“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
– John 8:31-32
That word is among the most passionate and powerful words. Politicians running for office seemingly work the word into every campaign ad. Most nations have entire holidays set aside to celebrate freedom. In the U.S. this includes Memorial Day and July 4th.
This raises a list of questions that are rarely considered. What is freedom? How does someone get free? Free from what? Free to what?
It was during a national holiday called the “Feast of Booths” that Jesus stepped forward at the Temple to teach on freedom. The holiday was devoted to remembering the great freedom God’s people experienced under the leadership of Moses when God freed them from slavery in Egypt and brought them home to the Promised Land.
Freedom! How? From what? To what?
According to Jesus, freedom is not freedom to do whatever you want but freedom to do what God made you to do.
Freedom has three aspects:
- External freedom includes such things as the freedom to worship God and live according to your own conscience guided by the Word of God and Spirit of God.
- Internal freedom includes such things as assurance of salvation, removal of guilt and shame from the past, ability to forgive others, set aside burdens, and walk with hope into the future.
- Eternal freedom culminates in complete and total internal and external freedom forever where the children of God are freed from the presence, power, and penalty of sin forever to live as God created them to be in full and free unending joy.
Is there any internal slavery (regret, guilt, shame, condemnation, bitterness, brokenness, etc.) that you need to bring to Jesus to be set free from?