FREEDOM!

On July 4th, 1776 the declaration of Independence was signed and the United States of America was born. Freedom is a precious jewel. It is experienced by only a few as most nations of the world do not enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy here in America. As great as living in a free nation may be, there is a greater freedom that is given to all people that will receive it. It is the freedom we have in Christ. Whether you live under the heavy hand of tyranny or live in the freedoms of the good ole’ U.S.A. you can experience a freedom that transcends every aspect of your life and experience. It is the freedom that comes with knowing Jesus as your Savior.

                Freedom from sin. The Bible teaches us that sin enslaves us. It keeps us from having a relationship with God. It causes a separation. However, Jesus came to free us from those chains of sin. He came that we might be saved. To have this freedom, one must place his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They must believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and that He died on the cross for their sin and rose again on the third day. Believing in Jesus is the key to true freedom. Once faith in Christ is enacted there is a three-fold freedom that we are automatically assured of.

                First of all, we are free from the penalty of sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Death is separation. It is separation from God. The price of sin is eternal separation from God in hell. But, the good news is that God has given us a gift. He has given us the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross paid the price of sin for you and me. When you accept this gift of God you are set free from the penalty of sin. You do not have to go to hell. You can be forever set free from the penalty of sin by accepting Jesus as your Savior.

                Secondly, we are free from the power of sin. Look at Romans 6:1-14. As Christians we still sin because we have a sin nature, however, we do not have to sin. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we became a new creation in Christ. We are dead to sin. Before we met Christ we were bound to sin. It’s all we knew. Now that we know Christ as our Savior there is no obligation to sin. Sin has no power over us. When we sin, we do so by our own choice. We are free from the power of sin. Sin has no dominion over us.

                Finally, we are free from the presence of sin. In the description of Heaven given in Revelation 21 and 22 we read in Revelation 22:3, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.”  Think about it. No more curse! There is coming a day when all believers in Christ will be forever free from the very presence of sin. We can only imagine what that will be like. We are so accustomed to living in a world that has been cursed by sin. In Heaven there will no sinful tendencies, no temptations, no fleshly and selfish desires, no crime, no wickedness, no evil: we will be free from the presence of sin! Sin does not exist in Heaven!

                Freedom from guilt. One of the hardest things for us to do is to forgive ourselves. It is somewhat easy for us to give each other grace, however, we need to learn how to give ourselves grace. In Christ, we are not only free from sin, but we are also free from the guilt and shame that sin brings. Satan loves to cause us to be paralyzed by guilt. If he can keep us focused on our sin and shame, then he can keep us from serving the Lord. Guilt has a way of giving us an excuse to not be faithful and to not serve Jesus. Since Jesus has forgiven you, then you must forgive yourself. When you find yourself flooded with thoughts and feelings of guilt, consider what the Bible says. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). If you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior, the blood of Jesus covers you. God does not hold your sin against you. You are free from guilt!

                If you are struggling with guilt, consider these steps to find freedom from guilt. (1) Make sure you are saved. (2) Pray and ask God to remove the guilt. (3) Memorize Scripture. (4) Read your Bible every day. (5) Be faithful to church attendance. (4) Get busy serving the Lord. (5) Seek assurance and counsel from a trusted friend.

                Freedom to live. Not only in Christ do we have freedom from sin and guilt, but we also have the freedom to live. John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Satan wants to rob you of your joy. He works overtime to take to the enjoyment out of life. Jesus came to give us an abundant life. A life filled with joy, excitement, and adventure. God wants us to have fun. He wants us to embrace life. He wants us to enjoy life. God created us so that we would live. Stop living in shame and regret. This is a new day. You are free in Christ. Live your life to the fullest and enjoy the blessings of God.

                The sacrifice of those who paid freedom’s ultimate price is in vain when we allow ourselves to be put under the strains of oppression and imprisonment that we create ourselves. We live in a free nation. Let us enjoy that freedom. Don’t be paralyzed by all that we think is wrong with America and let us enjoy all that is right with America. Let us enjoy our freedom.

                Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. Don’t let His sacrifice be in vain by living under the oppression of your own guilt and shame. Live the life that God created you to live. Embrace freedom in Christ.

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