Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Freedom Found Only in Christ


Jn.8: 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Rom.6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Rom.8: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the

I Cor.7: 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Gal.5: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

In the world the word freedom overwhelming means political and national freedom. It means you can speak your mind and you can have a say in the government. You can vote your choice and you can achieve any level of success in which you put your mind to. It is usually defined as the antithesis of totalitarianism and a dictatorship. It also means you are not incarcerated. Yes, you are free to spend your money on whatever and whomever you want. Yes, all that is earthly freedom and it is treasured here on earth.

In fact earthly freedom is so treasured that it is highly regarded within the church. Many times there is more talk of earthly freedom in the church than there is spiritual freedom in Christ. Most of the American evangelical churches celebrate the 4th of July because it represents the formal declaration of national freedom which was won through violence and bloodshed. But curiously enough there is no “holiday” which is celebrated solely because we have freedom of Jesus Christ. Yes, the church unscripturally celebrates Easter and Christmas and some other so called holidays, but there is not one which completely focuses upon our freedom in Christ. And few believers really understand that the 4th of July is in reality a celebration of another form of bondage.

Now part of the reason the church says so little about our freedom in Christ is because like so many other spiritual truths the depths of that freedom are foreign to the average pew dweller. And when it is mentioned it is usually in a generalized sense of being set free from the penalty of sin. That is an important and foundational aspect of our freedom in Christ. But there is more. Much more. And the tributaries that flow from that river are seldom embraced to say nothing of understood and taught.

In these days of nationalism and patriotism and “this is the greatest country in the world” the true freedom that can only be found in Christ has been all but ignored and most certainly obscured. And to say that is tragic is an understatement. In fact it is sinful. To think that we have sold our birthright for a mess of national and political pottage is a disgrace because what Christ died for is so wonderful, so transcendent, and so eternal that it cannot be compared with anything the human mind can imagine. And within our “so great salvation” is a freedom which when realized sets the soul free and allows the inward man to soar with the wings of celestial eagles!

When we enter into that sacred freedom our spirits begin to live without the weights of this present world. You can hear the Spirit say “Away with politics! Away with war! Away with wealth! Away with anything and everything which relentlessly attempts to take me away from the Person of Jesus!” I am not speaking metaphorically or in hyperbole. The freedom that can be found and experienced in Jesus is a powerful mystery than can break yokes and remove burdens and set the captives free. But so often a sinner believes on Jesus and by God’s grace is ransomed from the penalty of sin, but then is consumed in the institutional church and becomes imprisoned with all kinds of earthly cares and burdens.

Where did the church turn and look back to Egypt? Why would we line up to elect the next Pharaoh in hopes it would make things better? Why would we want to make Egypt better when we could be dwelling a land flowing with milk and honey? Do we return to the bondage of Egypt when we have been set free? Christ has not set us free in order to improve this fallen earth. Sometimes the chains of bondage appear as good intentions and good ideas and even noble endeavors, but in reality they are traps that capture our minds and hearts and hold us back from seeking our Savior.

But oh the eternal freedom that dwells within every true believer! Our lips so often help to imprison us as we bemoan the latest economic news or the latest liberal victory or the latest gay agenda. Listen to the worries pouring forth from hearts that have been captured by the temporal and by the cares and false dreams of this present world. And when our hearts and minds are given over to those kinds of concerns then we forfeit the expansive freedom which is in surrendering everything to Christ Jesus.

This freedom surrounds the soul and brings into captivity every thought that glorifies our Risen Lord. While others wring their hands and wonder what tomorrow might bring the soul that lives in His freedom rests in His sovereign hands. The New Testament is filled with all kinds of explosive teachings which point us to that sacred freedom. And once a believer has experienced that nexus he can never be satisfied with the shallow hustle and bustle which defines so much of the church today. And his peace and contentment and fulfillment no longer are tethered to any nation or any economy or any world events. He is a completely free man indeed.

Are you not tired of feelings of doubt and defeat and hopelessness? They all stem from this present fallen world. When we embrace eternal life now then this temporal life must give way to a powerful freedom from which we draw our very life. What can worry a man who has eternal life? What can weigh down a man who has eternal life? What can defeat a man who has eternal life? This is no pie in the sky philosophy. This is the eternal reality which so many ignore. The battle has already been won so let us not enlist in all these worthless earthly battles. “It is finished!”

And with that we are set free forever!


Rick Frueh said...

There are believers in China who are bound by chains and are kept in dark cells and who are not allowed any contact with their own families but who are more free than millions of American believers.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Here you go again. When will stop painting Americain believers in an unfavavorable light?

Cherie c. said...

I live with two American believers and one atheist Anonymous, At least the atheist is honest. The two American believers believe in America. Oh, and God second. So glad He made their list.

But I keep praying for them to repent and give up the temporal for the eternal. And I will continue to do so, as well as for God's correction in my walk as to stay true to the Faith. Better His correction than His eternal punishment.

America is temporal not eternal, so we should not put that title next to God. They just don't go together.

I don't know who you are, but I will pray for the eyes of your understanding to be opened.

Since I'm in the Word, I will just pass these Scriptures along to you and to all. It is only God speaking after all, but American believers don't believe in His Word anymore. They listen to that still small voice that leads them astray and to "annointed" (more like demon possessed) humans that preach another gospel.

Matthew 5:33
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

Revelation 3:15-17

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Now that last verse sounds like American believers. Hummmm......

Pastor Rick, if this is too harsh, you do not have to post it. But the Word of God speaks for itself. I leave it to your discretion.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you Cheri for the realness of your testimony concerning this post. Please know that you are not alone regarding your earthly circumstances, for the worship of things in the flesh are a major factor controlling many households in this nation.

For some reason, I am reminded of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-40.
After they were beaten by rods and imprisoned, with their feet in the stocks, they did not lift up their voices demanding "We have our rights, where is our lawyer." vs. 25 "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."

While imprisoned (like many who are imprisoned by worshipping nations, the land, and the leadership thereof, patriotic pilgrims so to speak), they were at peace praying and singing hymns as a powerful witness of their faith in our LORD Jesus Christ.
"Then he (the keeper of the prison) called for a light, ran in and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house." Acts 16:29-32

These words speak to all of us today. Praise our LORD.

Anonymous said...

On the subjest of "freedom": If Pastor Rick and anyone else are interested, I just finished reading a remarkable newly-published hardcover book, "Wrapped in the Flag", written by a 68-year-old lady author named Claire Conner (Boston: Beacon Press, 2013). It's a first-person chronicle of the birth, development, and influence of the John Birch Society as told from the viewpoint of a woman who was raised in that group from girlhood, the daughter of one of its first members. Although I do not agree with the author's current political, moral, or religious views, it's an eye-opening reminder of how so many can "sell their souls" and waste their lives for a political cause (in the name of "preserving freedom") instead of the true Gospel. Claire's parents had good reason to be concerned about the direction of the nation and the world, but their response to that concern was all wrong. Very bad fruit resulted.