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Devotionals

Freedom in Christ

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Freedom in Christ

John 8: 10 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

Hundreds of years ago, Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence; one of the foundational documents creating these Untied States of America. Despite protests from some who would seek to undermine God, it is clear in the language that Jefferson did indeed base the foundation of this foundational document upon the existence of God. The opening language in fact states:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The dictionary defines endow as to provide a "permanent fund." The word unalienable means "not to be taken away." Jefferson's opening salvo here in declaring independence from England is indeed saying that God Almighty, the Creator, has provided us with a permanent source of rights which in Jefferson's view could not be taken away. The good news today is that these benefits from God are still provided today. They are just as permanent and just as unalienable. They are found in and provided by Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. They transcend the governments of man to provide hope and security from this world. Just like the world will tax us and treat us unfairly today, God is saying that He has provided us with these benefits if we would just declare them in our hearts and become dependent upon Him only. Thus becoming independent from the world system, which is often unfair and corrupt.

The first such benefit written by Jefferson is life. In Jesus we are indeed endowed with life. Not life as the world offers it. Not in servitude or slavery to another person or country. When Jesus spoke of His purpose and this topic He said:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10: 10 (NKJV)

More abundantly than what? More abundantly than what the world had been offering us. The New International Version translates this as "life to the full." Life so full that it runs over. The dictionary defines abundantly as "richly supplied." Lets these descriptive terms sink in. We are not meant to be crawling through this life as believers. We are not meant to be struggling as if we were still in the world. What the world promises and cannot deliver is guaranteed in Christ. Your best life now, is Christ!

In addition to the abundant life, Jesus came to provide us with the eternal life:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3: 36

Note the tense. Whoever believes in Jesus, has, eternal life. It does not say "will have." The eternal life promised to us by God is not some abstract concept that we will step into when we leave this mortal coil. We are meant to be living the eternal life now. Too many Christians still live as if the eternal life is some distant promise they get to inherit upon dying. Our lives were meant to be abundant and eternal, bringing glory to God and the furtherance of His kingdom.

The second endowment discussed by Jefferson is liberty and we find that in Jesus Christ as well. Not liberty from the tyranny of a mother country but liberty from the tyrannical rule of the father of lies. Sin is a harsh taskmaster and a brutal tyrant. It can rule and reign in our lives until we come to Christ. Sin is like the England of old, levying unfair taxes upon us to which we seemingly have no control over or recourse to address. No matter how much we seem to try under our own power the tyranny only increases; the oppression only worsens. But here is what Jesus Christ said He came to earth to accomplish:

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4: 18-19 (NKJV)

To proclaim liberty to the captives! To set at liberty those who were oppressed! W ho was captive? Who was oppressed? We were before we came to know Christ! Captive to the world and oppressed by the tyranny of the sin we lived under. We were poor in Spirit. We were brokenhearted by the lies of the world. We were blind to our own shackles and captive to the rule of the enemy in our lives. But somewhere the Gospel message of Jesus Christ set us free. Somewhere we were healed by God. Our hearts were mended; no longer broken. Blindness removed and liberty provided. We stepped into our acceptable year of the Lord! In writing to the Church at Galatia, the Apostle Paul addresses liberty:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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