Away In A Manger 1012x140

Understanding Freedom

Read This: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Think: Adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, murder. Whatever the sin, whatever the unrighteousness, whatever is not of God, is what keeps us from him. If given half a chance, sin will take root in our hearts and sprout guilt, shame, hopelessness, and ultimately give birth to more sin. Though we have all been lost, blind, and filthy, “God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

We have done nothing to earn his grace or deserve rescuing. He loves us, broken, enslaved, and ugly as only a compassionate Father could. God paid the highest price for you, to give you a hope and a future, to clean you up and make you beautiful. He longs for us to understand that true freedom can only come with obedience. The temptation to find our own happiness will only lead us down a deceitful path away from him ending in emptiness and heartbreak. Our obedience is for our own benefit, not God’s. He needs nothing from us but freely offers us everything.

Unwelcome and ungodly voices may whisper that we’re a hopeless case, we’ll never break free from our struggles, and we should give up. But when the voice says you don’t deserve to be a child of God, you can victoriously proclaim, “I know, that’s what makes God’s forgiveness and love so amazing.” And when the voice claims you’ll never change, you can confidently respond, “I know, it’s not me, but Christ in me who is the source of change.”

None of this means the road to freedom is always easy, but it does mean through Christ freedom is yours for the taking. There will be hurdles and potholes, and we might get tired. But as Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14, “Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Ask: Do you or have you ever felt enslaved by something? (It could be a sin, your job, personal responsibilities, or even another person.) What would freedom look like or feel like in that situation? Many think of freedom as being able to do whatever we want, but what does it mean do be free in Christ?

Pray: Maybe there’s something you are struggling with now—something you can’t kick. Or maybe you know someone who needs to know they can be free. Plead with God that the chains of sin would fall off and freedom and restoration would begin.