As an American, you live in the land of the free and home of the brave. But what does it really mean to be free? One look at the media, and it’s clear that our culture has a warped view of the term. Freedom once meant that you were no longer a slave to some form of bondage, but now it means that you are “free” to do whatever you like without restriction or consequence. You can say what you please, do as you wish, and be whoever you want to be… you seek your own happiness at any cost. But this is not what it means to be free.
Freedom often comes with a price. For our country, that price was paid (and is still being paid) on the battlefield. Spiritually, however, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom – true freedom in Him. We join Him in that sacrifice when we surrender our hearts and lives to Him. The Bible tells us that spiritually we are crucified with Him and join Him in His resurrection. We die as slaves to sin and rise again to freedom in Christ.
As Americans, we experience freedoms in this country outlined in our Bill of Rights. And as citizens of the Kingdom, we experience freedoms as well.
- Freedom to enter into the presence of God. On the day Jesus died, the temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom. This miraculous event symbolized our newfound freedom to enter into the Holy of Holies, which was an honor previously reserved for High Priests alone. We no longer need a middle man to come to God. We can enter into His presence freely on our own.
- Freedom from slavery to sin. The Bible describes our life before Christ as slavery. We were slaves to sin. We had no choice but to follow our fleshly desires. Sure, we could try to be good people, but no matter how hard we tried, we could never break free from sin’s hold on our lives. But in Christ, our chains have been broken. We are free to live a life apart from sin.
- Freedom from fear. I am so thankful that Jesus made a way for fear to be a thing of the past! We don’t have to worry about anything because our King of Kings sits on the throne, and our heavenly Father takes care of His children.
- Freedom to bear spiritual weaponry. The Bible tells us that our spiritual weapons have the power to break through strongholds. We are armed with the sword of truth and the ability to bring our enemy to his knees. Trust me when I say, you do NOT need to be afraid of the enemy, but he certainly is afraid of you!
- Freedom to become part of the family of God. When we give our lives to Jesus, we are given the right to become children of God. Think about that for a minute. You are adopted as a child by the Creator of the universe. You have all of the rights and privileges (as well as the inheritance) that come from being His child.
- Freedom to partake of the Tree of Life. It’s easy to forget that there were two trees in the center of the Garden of Eden. We remember the infamous tree that Eve ate from, but they also had access to the Tree of Life. When God banished them from the garden, He was really banishing them from eating from this tree and having eternal life. The wage of Eve’s sin was death because she no longer had access to this tree just as the wage of our sin is death. But in Christ, we have access to life once again!
- Freedom to bring our concerns to God. Our heavenly Father longs to hear from us. He wants us to bring our concerns to Him just as any good Father would.
- Freedom to enjoy every spiritual blessing. The New Testament is full of examples of God’s grace and mercy. But His gift-giving doesn’t end there! The Bible tells us that we have been blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing. And if that weren’t enough, we are also co-heirs with Jesus and will inherit the Kingdom.
- Freedom to pursue and fulfill our God-given destinies. We all have a purpose in Christ. When Christ came, He made it possible for us all to be in full-time ministry. In fact, the Bible calls us a nation of “royal priests.” You read that right. We are ALL priests of God, and we all serve in different ways. Yes, some will be pastors and teachers. But others are called to be the light in their jobs, their schools, and in their everyday environments. We can be full-time ministers in every walk of life, and that’s exactly God’s intention for us as the Kingdom. We operate differently, but we are all part of the same body.
- Freedom to live a life of genuine love. Of all of our God-given freedoms, this one is the most important. According to Jesus, the greatest commandment is to love God and to love our neighbors. The world has many different “versions” of love, but real love comes from God. He is the very definition of the word. When I read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter), and I ponder all of the attributes of love, I am overwhelmed. But in Christ, love like this possible. His love works through us as we display His love to those around us. We are free to love in a way that is only possible through Jesus.
When Jesus defeated the enemy, He broke the power of sin over our lives. Our chains of slavery are gone. This is what it means to be free.
Click on the graphic or HERE for this month’s Bible reading plan on the freedom we have in Christ!