Freed but not Free

What does freedom really mean to the soul who has submitted their lives to God through Christ?

We have been given everything we need to walk rightly before God, and it is all found in Christ, who is our freedom – but what does this mean?

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1

Many of us, who profess to be blood-bought saints say we have been freed by Jesus Christ but in reality, are just as bound in slavery as the rest of the world.   Whoever’s rule we are under, it is this one whom we are a slave.  We by default are taskmaster and ruler when we subject ourselves to allow Self to lead us for our effort must be conscious to continually submit ourselves under the authority of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit if we are to ever taste the freedom that is for us.  Rather than mindlessly allow our Self to rule us, we must exercise discipline in mastering our will rather it mastering us.  We don’t one day live as slaves and sinners and the next holy and righteous – it is an act of our will in participation with God’s incredible grace.  It is only when we actually walk His word out, that we may learn/know what it is to live righteous and holy lives.

We love quoting Romans 8:1-2; Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

For the better of my Christian life, I have heard the words and said them myself;  ‘therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ’ –  AS some kind of doctrine where we have the waving hand of God over us regardless of how we conduct our lives.  Yet, I experienced and saw how we would continue to live condemned lives through the practicing of unsubmitted sin.  I was anything but free.   My life was not fully rooted in Christ, it was rooted in Churchianity so I along with the rest would slice and dice scriptures to customize a meaning to best suit the’faith’ we professed to have.

We need only to go to Jesus where He explains plainly and perfectly:

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

The truth is, freedom comes to us only when we abide in Christ and His word.

We are like the man who has spent most of his life in a federal penitentiary.  All he knows is rules, confinement, and only does what he is told to do.  Then the day comes for his release.  He steps out into freedom and realizes he does not know how to live by it and is even frightening to him and wants to revert back to the old way because it is what is familiar and comfortable.  Likewise, when we are given freedom through Christ, we must understand that what was once familiar and comfortable to us is not our friend and so must turn from it.  As we turn, we commit to God, His rule and order, and begin with one step at a time, towards this aim.  Though it is unknown, we walk by faith in the instructions He has given us to follow.  With each step, we gain understanding and grow in the desire to continue in the new, wonderful, narrow, and righteous path.

Paul continues in explaining how Jesus obtained our freedom and the way we must live by it;

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:3-4

If we really let our brains be wrapped around the fact that the prison that we have been freed from being subject to our sinful flesh to which we have lived all our lives as slaves – I think is most of our battle.  Paul describes the battle in Romans 7  and has continued in chapter 8  to explain our victory over this seemingly hopeless battle!

Let us read on.

Rom 8:5-8; Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Our freedom has been provided, and how much we live in it is totally up to us.  Like a prison cell, the door has been unlocked and opened for us, it is up to us to leave it. When we live according to the flesh, we live according to death (row) that awaits us if we remain.  When we live according to the Spirit – the Word of God, we live in obtaining freedom. This freedom is not the kind the world seeks after, but the kind that means when we are slapped on the cheek we will offer the other, if we are cursed by anyone, we in return with love and will pray and bless them.  It is when we willingly cut off any part of our lives that offends our Lord; Matthew 5

For us to be free, we must actually see where/how we are living is still in the prison house.  This is the problem among us, for many of us still hold onto with much love and practice – that which is found in the prison house – and remain ignorantly bound.   We do not take to heart that as we still walk in the condemned flesh  –

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.; Romans 8:8

O that the light of Christ would shine in our hearts so we can truly see what it is we hug and consider as our best friend!   For in God’s eyes, we stink and are detestable when we walk in sin through our fleshly lusts.

This freedom will take us our lifetime to obtain and enjoy – but it must be walked in NOW.   A good way for us to recognize where we are bound is closely observing what controls us in our day to day lives.   Where do we find our enjoyment?   Are we given easily to fear, and make choices by it?  Are there things/people we depend on to give us emotional support – peace?   As people of God, who claim Jesus to be Lord – our journey in this life is to cast off all that we formerly needed to bring us ‘happiness’ and learn how it is Jesus who is our all in all.  He is perfect love, and there is no fear found in Him and so is the perfect refuge to live!  His peace is perfect, like no other, this world could ever offer.

Instead of trying to dress up the prison cell, by bringing in all the world’s pleasures and remedies – just simply walk out of it once and for all, and be deceived no longer!

There is a whole new world that has mysteries to be revealed and joy to be known in the freedom Christ provides to each one who will walk the road with Him.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

 

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