Free in Christ

Freedom is precious. Most cultures protect the freedoms of their people, but sadly, some allow other priorities to get in the way and don’t allow as much freedom as they should. Those of us in countries where it is protected and defended often take it for granted until it’s encroached upon.

Chain expressing freedomGovernments can take away any or all of our freedoms but not our freedom in Christ. It comes with a guarantee more ironclad than any constitution. With his blood, he bought us back from the slavery of sin and death. Nothing can reverse the redemption we have in him. He has freed us from other shackles as well: fear, guilt, addictions, selfishness and worries about the future.

We are free, but what has he freed us for? What are we to do with our precious freedom? We certainly ought to cherish and appreciate it as it was purchased with so dear a price. God wants us to be thankful to be out from under sin and death, but he also wants us to use our freedom in positive and constructive ways.

We are free to live under grace, which means we are able to accept God’s gift with gratitude and joy. This allows us to live gracefully by turning around and freely extending his grace to others.

We are free to be the unique individuals we are. We can enjoy and appreciate the gifts God has given us and use them for his glory, without worrying we or our gifts might not be good enough. This opens up opportunities to serve God and our neighbors in ways we wouldn’t dare if we were still shackled by the need to conform or measure up to impossible standards set by others.

We are free to love and be loved. One of the sad consequences of legalism is that it often convinces us we aren’t good enough to love or be loved. It makes us feel we’re letting everyone down, God, family and friends. The grace of God lifts us up and tells us we are worth loving and we don’t need to measure up. Jesus measured up for us. Freedom in Christ means no more wondering if God really loves us. We have the freedom to accept his love, enjoy it and never worry it will be taken away. His love is ours to keep forever.

We are free to have our significance in God, rather than anything this world has to offer. The search for significance sidelines many from what’s really important in life and bogs us down in a mire of self-centered anxiety. Knowing God values us because we are his allows us to get our focus off ourselves and on loving God and our neighbors.

We are free to share in the fellowship of the Father and the Son through the Spirit, which is the biggest blessing of grace and is why we were created. Participating in the secure, loving relationship of Father, Son and Spirit gives us the foundation we need to follow Jesus and help others to a relationship with him.

Our freedom in Christ makes it possible to live confidently, be loved and loving, secure in our worth to God and free to have full, rich lives, doing all to his glory. We are free to be the best we can be and grow into the kind of human being Jesus was.

God freed us by Jesus’ blood

“All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us” (Revelation 1:5b, NLT).

Everyone wants to be free—free to do what they want, to be who they are, to express themselves with no restrictions. To many people, the freedom to do as they please includes doing things they know are wrong, but as long as no one gets hurt, they reason it’s not a problem. But there is a problem because sin always hurts someone either immediately or at some point in time. That’s why God hates it.

Jesus shed his blood to free us from sin and its consequences, which is enormous for us. But what are we to do with that freedom? It’s not license to sin as some have posited. The freedom we receive in Christ allows us to really live—to love and be loved without guilt or fear; to be in fellowship with God; to be under grace, not the constant fear of punishment; to be God’s adopted children and to find our significance in him, not in any of the inconsequential trappings of this fleeting life. This is true freedom and true love—God’s freedom and love, given to us in Jesus.

God’s freedom

“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NLT).

Freedom is a precious commodity. Wars have been and continue to be fought over it, mainly because there’s always a group of people who want to take it away from another group. Even today, when you would think no one would have to be in slavery to anyone, the battle still rages. Slavery takes many forms however and to some degree, most of us would have to say we’re not completely free.

God is the only being in the whole universe who is completely, totally and unequivocally free in every way. The freedom he enjoys is hard for us to understand, because even the most free human being is still limited by a human body, a human mind and the confines of living in three-dimensional space and time. The beautiful thing about God is he wants to share his freedom with us. Because he loves us so much, he’s not happy to see us entrenched in any kind of slavery. He even sent his one and only son to die for us, to set us free forever!