So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Today is July 4th, the day we in the USA celebrate our freedom and birth as a nation. It is a great holiday and I am thankful to live in a country were we do have many freedoms that people around the world can only dream of. As great as that is, the fact is that most people, even those in the USA, have never experienced the true freedom that God offers all people thru Christ. There is the temporal freedom of living in a land like ours where you have certain rights and liberties as a citizen, but the freedom God offers is an eternal one that relates to our eternal soul. Most people I meet in my day to day life are in fact prisoners and captives to sin and all the encumbrances it brings. They do not have the forgiveness of sins that God offers them, the cleansing of conscience that Christ’s sacrifice provides, and the power to live for God’s glory that the Holy Spirit gives. Being in bondage in the inner man, our soul, is far more crushing and horrible than being in bondage externally in the material world, although that is not fun either. This is why the Apostle Paul could counsel believers in 1 Corinthians 7:21-24 to serve God joyfully even if they were a slave to another person, as belonging to God far exceeded the challenges we face living this life on earth. If we all learned to find our joy and peace by living for God, the weight of external and worldly circumstances would have far less influence on us. If we surrender every area of our life to the Lordship of Christ, He then becomes the dominant authority and power for our soul. If we do not allow Jesus to rule in us, we subject ourselves to many things that can cause us great anxiety and discouragement. Freedom is about being able to live for God, and not only receive His love and joy, but to give it freely to others. This is the test of how we are doing in this aspect of our spiritual life: how freely do we give out love and joy to others? If we struggle here, perhaps it is because we are not letting God have His way with us and we do not have the freedom and truth He freely offers. Let us do as scripture admonishes and check ourselves from time to time to be sure we are living out what we say we believe and possess. If we find we are lacking, may we be humble enough to confess it and repent of it, and put all our hope on Christ alone, relying only on His Spirit and Word to change us!
Pastor Gary Houdek