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Freedom in Christ
"If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The context of this passage shows us that Jesus was speaking primarily of freedom from sin because the Jews, to whom He was speaking, responded proudly, "We are Abrahams offspring and have yet never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, You shall be free?" To which Jesus replied, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin." Thus Jesus established not only their bondage but our bondage too, for we all commit sin and are therefore like them the slaves of sin. John 8: 32-34
"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." The Apostle Paul is here speaking of the yoke of slavery which the Law given through Moses imposes, for in the following verses he identifies the Law as the law which enjoins circumcision. Galatians 5: 1
Freedom! Freedom is a beautiful word and an even more beautiful concept. Many have died to be free. Martin Luther King said, "Free at last, free at last, Thank God I am free at last!" And truly that of which he was speaking was a great occasion. But there is even a greater tyranny than that of the body and that is the tyranny of the soul. Law leads to slavery to sin, because Law can never give liberty but only condemnation. But all men, black and white, rich or poor, can also cry out, "Free at last, free at last, Thank God I am free at last," because "it was for freedom that Christ set us free."
Freedom in Christ: Jesus has done that which none other could do! Jesus has set us free from the sin which enslaves us and from the Law, a yoke of bondage, which condemns us. How has He done this? As we explore this question we will find that both law and sin must be dealt with.
Freedom from the law of sin and death: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death." No condemnation in Christ! Thank God! But what is this law, the law of sin and death? It is the law or principle that states, "if we sin, we must die." We find this law at work in the very first man, for Adam was told that if he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die. The penalty for violating many of the command in the Law of Moses was death. The Prophet Ezekiel repeated this principle when he wrote, "the "soul that sinneth shall die. And in the New Testament we find, "the wages of sin is death. This law or principle is not arbitrary or mean-spirited but is derived from the very nature of God, Himself. The Scriptures tell us that God is light and there is no darkness at all. Therefore when man sins fellowship with God is broken and man must be separated from God. But in Christ we are free from that principle, God does not impose the death penalty for our sins are not imputed to us. Romans 8: 1-2
Free from the law: "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." Those in Christ, are not under law but under grace! But what does that mean? It means that we are no longer subject to the principle on which law operates, "He who practices them, shall live by them." We no longer need to please God based on our own righteousness or doing! It means that we are no longer under a law of work. It means that we are both free from the Law of Moses but also from the Ten Commandments which are contained in this Law. Does this mean that these are being discarded as worthless? Certainly not, because the Apostle Paul states that the Law is holy and spiritual. But he and James, both tell us that the righteous of the law is to be fulfilled in a new and different way, by the principle of love. Romans 6: 14; 13: 8-10; Galatians 3: 12; James 2: 8-13
Free from the curse of the law: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree." What is the curse of the law. Those who are trying to be just by works of the law, must keep the entire law perfectly and completely. If you violate one command you are a transgressor of all. James says, " For he who keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, Do not commit adultery" also said, Do not commit murder. Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act , as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty." By quoting the Ten Commandments, James shows us that they are included in his statements. Galatians 3: 13, James 2: 10- 12
Free from sin: "But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefits, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life." This does not mean that we shall sin no more, but rather that sin shall no longer be our guiding light and rule over us. The Apostle John tells us if we say we do not sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us and James says we all stumble in many ways. Now our mind is set on God and His righteousness, but when we do sin because of the weakness of the flesh, the blood of Christ cleanses us. How is this accomplished? When Jesus died, we were freed from the penalty of sin, which is death. So God is not arbitrarily dismissing our sins or disregarding the law because the penalty exacted by the law has been paid. When is this accomplished? When we are baptized into the death of Christ our sins are given, washed away. If we were still under the Law or under the Ten Commandments, we would still be in sin. Romans 6: 3-4,22; 1 John 1: 7-8; James 3: 2; Acts 2: 38; 22: 16
Free from the fear of death: "And might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lived." Jesus met death, head-on, and defeated it when He arose from the grave on the third day. We have the assurance that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in us and will give life to our mortal bodies. Not only has the power of death been defeated but the repugnance of death, corruption of the mortal body, has also been abolished because, "But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Hebrew 2: 15; Romans 8: 11; 1 Corinthians 15: 54-56
My friends, if you desire to be free from sin, free from the Law, free from the principle that states, "if you sin, you must die" and free from the fear of death, you can be. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free." Contact us at PLAIN TALK.
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Last Update 09/26/12