“Freedom” is a powerful word, full of all sorts of meaning to different people. Some people think freedom refers to political liberty, such as we have in the United States under the constitution. Others think freedom means being able to do whatever one wants morally. Some even think freedom means doing whatever one wants, regardless of the rule of law.
However, authentic freedom is based on the word of God and the work of His Son Jesus Christ! In John 8:36, Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” One becomes free indeed by knowing the truth (John 8:32; 17:17) and obeying the truth (Matt. 7:21-27). This authentic freedom Christ offers is composed of three facets:
1. Freedom from the burdens of life! In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says the sinner is “heavy laden.” Jesus tells us to bring that burden to Him. Hebrews 12:1 says to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” Jesus can free us from those weights, as well as the burden of false religion and traditions of men (Matt. 23:3- 4).
2. Freedom from bondage to sin! The Jews that Jesus was speaking to in John 8 were not only in bondage to the law and to the traditions of men, but they were also in bondage to sin (John 8:44). Christ not only could free them from the law (Col. 2:14), but also from the guilt of sin (Rom. 3:23-26).
3. Freedom from blindness! Jesus could open their eyes to the truth, if they so desired (John 8:32). Once one recognizes the power and importance of God’s word, he no longer has to be worried about being fooled by the false doctrines of men (Eph. 4:14), if he will continue in the things God teaches in His word. Paul’s mission to the Gentiles was to “open their eyes” (Acts 26:18).
So while we celebrate our political and social freedom on July 4th, let us also, and maybe even more, focus on and remember our spiritual freedom that comes only through Christ Jesus! He frees us from the burdens of life, from bondage to sin, and from blindness! Those who have been “freed” are now “free” to truly be God’s people “for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the full measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12- 13). Are we working on this freedom in our lives?