One of my favorite Southern Gospel groups is the Gaither Vocal Band. They have a song that you may be familiar with called, let freedom ring. Here are the lyrics to that song:
Deep within the heart has always known that there was freedom Somehow breathed into the very soul of life The prisoner, the powerless, the slave have always known it There’s something that keeps reaching for the sky
Even life begins because a baby fights for freedom And songs we love to sing have freedom’s theme Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom And some faced hell itself for freedom’s dream
Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key We can be free and we can sing — let freedom ring
God built freedom into every fiber of creation And He meant for us to all be free and whole When my Lord bought freedom with the blood of His redemption His cross stamped pardon on my very soul I’ll sing it out with every breath, I’ll let the whole world hear it This hallelujah anthem of the free That iron bars and heavy chains can never hold us captive The Son has made us free and free indeed
Let freedom ring down through the ages from a hill called Calvary Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring You can be free and you can sing — let freedom ring — let freedom ring
All of mankind is imprisoned by sin. However, Jesus came to set us free from the chains of sin. Verse 36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Those who come to Jesus by faith and receive His amazing gift of grace are, thus, set free from the chains of sin. This freedom that is granted to those who believe is three-fold. (1) Free from the penalty of sin. The penalty of sin is eternal death. Eternal separation from God in hell. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are set free from the penalty of sin. You will not go to hell. You are given eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. (2) Free from the power of sin. Once you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus, you are immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you now have power over sin. In other words, you do not have to sin. You are not obligated to sin. You can overcome sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. (3) Free from the presence of sin. Ultimately, all those who believe are set free from the presence of sin. There is coming a day when we who believe on the Lord Jesus will live in a place where sin does not even exist. Imagine that! A world that is completely free from sin! Today, you and I live with the constant pressure and stress of living in a sin cursed world. However, in glory, all of the pressure and stress of sin is completely non-existent. This is something that all believers long for and look forward to.
Jesus made a promise that all those who believe in Him will be free indeed. In other words, we will experience total and complete freedom from the curse of sin that has chained us our entire lives. We are free from the penalty of sin and one day we will be free from the presence of sin. We also have freedom over the power of sin. But, how do we experience such freedom today? How can we live in freedom in the midst of a sin-cursed world? This is the focus of our study.
Continue in the Word (v. 31). Jesus said that those who continue in His Word are truly His disciples. To continue in the Word is to live it out. It is to live a life of continual obedience to the Word of God. Look at James 1:22-24. If we do not live in obedience to the Word of God, then we will forget that we are free from sin. As a result, we will find ourselves living as if we are still in bondage. In order to live in freedom, we must live continually in submission to and obedience to the Word.
Practice genuine discipleship (v. 31). We talk a lot about discipleship. As a matter of fact, we have entire programs in the church centered around discipleship. But, what exactly is discipleship? Jesus said that if you continue in the Word, then you are His disciples. The Disciples Path Bible Study Series puts it this way, “Those who have experienced salvation live and breathe each day as disciples of Jesus Christ. In this way, the word disciple defines who we are as Christians. At the same time, the term also defines much of what we do as Christians. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to disciple less-mature Christians by helping them grow in their relationship with Christ even as we are discipled by others. This process is called discipleship.” I believe that every Christian should have someone that they are discipling or mentoring while at the same time have someone who is discipling them. The bottom line is that we cannot just simply be a disciple, we must also do discipleship. In other words, you cannot live in freedom on your own. We need each other in order to grow in our faith and to live lives of freedom from the power of sin.
Know the Truth (v. 32). When Jesus mentioned that we are to know the truth, He was speaking in reference to Himself. Jesus is the truth. In order to be free, we must know Jesus. However, it goes deeper than that. To know Jesus is to not just believe in Him, but to really know Him in a real and genuine way. Knowing Jesus requires a deep understanding of God’s Word. To live in freedom, we must be students of the Bible. In doing so, we develop a Biblical worldview and we obtain the power to overcome sin in our lives. How much do you know of God’s Word? Do you study it? Do you read it? Do you take every opportunity possible to know the truth? Sadly, most Christians has a very shallow understanding of God’s Word. Search the scriptures, study the scriptures, for in them there is life and freedom.
Continue in the Word, practice genuine discipleship, know the truth, then you can live in freedom!