In the United States, we celebrate our independence as a nation on July 4 each year. That’s only a few days away. But no matter where we live, everyone who knows Jesus Christ can experience true freedom.
Even though we tout “freedom” and celebrate Independence Day, many of those who live in America are in chains. Perhaps they’re chained to a job they don’t enjoy because of the cost of living in our capitalistic society. Maybe debt is a ball and chain that sucks them ever closer to financial drowning.
Or it could be that they’re in bondage to sin because they don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior. A relationship with Jesus is the only way to experience true freedom.
The Concept of Sin’s Bondage
The Apostle Paul writes an incredible letter to the Romans. Some of the most profound verses in the New Testament can be found here.
Paradoxically, it also contains some of the simplest verses that illuminate God’s plan of salvation.
In Romans 6:20, Paul points out that the recipients of the letter “were the servants of sin” before they “obeyed from the heart” the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In our natural state, we are sinners because sin is our master. Thanks to the side-effects of the fruit Adam and Eve ate in the garden, every human is born a slave to sin.
However, once we accept the gift of salvation from Jesus, we are made free from sin (Romans 6:18) to become servants of righteousness.
That’s right. We are no longer slaves, but human nature seeks to serve. God created us that way. If we choose not to serve God (and His righteousness) then we will serve self and sin.
It’s true. All of us were unrighteous servants of sin before Jesus cleaned us up through the power of His blood.
But now we’re free from sin (Romans 6:22) and praise the Lord for that freedom!
True Liberty through Christ
Salvation is only the beginning of freedom. True liberty comes in living a life patterned after the Lord’s.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondageGalatians 5:1
But we can be entangled in sin after we’re saved if we choose to ignore the “rules” of right living and return to following our selfish desires.
This is a shame, though, because Jesus Christ makes us free when He saves us. His work is perfect and complete.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeedJohn 8:36
Our work to honor his gift begins at the moment of salvation, though, and since we’re far from perfect, it’s often simpler to return to the yoke of bondage than to walk in freedom. The biggest irony in this is that those moments when I was sure I felt most “free” and “independent” were times when I walked furthest from God, fulfilling my own desires.
Because feelings aren’t truth. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), and the more we saturate our hearts and minds with the water of the Word, the more easily walking in liberty becomes.
To our humanity, it’s counter-intuitive that freedom involves being a servant. That’s why we have to embed God’s truth into our minds so we can think like Him. Only by experiencing His liberty will we understand how misguided our thoughts have been.
No matter where you live, I pray you’re experiencing true freedom in Jesus Christ our Lord. Knowing Him as Savior is not enough (as Romans chapter six demonstrates). You must make Him Lord of your life to experience soul liberty.
What is your favorite symbol of freedom?