accepted that payment by surrendering our will to His, we are free.
Romans 6: 5-6 ESV
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Once we surrender our will a new person is created. The new freedom allows us the ability and desire to know and understand God. This new freedom has moved us away from death, that empty void, but more importantly it is taking us to a better life. Jesus then gives us the Holy Spirit to encourage us daily so that we can truly find Love and Acceptance. That is what all of us are longing for, deep within us is that desire, so make the right choice today and find the best consequence to any decision you have made, A life of peace in the guiding hand of our Savior.