When we hear the word “freedom”, we think of words like privilege or the ability to self-govern. We also connect it to concepts like our right to speak, act, and choose whatever we want for our lives. From a distance, we think we are “free”. But in reality, we really aren’t! The countries we live in work to give us freedom in our society, but that can’t save our souls from being prisoners. We are never really free unless we find our freedom in Christ. What does that mean and how do we get it?
Freedom In Christ And The World
The kind of freedom the world offers is shallow and at times, wrong. The world defines freedom as our right to say whatever we want and do whatever we like. In most cases, this flawed definition of freedom drags us closer to sin and feeds the flesh with even more sin. Truthfully, this idea of freedom will not last forever. It is like a black hole that disguises itself with “freedom” when really it’s just a plot to sin more.
Genuine and unfailing freedom can only be found through Christ. There are two main concepts around this freedom and why we cannot choose to live without it. These two concepts are the concepts of freedom from sin and freedom from death.
Freedom from Sin
We are the ones committing sin but, sin controls us. This fact is confirmed through John 8:34 as it is written that those who commit sin are “slaves”. Whenever we choose to sin, we stray away from God. And when that happens, we also stray away from our real identity, purpose, and fulfillment. Our sins make us lose who we are because who we truly are can only be seen by God because He made us and knows us.
Although we are sinners, God gave us a chance to be free from sin, through the belief and acceptance of his one and only begotten son Jesus Christ. Our flesh and tendency to sin is not something to underestimate. If we look at sin and its patterns, it acts as an addiction. For example, a person who glorifies the sin of lust can never find satisfaction outside his or her sin. This person will be dependent on this sin. They will always be desperate for approval and validation as they grow distant from their real purpose. Sin ruins our lives and takes away our inheritance in Heaven. There is no freedom in that.
Sin can come anytime and will attempt to deprive us of joy. But with Jesus, all sins are washed away. We can’t run from our sins by ourselves. We need Jesus to set us free from the chains that bind us to our sins. And we should follow Him with confidence because we are assured that whoever the Son sets free, will be free indeed (John 8:36). Freedom is just one of the countless things Jesus hands over to us without a price. Us being free or not depends on whether we choose Him or not.
Freedom from Death
- (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death”
Admittedly, we all sin. Because we commit sin, we all deserve eternal punishment and death. This sounds terrifying and harsh but it is the reality of the consequences we deserve for sinning. But here’s the best piece of news our hands will ever receive. Because Christ died for us, we are made righteous before Him. Does this mean that we are exempted or saved from the eternal punishment that we deserve? Yes!
- (Romans 6:22) “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
Before, during, and after our lives, Jesus has already paid the price which is freedom. It is the kind of freedom that endures during our earthly lives and after our deaths as we face eternity with God. Our sins make us unworthy of being in Heaven but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ cleansed us from our sins. And because of this, we are free.
Acquiring Freedom In Christ
The world is simple-minded. Anyone with wealth or power can acquire freedom. This means that being able to hire a lawyer for an earthly crime can succeed in obtaining freedom. Likewise, being someone with influence can give a person freedom to utter words that create an impact on how the public perceives an issue. Still, all of these are incomparable and shallow before the true and perfect freedom God offers us.
If we see it in the way the world sees something valuable then, the price for acquiring freedom in Christ is not something anyone can ever afford. It is beyond priceless that no one can ever put a price tag on. But, God does not want a single penny from us. The following are what we can do in succeeding in finding freedom in Christ:
Understanding What Sin Is
The first step in fixing any machine is evaluating what’s wrong with it. In the same manner, what makes mankind a slave in the world they live in is their attachment to what makes them flawed which is no other than sin.
To grow closer to Christ, we have to hate sin. Here’s more on what sinning does to us; let’s take an addict as an example. Every person has talents, skills, and memories God plants specifically to serve His purpose. But, an addict to any sin cannot see this. Their hearts will stray far away from God and their sins will define their lives.
To make things worse, sin is a manipulative monster that whispers lies in our ears. If we don’t separate our souls from it, our sins will justify themselves to make us doubt and hate God’s righteousness. In many encounters in the Bible, especially in Romans, we see how sin is mentioned numerous times. Scripture warns us about the weight of sin and tells us that this weight is something that only One Man can carry and His Name is Jesus Christ.
Be a Servant of God
Being a “slave” contrasts freedom. When we are slaves to sin, we are not free. But, this is different when it comes to the truth. Until we start to willingly serve God with all our hearts, we will never be free. It’s the opposite when it comes to God, being servants in His Eyes will give us freedom. Here’s the explanation for that:
Romans 6:22 says that because we are set free from sin, we are now servants of God. Likewise, we are promised the fruit that leads us to sanctification and eternal life. The “fruit” pertains to the Holy Spirit that dwells within us the moment we accept and serve Jesus Christ.
After this, we become productive humans with a clearer direction as the Holy Spirit guides us daily. When we become servants of God, we get to know and appreciate our lives more. Unlike sin, God wants to bring us the very best of His plans suited for our lives. We can only experience this great freedom from sin when we choose to serve Him.
Being One with Jesus Christ
John 14:6 is the verse that records Jesus saying that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This line holds the absolute truth in our salvation and in our lives. Truly, finding freedom in Christ means pursuing Christ. For concrete examples, below are ways and habits we can incorporate into our lives that drag us closer to Jesus day-by-day:
- Prayer is power. Try to pray as often as you can. Whenever a thought bothers you, immediately pray and tell God about it. This symbolizes trust in the Lord.
- Read the Bible daily. Connecting with Jesus means knowing His Words more!
- Love more, hate less. As challenging as this may be, we are becoming more like Jesus when we choose to be patient, forgiving, and loving. It rejects sinful thoughts and acts so it pleases God. We become better servants when we become better at loving.
- Be mindful of what you expose yourself to. Avoid any form of entertainment that promotes sin. In this way, you can avoid the temptation of feeling the need to adhere to your flesh.
- Get personal with God. Although He already knows everything about you so don’t hide your true self from Him. Casting your dreams, feelings, and frustrations on Him will make you understand His plans more. God reveals to those who seek Him!
- Talk to friends on a similar journey. Peers who share the same fire burning for discovering God will aid you into becoming a more accountable and Christ-centered person.
- Be proud of God. Talk about Him even to those who do not know Him yet. He supplies and roots for you, be confident in His Name!
Finding freedom in Christ is not an easy path simply because sin is not an easy enemy. In Romans 7:15-20, Paul expresses his struggle with sin. He shares that even if he hates sin and dislikes what he is doing, his sinful nature still prevails. This is where patience takes an important role. When you feel like you are once again bounded by the chains of sin, do not give up; know that God is still with you.
Freedom in Christ requires faith in order to break out from sin. When you fail, know that God still offers you His freedom despite your flaws. Do not listen when the enemy tells you that you are no longer worthy of receiving His freedom. Instead, seek God more and before you know it, you are made new in His Name. The freedom Jesus offers never spoils or rots. Just like His love never fails and will always prevail.
It’s About Relationship
Do not see the idea of finding freedom in Christ as this perfectly modeled and controlled venture towards our good. It’s more than that; being free in Him means being closer to Him. Freedom is just one of the many fruits we can get from choosing a life with God.
So, stay optimistic in building your relationship with God. The moment you do this, you will be free from your past mistakes, your lies, and your sins. It’s all about your relationship with God. He will set you free from the sin in the world and the death that comes after it when the world is no more.
Choose to be Free.
The line separating sin, unhappiness, and emptiness is just a single choice that chooses to pursue Jesus Christ over anything the world offers. With just one choice, we are saved from ourselves and from our destiny of being doomed in hell. As what the Bible tells us, there is only one way to freedom and that is Jesus Christ. Choose to be free, choose Jesus.