Do you understand the meaning of your freedom in Christ?
Slavery, and especially slavery to sin, self and Satan, is a very unhappy state. But I am not unhappy today, and I do not feel like a slave. I believe I am free. But you might ask me, “How do you know you are free?” If a man came to you and said he felt like a policeman, you would not believe him unless you saw his badge. I have proof that I am free, though, and I am going to show it to you. When a slave was freed in the old days, he was given “emancipation papers.” I have an emancipation paper which you may see. It has a black cover. Do you know what it is? Yes, the Bible. There I find that I am no longer a slave, but free, because I have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Turn in your Bible to John 8:36. There you read, “If the Son (the Lord Jesus) therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” The Lord Jesus is the one who freed me from sin, by dying on the cross; from self, by dying on the cross; from Satan, by dying on the cross. Everything that he has done for me is written down in the Bible, and my freedom is written there in this verse. Another verse is Galatians 5:1, where Paul wrote to some believers to stand fast in the liberty with which Christ had made them free. Because of these verses, since I believe in the Lord Jesus, I know that Satan is no longer my master, and that the collar and chain of self and sin have been broken off and I am free.
If you should set a black slave free he would not understand at first just what his freedom meant. He might think it meant only that he did not have to be whipped when he did not do enough work. You and I need to know just what our freedom means, too.
First, we are set free from judgment. You know that God has said, “‘The wages of sin is death.” We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God,” so we have all earned those wages, and we deserve to be judged. But Christ died to set us free from that judgment. He took our punishment for us so we would not have to be punished. Before we were saved we were like people in a prison cell, waiting to be sent to the electric chair. We were prisoners of Satan, and we were waiting for judgment, which would send us to hell. But Christ came, and freed us from this. He said we need not be punished; we need not be judged. When the great judgment day comes, not one saved person will be judged. Read John 5:24. The long word “condemnation” is the same as the word “judgment.” Read the verse again with that word instead. It might be a good plan to write the word “judgment” in the margin, so you will remember what the verse means.
Yet a man in a prison cell would not be entirely free, just because he was not to be sent to the electric chair. He would need to be let out of his cell. And God has let us out of the cell of present condemnation. All who do not believe in Jesus are “condemned already” (John 3:18); that is, they are as good as judged even while they are still alive, but we who believe are free from the fear of judgment, and free from Gods sentence of “guilty,” even now. Romans 8:1, and John 3:18 are two verses to prove it all to you. Read them at least twice, so you will never forget them.
- How do we know we are free?
- How does our life change when we are set free?
- Who sets us free? How?