Freedom (& COVID-19)
One reason many people do not find the freedom that Christ offers is they do not know they are bound. Oh, they may have this or that vice, but they’re “working on it.” Besides, nobody’s perfect, right? Or, I can stop anytime I want to… I just don’t want to right now. Or… I’ll deal with that later. Others simply think their “sin” is merely what a self-righteous person calls some action that displeases them. Others deflect their episodes of rage, for example, as a thing some other person “made them” do. “Hey, it’s not my fault.”
Jesus disagrees. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32). But the people didn’t get it. They said “We… have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (v. 33-34).
Peter writes, “People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”(2 Pet. 2:19). If you don’t think you are “mastered” by an evil just try to stop it with your own finite might. Paul tried with all His Pharisaic power… all His disciplined obedience to the Law. He couldn’t do it. “Wretched man that I am!” he sumnsrizes, “Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
This is what happens when men accept darkness. “If then the light within you is darkness,” said Jesus, “how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).
But Jesus came to expel that darkness. When He began His ministry He was at the temple. He opened the scroll and read from the prophet Isaiah,
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isa. 61:1).
And Jesus said, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).
How does He do that? He does that by proclaiming the Truth. “…you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) The Truth is that we have all gone astray. Our best is still filthy contrasted with the holiness of God “without which no one will see God.” (Heb. 12:14). We need help! We are mortal! We will die — and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We are unfit for heaven.
But thank God [literally] He has done something about it! He loves us. He gave His Son in place of us. He poured all wrath on Jesus. We must only agree with Him that we are unholy… sinful… we must believe this Truth of Christ’s sacrifice… the hope of His resurrection…. Make Him our Lord and, like the first disciples, follow Him.
This is true freedom. Death has no more dread for the Christian. Things that threaten death lose their bite. God is in control. He will lead us safely home. We are “free indeed” — even amid the COVID-19 pandemic!
Paul preached, “My friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain.” (Acts 13:38-39).
BONUS: Click HERE to watch “Truth and Freedom” a message by Billy Graham on the “father of lies” (Satan) and the Truth and Freedom found only in Jesus Christ.